Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Blanket with the Longest Name...Ever

Every night Hannah has several bedtime rituals:
1. She must read at least one book while rocking before going to bed
2. She will request "Daddy's crackers" for a snack. These are Wheat Thins in a baggie that I keep in her room.
3. Of course after crackers one is generally thristy.
4. The closet door must be closed to lock in the "Big Scary Knuckles"
5. She gathers random things that she wants to sleep with that night, sometimes it's her slippers, a book, a car, some stuffed animals, chapstick. I slowly sneak things out as she puts them in so that she has room for her little self in the bed.
6. We say our prayers.
7. We each talk about our favorite thing that day. Sometimes we have to discuss our "other favorite thing" as well.
8. We give "little hugs" then "big hugs" then kisses all over.
9. She ensures that "Boo" is comfortable. This is Boo, sort of. Boo is actually white-ish with fuzzballs and a frayed ribbon.

10. Then we discuss who loves whom the most (I win by default.) Mary Jo, Mrs. G, Libby and Rachel- is that sentence grammatically correct?  Did I spell grammatically correctly? Is it correctly or correct? Oh dear.
11.  Finally, finally after she is snuggled in bed, kissed up, and comforted, the last thing every night is to make sure that she has "The Blanket that My Friend Candy Made For Me."

So thank you, Candace Diane, for the best blanket ever.  Just so you know, she also has "Shoes that my friend Candy gave me."

Tikki Tikki Tembo.......For Libby

My sweet friend, Libby, recently introduced us to a wonderful classic Tikki Tikki Tembo. Now, I have been a bookseller for 23 years and sadly, have never read this book. As you can tell it immediately became a favorite and since purchasing it a week ago I'm certain that I have read it 13 million times. Or so. Last night we got the pleasure of introducing it to Cassie as well. Tonight I got the night off and Hannah "read" the book to Holly (who remembers the book from kindergarten). She also required Holly to sit in her lap and turn off the big light (sorry about the lighting, I had no control!) It's amazing to me how many people can instantly recite Tikki's entire name as if it were their own, now Cassie, Hannah and I will get to join the club!

One of the best things in the world is to share a lovely book with someone who has yet to have the pleasure!!!! Customers look at me strangely when I exclaim, "Oh! You are so lucky you haven't read this yet!!!"

By the way, whenever I say "Libby...." Hannah replies, "MY Libby?"
Yes, your Libby
but she was MINE first!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas at Our House

We had a fabulous Christmas. Santa came to our house on December 23rd because everyone knows that even with magic it's hard to get the job done in just one night. That evening we also had our Family Christmas which is more fun every year! The kids are beginning to outnumber the adults and I fear we may have a coup on our hands next year! Here are some things I learned this year:
1. When Christian says he only wants one particular thing. He really means it. There is no need to get "fluff" just to get his quantity up.
2. Holly refuses to give you any clue of what she wants so you have to start paying very close attention beginning in September.
3. Cassie screams "I love Santa!" regardless of who actually gave her the gift. She also screams the name of the item in the same tone of voice every year. Last year, "AN IPOD!!!!!!! I LOVE SANTA!!!! This year, "SWIM TO ME PUPPY!!!! I LOVE SANTA!!!
4. All Hannah needs is a good box of bandaids & a whistle to be happy. We have both been covered in Diego bandaids since Christmas! I'm afraid the whistle mysteriously disappeared. What was Santa thinking?
5. It's surprisingly difficult to explain the differences between Santa & God to a 2 1/2 year old. I think it's the "watching you" part that got her confused.
A special thanks to Chris, Melissa & Gracie who so graciously hosted the party this year less than 1 month after moving into a new home! Can you imagine?

Do you remember when I used to apologize for the high, squeaky, Mommy voice? Yeah, well, I don't do that anymore because apparently it is a permanent voice change.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This School Does Not Discriminate Against Aliens

I believe that is the moral of this year's holiday musical. Or maybe it is that everyone likes Christmas, including aliens. The moral could have been that if aliens come to earth, we are all obligated to teach them about Christmas. For those of you that haven't met the smiliest kid ever, Cassie is the one in the front with pigtails, orange shirt and a big smile.

