Monday, December 31, 2012

Meet Tad- our family's Elf on the Shelf

Have you heard of “the Elf on the Shelf? Well around the beginning of November I started to see pictures of a little elf in mischievous positions all over Pinterest and I did some investigating (code for Google).  Turns out it is a book and elf combo set you “adopt” for your family.  The elf is sent to your family from Santa’s toy shop located at the North Pole.  Each night while the children sleep, the elf does something naughty or nice based upon how your children behaved.  Now it also didn’t take me long to find a bunch of blogs written about “overachieving elf on the shelf Moms”.  I quickly realized that I would be falling in to this category and from here on out will except that title with PRIDE!
Adoptions fees for these elves can add up to almost $40. As I pondered the idea, I shared my thoughts with the people around me (Tyler & my Mom). After a little of her own investigating (a phone call, followed by a trip to Barnes & Noble), Grandma Melanie covered the fees and adopted us an elf. She opened the packaging and brought him to Thanksgiving Dinner at my Great Aunt Sharon’s house.

Instantly the kids were excited as my mom read them ‘The Elf on the Shelf” book. Issac was looking all over when he spotted his elf sitting in the dining area on a shelf. We named our elf Tad.

Over the course of the next few weeks Tad was Naughty and Nice. Playing tricks such as painting snow on the pine cones and leaving small gifts such as dollar store play dough and water paints, Christmas pajamas and slowly bringing out our Christmas movies and books.  I have to say, I enjoyed myself each evening as I planned out what Tad should do. However, our children are young, so I quickly ran out of locations to put Tad that were up high. As the story goes, you can’t touch your elf or he loses his magic. On Christmas morning Issac asked where Tad was & we told him that when Santa brought our gifts, he took Tad back to the North Pole. I am excited to see what kind of craziness tad will get into next Holiday Season. 
Here are a few pictures of Tad from this Christmas Season. 
 Above- Tad in the kid's play room.
Bellow- Tad in the dining room.

 Above & Bellow-
Tad brought the kids holiday water paint sets!

 Above- Tad sprayed snow on our pine cones!!!
Bellow- Tad in the bathroom.

 Above- tad enjoying a round of candyland with his friends.
Bellow- Tad hangs out with Mom's Family.

 Above- Tad in the lamp.
Bellow- Tad near the door.

 Above- tad brought us Gi-Gi's rockin Santa.
Bellow- tad zip lines through the livingroom.

 Above- Tad driving around.
bellow- hanging out with his friends.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

