We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Out of the Slump (and Thankful for It)

We've been in a little bit of a sickness slump. Two weeks ago, I was so proud that I had both kids fed and ready to take Cate to dance class on my own when Brennan decided to puke all over himself and his high chair 5 minutes before we were to walk out the door. He'd been coming down with a cold, but I wasn't sure if this was stomach bug puking or his sensitive gag reflex puking. I erred on the side of caution and we skipped dance class. Cate. Was. Ticked. But she got over it. It ended up being the gag reflex as Brennan didn't puke again until Wednesday morning when he choked on some more snot. I will be so thankful when the kid learns to blow his nose.

His cold progressed from a deep, barking cough, to a wet cough. Couple that with lots of eye gunk (and a little pink eye), diaper rash, and a runny nose that just wouldn't quit, and suffice it to say, my little guy was a hot mess. He graciously passed his cold onto me, just in time for Thanksgiving. But I could take Nyquil (yes, he still nurses, but the benefits of Nyquil far outweighed any small risk to him). Nevertheless, we headed to my parents-- snotty noses and all for the holiday.

Brennan turned 11 months old the day before Thanksgiving.
I can't believe he'll be a year old in less than a month. This year has been the fastest year ever!

Thanksgiving morning we took it easy, watched the marching band from our alma mater march in Santa for the Macy's parade, and snapped a few photos before we headed to my aunt's. I wish Cate would have had the smile from the first picture in the second picture.
And here she is trying to pose Brennan:
We enjoyed great food and even greater company at my mom's sister's house. Brennan took over the remote as his new favorite toy.
After dinner, we had our annual viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I'm not sure we even need to watch the movie as we all have the movie memorized. And no, we're not staring at a black screen-- the flash makes it look that way.
I actually went out with my mom and sister on Black Friday. I helped them pick out a few toys for my kids for Christmas and then my sister wanted a Kindle that was on sale at Target. It was organized chaos. Thankfully, my wonderful husband let me sleep in that morning. I met up with one of my favorite teachers from middle school and high school for coffee in the afternoon. Then we indulged in a White family tradition-- paintbrush cookies!
Friday night we watched The Blind Side. I can't believe I'd never seen that movie before. My mom picked it up for $3.99 on our midnight Target run. I bought The Time Traveler's Wife and a season of 30 Rock. Little man spent a lot of time looking cute.
Saturday was pretty low key. I finally finished Brennan's alpaca wool hat.
Now it's time to start Cate's. Thankfully she at least has a store-bought hat to hold her over until I finish hers-- which may take me all winter at the slow rate I move with knitting projects.

Seeing as how every college kid who lives in NE Ohio and attends college in Columbus or Cincinnati travels down I-71 the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we decided to head home after dinner Saturday night. Plus, the Browns played the Bengals today in Cincinnati, so we didn't want all of that traffic. And it's rainy today. Our drive home was uneventful-- just the way I like it. No stops, no traffic, and both kids fell asleep.

Today we're glad to be home. We caught up on some housework and laundry, decorated the tree a bit more, and relaxed. Brennan's nose isn't quite as snotty, I'm feeling better, and it looks like Eric and Cate are going to be spared. We seem to have pulled out of our sickness slump just in time to start getting ready for little guy's birthday and Christmas! And for that I am very thankful!

~Melody :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Tonight, I am thankful for a flexible and understanding boss who allowed me to leave school during my plan time so that I could attend Cate's Thanksgiving Celebration at her school. And I'm thankful for the paraprofessional at school that watched my class for a few minutes when I was late getting back due to an accident on the highway.

Cate brought in her canned goods...
...and took them up to the front.
Next, she took her seat for the program, which consisted of all of the kids singing 2 songs and a short message by the reverend at the church where Cate attends school.
Little guy sat happily through the program.
After the program was over, Cate showed us the cornbread (pilgrim food) that her class made.
One of her teachers drew this turkey! Isn't it amazing?!?
Kids were able to write things they were thankful for (or draw pictures of things they were thankful for) and then put them on the turkey. Yesterday in class, Cate told her teachers she was thankful for her Christmas tree. Yes, we do have ours up. No, it's not even close to decorated-- it's mostly the tree, lights, and a few ornaments. Cate is in love with Christmas. But first...Thanksgiving! Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

~Melody :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Card Pictures

I love, love, love sending (and receiving) Christmas cards every year. Seriously. I know for some it's a chore, but not only do I love showing off the beautiful family God has blessed me with, I love, love, love hearing what all of our family and friends have been up to since the last Christmas and seeing their beautiful, smiling faces.

Several weeks ago we took a Saturday morning walk down a gorgeous street in our neighborhood. I don't know why I had never noticed it before, but a church on that street has the most amazing bright red doors. I told Eric we'd be back to take Christmas card pictures there. So that's what we did last Saturday morning. Armed with my camera, remote, and tripod, we took a few shots. The winner?Thankfully, Shutterfly had several card options for multiple pictures. So here are some that made the inside:

The tree pictures are from a park just outside of our area of town, French Park. The tree had low branches, perfect for posing in. These last few didn't make the final cut for the card, but it was close.

