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One week to go

So I’m assuming this is the last year the boys are going to believe in Santa. I mean, I could be wrong, but either way, we’re in the home stretch. It’s hard to believe their childhood has gone so fast. I know that sounds dramatic, but not believing in Santa kind of seems like the end of that truly innocent childhood era and on to more cynical times. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic.

Anyway, one the boys had mentioned (I think it was Linus, and it’s indicative of this problem that I can’t remember exactly who told me this) that he didn’t want the same present as his brothers. It’s become habit to either get three of the same thing (so everything is fair) or three equivalent, coordinating things (three different video games, three different stuffed animals, three different books.)

But he wanted something different. Something just for him, (you know, now that I think about it, maybe it was Oliver) something that only he wanted, not something that his brothers got as well.

Case in point: my brother sent three gifts for the boys. Three completely different gifts, all meant to be shared amongst them. But when the boys saw three completely different packages under the tree, they decided they each wanted to pick one for themselves.

So I let them each claim one of the gifts, but it’s not exactly the same as choosing a totally different present for each kid.

But no problem, I can do that. That’s easy! I’ve spent the boys’ entire childhood trying to treat them like individuals. Most of the time, they weren’t dressed alike. They’re in different classes. They played different sports. But when it came down to knowing right off the bat what Oliver would prefer, what Miles would like, and what Linus would want. Continue reading

Chasing around

Christmas card fail

I totally under-ordered. In lieu of ordering more cards (they’d have to be crappy ones to get them in time) I’ll post some more photos from the session we did with Christina Childress last month. (Dallas people, get her to photograph your family! You will not regret it!)

Well, there’s the one in my blog header. There are a few in a “series” that I absolutely adore. Giggling, happy boys. Natural smiles. Love!

And here are a couple more…

And here’s my new over-the-fireplace display, with a couple of the aforementioned pics of the boys. The canvases were from Groupon, so the color isn’t as gorgeous as they should be. Those will be replaced with better quality prints soon enough.

New display over the fireplace, thanks to @christinachildressphoto. ❤️

A photo posted by Pam Kocke (@pyjammy) on

 

(oh, and Happy Birthday Grandee!)

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Friday five

1. I am feeling somewhat, mostly better. Still haven’t heard back from my doctor about the results of my bloodwork, and since it’s now 2pm on Friday, I don’t expect to. I have a follow up appointment next Thursday. By which point I’ll be feeling ship-shape, I’m sure. Hmm.

2. I think I’m about done Christmas shopping for the boys and George. That’s always nice. I wrapped a few gifts and put them under the tree, so now we are all festive ‘n’ stuff.

3. Speaking of Christmas, Maury-Frank is still “at the North Pole.” The boys haven’t really mentioned him in a week or two (I planned on bringing him out the morning after the boys’ party, but I was feeling like crap, and I forgot, and no one seems to care) so I could probably just get away with leaving him “at the North Pole” (the top of the closet in the playroom) but I think George would be disappointed. So maybe I’ll put him out this afternoon so they can see him when they get home. Otherwise I’ll forget again tonight and this cycle will just continue.

I do suspect this is the last year we will be able to get away with the elf-as-behavioral-modification, so I may as well drag him out.

Screenshot 2014-12-12 14.03.294. At the beginning of the month, we had the New Orleans Moms Blog holiday gathering. It was pretty awesome, because we got a ton of great stuff. I’m really excited about my Mardi Gras scarf from Loomed (I’ve been wanting one for aaaages) and these glasses from Catstudio. So cute! Of course, I’m terrified to use them, I’m so clumsy.

(You can see everything we got here. And enter to win it all for another week!)

5. I forgot to post pictures of the Creeper lanterns I made for the boys’ party. Here you go. (I know, I should have made this a Friday Four post instead.) (Also you can see the banner I made for their first birthday.)

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The 7th birthday party!

This is a really hard post to write. I don’t mean emotionally, I mean physically. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I have some kind of crafting injury. I spent some time Friday working on a big decoration for the party, and by that night, my left wrist and thumb, and a couple of the fingers on my right hand, as well as my left ankle, were in pain. Enough pain that I had to cancel an outing to a birthday party that evening.

The next morning, both wrists and thumbs and more fingers were affected, as well as both ankles. No idea what was going on – were my ankles sore from getting on and off chairs? And also my left shoulder, what was that about? I felt like I’d been hit by a car, or maybe had run a marathon on my hands. It felt a lot like muscle soreness from overuse. Pretty awful. Sunday I woke up feeling even worse, but since I’d kind of figured out on Saturday that moving kept the pain at bay, I just kept busy all day. Not hard, since I had so much birthday party prep to do.