A month of being Grateful

Hello November!!! As Thanksgiving approached each day on facebook, I shared something I'm grateful for in my life. As Americans we are the world’s largest consumers of products and waste.  It can be easy to focus on what we want or what we don’t have and I find it refreshing each day to remind myself of all the fabulous things I do have in life.
1- I'm grateful for having an amazing & loving Great Aunt who is now said to be cancer free!!!
2- I am grateful that my husband has a good Union job that gives him paid vacation. This has been a nice relaxing week with Tyler at home.
3- Today I'm grateful for my cousin Erin. We never spent much time together as children but I have truly enjoyed getting to know her the last two years & I consider myself a lucky lady to have her as a friend.
4- Today I am grateful for L-A-Z-Y Sundays that include a big breakfast made by Tyler & a few rounds of hide-n-seek...
5- Today I am grateful to be an American & live in a Nation where people can publicly voice their opinions & bash our Commander and Chief without living in fear of public prosecution.
6- Today, On his birthday, I am Grateful for my Husband Tyler. He is there for me when I need to scream & there for me when I need to cry & ALWAYS on my side. Tyler is a hard working provider, a great father & my best friend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY FIRE BABY!!!
7- November 7th- today I am grateful for Disney Movies. #Cinderella #BugsLife
8- November 8th- today I'm grateful for sweatshirts, slippers, blankets & heat on this frosty morning!!!
10- Today I am grateful for the continuously growing collection of pictures we have of our children & family. Both professional & personal digital pictures, these little moments & memories are saved FOREVER.
11- Today I'm grateful for a few hours of 1-on-1 time with my number one lil man. We played Candyland, took Lucky for a walk and practice riding his bike.
12- NOV 12- Today I'm grateful for all of the Veterans & their families for their sacrifices & determination. #PROUDAMERICAN
13- Today I'm grateful for the health of our daughter. Josie had a rocky start & will forever need to see a Cardiologist but nothing slows our sassy lil miss down!!!
14- today I'm grateful for our HDTV antenna, I get to watch the evening news & other network shows for FREE. #WAYSWESAVEMONEY
15- Today I'm grateful that my children play well together (for the most part).
16- Today I'm grateful for man's best friend: my precious Tinkerbell!!!
17- Today I'm. Grateful for a few hours of alone with my husband. We are going to breakfast & then a lil kid-free grocery shopping.
18- Today I'm grateful that my children are blessed to have great Aunties and Uncles. Maybe they don't have a ton of them but their Auntie Nicole & Uncle Warren and their Auntie Andalyn and Uncle Jayson sure make up for it by taking the time to crawl on the floor to play and by take adventures with us. Also, Thank you for the holiday goodie bags you send out!!!
19- Today I'm grateful for the rain. It was getting so dry & gross with over 90 days no rain in Seattle. Now things are as they should be: green & fresh.
20-Today I am grateful to be a SAHM (Stay at home mom).  It is the toughest job I will ever have, but also the most rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars.
21-  Today I am grateful for my belongings, the stuff I take for granted each day; my bed, clothes, car, everything.
22-Today I am thankful for a nice calm Thanksgiving with my family. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!
23- Today I am grateful for walks around the neighborhood with my kids, counting mailboxes, picking up sticks and pine cones and stomping in the puddles!
24-  Today I am grateful for quiet time.  I don't get much but every night Tyler takes the kids to brush their teeth, read two books and go to bed.  i have come to expect 7 demand my quiet time.  Some nights i watch TV, others I craft or make a tutu or on nights like tonight, I'm catching up on some emails & blogging!
25-Today I am grateful for FAMILY TIME. Big breakfast Sunday & then taking the kids to see Finding Nemo at the theater.
26- Today I'm grateful for my Mom. She's not rich & she's not perfect, but she's always been my number 1 fan and the kids & I are ALWAYS AT THE TOP OF HER LIST!!!!
27-Today I'm grateful for Cookies & How the Grinch Stole Christmas!!! I'm loving the holidays with our kids finally old enough to enjoy all the fun stuff!!!!
28-Today I'm grateful for story time. First I read to the kids, then Issac "re-reads" the books to me.
29-The month is almost done. Nov 29th- today I'm grateful for my close group of friends whom I don't go more than a day or two without talking or texting.... Di, Erin and Shobi. I love my girls!!!
30-Some people have big families with lots of brothers & sisters, Mom's family & Dad's family. I never had all that. I had these 4 people; Mu Grandma, My uncle Philip, my Aunt Nicole and my MOM. Today, I'm thankful for them, their strength guidance & their support in life.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Halloween 2012

Maybe it is just me but this year I got extremely stressed out over Halloween costumes.  I know, shake your heads at me but I really like my kids to match to some extent.  I also realize that I only get control over what exactly their costumes are for a couple of years.  Everyone around me kept telling us to just take the kids to the store and let them choose, but what if they choose something weird or random? 

Tyler wanted the kids to be Mike Rozoski & boo from Monsters inc.  Someone from his work even lent us a Mike costume.  However, the mike was too big & needed dry cleaning and to purchase a Boo costume was over a hundred dollars!!!  A friend & I did contemplate making a Boo costume but then the amount of the materials was going to be more than I was comfortable spending on a children’s Halloween costume.  I also secretly really wanted them to be Cookie Monster & Elmo, but those costumes were also out of our budget.  I drove around and shopped at six different second hand stores and never found an Elmo or cookie monster.  Tyler wanted to just go get the costumes from Party City, but over $40 per kid?? NO WAY.

We finally came to an agreement on a twenty dollar per kid max.  We also decided to take the kids & let them choose but to try & guide them to something familiar to them and in our comfort zone and budget…. AND guess what? They did fine.  Issac picked out a Woody from the Toy Story trilogy costume right off the bat.  Then he wanted to get Josie a Jessie from Toy story 2&3 costume but the stores didn’t seem to offer that costume in a toddler size. L  We drove around to multiple box stores with no luck.  But then, Issac yelled, “there it is, there is a pink Jessie costume for sister!” in the middle of Target.  So if you ask Issac, they were Woody & Jessie but really they were just PLAIN CUTIES!!!!

We went trick or treating in Covington throughout Shobi’s parent’s neighborhood.  Issac was really good about saying please and thank you at every house.  Josie would wait until the last moment and then say thank you as she walked away.  The only time the kids got thrown off was when there was spooky decorations on the porch, at those houses they wouldn’t say anything or even make eye contact because they were too busy watching the decorations. 


The kids had a great night, we had a great night and the rain held off until after we were back at home in bed.  The kids candy buckets were full to the rim and we actually just tossed out the rest of the candy Thanksgiving weekend!!!  i plan to not stress halloween next year and be prepared by having the kids costumes ready to go come October first!!!!