I love Brennan's face in that last one.

I have no aspirations to be a professional photographer, but I don't think I did too bad either. What do you think? Do you send Christmas cards? Like getting them?

~Melody :-)

PS: I am so very grateful to Elizabeth for hosting a Shutterfly giveaway on her blog (which I won). With the 25 free cards from her, 10 free cards from another promotional email, and a discount code, I got our 50 cards for $30-- a steal for the folded 5x7 cards that allow you to write a little update about your year inside.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!
So vote now, get your coupon, and get shopping!

We love Melissa and Doug toys here at this house. From blocks...
...to chunky puzzles...
...to grocery carts...
...and more (I can't tell you how much of their pretend food is stocked in our play kitchen)-- their sturdy, classic toys are crowd-pleasers in this home.
~Melody :-)

Note: For writing this post, I was given a $25 gift certificate to MelissaAndDoug.com. But seriously, we do own a lot of Melissa And Doug toys. And we do love them. I wouldn't promote them here if we didn't.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Healing and Randomness

(This post could alternately be titled, "In Which I Dump a Bunch of Cell Phone Photos from Our Phones"...just sayin--you've been warned)

Just when I thought I was over the bug Brennan gave me last weekend, I ended up with the plain old flu on Wednesday this week. Chills, aches, fever, the whole nine yards. Yes, I had a flu shot. Yes, I got my flu shot while on antibiotics for strep throat. Yes, I was told there was a slight risk that I could end up with the flu as a result. And well, I did. It was awful. I missed Wednesday-Friday of school and didn't really feel normal again yesterday. I still don't have a huge appetite and a cough still plagues me, but I'm way better off than I was a few days ago.

The worst thing about being sick, was that instead of chaperoning a field trip with Cate's class on Friday (I had already taken off work to do this), I stayed home buried under the covers. Cate's class visited a local earth center. Eric took some pictures and gave me the play-by-play when they returned. They had a presentation first. Then they headed outside to learn about trees and birds in our area. Cate was apparently smitten with the nature guide and wanted to be right by his side as they walked around.
She acted like a bird. And Eric said this kids' field guide to birds was really cool. We might have to buy a copy to put in her stocking.
While they were on the field trip, my fever finally broke! I took it easy the rest of the day though. Cate had been invited to a birthday party on Saturday and I wanted to make sure I could go with her.

The birthday party Saturday afternoon was at a local working farm. Yup, a farm, right smack dab in the middle of the city. It was actually really cool. The birthday party had a farm theme that was excellently done by Cate's friend's mom. The kids made cow ears and cow bells upon arrival.Next, they took a tour of the gardens and the farm.
This was Cate in the "taste" garden. While growing season is over here in Ohio, during growing season, they grow a ton of produce. This mini-garden is full of things kids can taste. She loved hunting for eggs in the chicken coops. Unfortunately, she didn't find any. They had already been collected for the day. The miniature ponies were her favorites for the day. I swear, if I told Cate we were moving to a farm tomorrow, she'd have her bags packed in seconds. This girl loves to be outside, loves animals, loves nature. Girlfriend even picked up some goat poop with her bare hands (she didn't know what it was and yes, we thoroughly washed and sanitized afterwards).

Treats followed the tour and then it was time to go. Eric's sister and her boyfriend picked Cate up about an hour after we got home. Kristin's boyfriend's daughter is about 6 months younger than Cate. They went to Chuck E Cheese, dressed up in princesses dresses, and then had a sleepover. Eric and I used the Cate-free time to play Santa. Our local toy store is having their annual sale. Cate has talked about this and this since we got the Playmobil catalog a few months ago. I can't wait until she opens them Christmas morning. We went to church last night, headed out to dinner, and watched a movie before snuggling into bed to enjoy that extra hour of sleep. Thank you Kristin and Josh (and Emmy) for keeping Cate for the night.
And with that, I'll conclude my insanely long update. I'm feeling much better and am ready to take on the week. Our trimester ends in 8 school days. It's hard to believe I'm 1/3 of the way through the school year already!

~Melody :-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick and Treat

Trick-- after she finished trick-or-treating, dressed as Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, she helped pass out candy. She started giving kids handfuls of candy. The result? We ran out of candy at 7:15. Oh well.
Treat-- despite a little eye infection (pediatrician thinks it's a clogged tear duct), he made one cute giraffe. While Abby Cadabby and Daddy were off gathering candy, he had fun emptying the candy bowl and then putting all of the candy back in.
Little Man was part of Daddy's Halloween costume for a party we attended over the weekend. Hangover anyone?
Mommy didn't get in on too much Halloween action as she was still recovering from the virus that Brennan so lovingly passed on to her. No worries though. I'm finally starting to feel normal again.

Happy November!

~Melody :-)