But I was exhausted by nighttime, and the pain intensified. Woke up this morning, got the boys off to school, took a leftover painkiller from my surgery, and passed out. Took the day off work so I wouldn’t have to type all day (except to write this post, of course) and am feeling much better just for getting a solid four hour block of sleep. Hopefully I’m on the road to recovery now.

Shoot, this post wasn’t supposed to be about me, but about the boys’ birthday party!

It was great. Basically the same party as last year – rented a bounce house and a popcorn machine, ordered a stack of pizzas, filled a pinata, and let the kids play and the adults hang out. The boys got to invite 5-6 friends each from their classes, and there were kids from the neighborhood there too. Lots of fun was had by all. :)

Pictures!

Birthday cake!

Pinata!

More random pics

Well, that was no good

Warning: Vent ahead.

I like to go out to eat on the boys’ birthday. The way I see it, I shouldn’t have to cook on the anniversary of the day I gave birth to three babies. While the boys don’t love going to restaurants (what is wrong with them?!?) at least I can count on them eating something nice and fattening.

I was having a hard time deciding where to go, since they’re so picky. I finally settled on a famous chain restaurant that I knew had good chicken fingers on the menu. I’d be able to get a salad or something that pretends to be healthy, and the boys could get a fun dessert for their birthday. Plus, George had gotten a gift card to this restaurant that named itself after a spicy vegetable, so it seemed like an easy decision.

We get to the restaurant, and are seated after a short wait. So far, fine. The waitress comes and takes our orders. Hooray! I order a Tex-Mex inspired bowl of some sort, George gets a burger, and the boys get the chicken and fries.

And we wait. And wait and wait and wait and wait. Our waitress assures us our food is coming. Eventually, it does. She warns us of hot plates, and I know these chicken fingers usually are volcanically hot when they get to the table, so I warn the boys not to touch them. I needn’t have worried, they were warm, but certainly not too hot to eat.

My food is set in front of me, and it looks nothing like the menu photo. The plate is covered in black beans and there’s a grilled chicken breast on top. (Also, not hot, but warm. How long was it sitting in the back, I wonder?) Most of the ingredients listed seem to be there, so I figure it’s just one of those things where it looks different in real life. But where’s the sliced avocado and the fresh greens? I start to eat, because we’ve already waited so long, but I flag the waitress down when she deigns to stop by our table.

“There’s no avocado on this,” I say.

“There’s not supposed to be,” she counters.

“Please bring me a menu.”

“Of course!” she replies, brightly. A few moments later, she comes back with a menu. Right there in black and white (actually color) is a photo of my dish with avocado on top. And the description clearly mentions “sliced avocado” and “field greens.” With a confused look, she goes back to the kitchen.

She comes back an eternity later (my chicken breast is almost gone at this point, but it’s the principle) and says, “the kitchen doesn’t give out avocado slices. They say no one likes them so they don’t offer them.”

My head explodes and she scurries off to get the manager.

The manager goes to the table, and she is very apologetic. She also informs me that my dish should not have avocado on it. I love being called a liar, so I point out the photo and description on the menu. She says, “that’s not what you ordered.”

Uh, okay. Yes it is.

“No, you ordered the Margarita Chicken. That’s the Margarita Chicken Bowl.”

My head re-explodes.

So there are two dishes on the menu with nearly the same name. When I ordered, I pointed to the item on the menu that I wanted (THE BOWL), and said the name (BOWL BOWL BOWL). Why would a restaurant put two items with nearly the same name on the menu, and then hire servers who are too dumb to know the difference? I’m pretty sure if I worked at this restaurant, and someone ordered one of these items, I’d make damn sure I was clear on what the customer wanted (THE BOWL). But what do I know?

The manager, who was very nice, offered to bring the boys some desserts for free, but we said no, we just wanted to get out. They comped me and George’s entrees, and gave us a bunch of vouchers to use for next time. Next time, ha!

On the bright side, I only had a grilled chicken breast for dinner, so at least I had a relatively healthy meal.

We are kind of evil.

I mean, we got the boys’ the gifts they have been wanting for months. But I had to make it fun for us too…

It is kind of heartbreakingly sweet how much they pretended to love their t-shirts and pajamas. You should have seen the dejection on their faces when they thought that’s all they were getting.

And then when they thought they were getting Lego sets they already had…

But I got tons of hugs after they got down to the real presents, and I was so proud that they didn’t whine or complain, but instead tried to make the most of lame gifts.