Dancing Class

Tonight Hannah told me that she would like for us to go up to her room to dance. We do this often. It involves turning off the lights and turning on her drum that plays funky music and lights up (Thanks Mary Jo!) Then we dance. Crazy dancing! Except tonight, Hannah had a different plan. I set the stage and started dancing when Hannah pulled up a chair and sat down. When I asked why she wasn't dancing she told me that we were in dancing class and that she was the teacher. Then she asked me to continue dancing while she watched me. It tends to make you a bit self conscious, knowing that your 2 year old thinks you may need some pointers in the boogie department. It is also a little disconcerting to hear "dance, Mommy, dance!" over and over again like any minute she was going to start shooting at my feet. After seriously scrutinizing my moves, she declared that my dancing was passable and got up to join me. I guess she has high standards in dance partners.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sick Day

I went to work today as usual. I got a call from my mom (who is visiting from Florida!) saying that Hannah was very sick. I started giving her directions immediately, "Give her pedialyte, try some toast, how about some popsicles?" Then I heard a pitiful voice in the background say "I need my Mommy". Not wanted, but NEEDED. So I threw the manager-on-duty phone to another manager and left the building. The poor girl was sick all day. She was restless but wanted to be on my lap, so she crawled up and squirmed, then down and squirmed, then moaned, etc. In the middle of all this, she decided that a small collection of flashlights needed to be beside her. As she was describing the flashlights to me, she explained that one only works "intermittently." Huh? Where did this word come from? I refuse to allow my 2 year old to have a better vocabulary than I. Although this word is not part of my everyday language, I think it should be. I shall begin now:

Hannah vomited intermittently for 10 hours.
I held a bowl up to Hannah's mouth intermittently throughout the day.

Ah yes, already it sounds better!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Favorite Retail Weekend

Last weekend was so fun! I worked long hours and wore fancy shoes (fancy shoes=ow!!) but it was still great. This is the weekend that people are still relaxed and know what they want. Everyone is grateful for suggestions and still has enough in their budget to purchase what you put in their hands. They have time to wait for a short bit and not get agitated. They wander over to the cafe and take a break from shopping with friends and leisurely sip their coffee and eat their scone with a fork. This weekend I had people fall over themselves to thank me, I had a customer make a special trip to the store to let me know what a great job one of my managers did helping her. Book people are just plain good folk.

Then all hell breaks loose. Soon it becomes next weekend. Where next weekend is the same as THE WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!!! The smell of desperation sets in. People aren't sure what they want and nothing seems to be the right thing because they haven't given the recipient of this gift enough thought, or maybe they don't know them well enough. Everyone puts off their most difficult person until the last week. They have run short of time, patience and money and are easily irritated. These are often people who have never worked retail: those that talk on their cell phones the entire time they are making their purchase, those that stay in the store 10 minutes after closing time because their sale is more important then my booksellers going home to their families. This is the time when the cafe chairs and tables become empty because everything is "to go". Grouchiness ensues.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Look Here!

Hey! Look at what my friend Rachel did! She has some super funny kids (and cute too!) so stayed tuned!

P.S.- She's also a great writer!
P.P.S.- No, I am NOT jealous of all of her abilities (knitting, homeschooling, violin, self-discipline, etc.) Whatever. I can play the kazoo, so there!

Visiting with Santa and other Mall Type Things

Most people go to the mall for shopping, we go for the rides...and food. After a nutritionally balanced meal at Chic-Fil-A, we went to see Santa. I even got Christian to sit on his lap, although you can tell by his expression that he was not thrilled. Then the kids picked out Angels from the Salvation Army tree.We saw some very fun rides that we simply could not pass up.
Since everyone ate their vegetables (french fries are vegetables!) we each got a scoop of ice cream before leaving.

Friday, December 12, 2008


If you could, send some good thoughts this way. Dr. Kela Fee is moving on, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow. Possibly already. It's way too early, her boys are too young. Her husband is so in love with her, but he speaks as if she is already gone, and in his heart I believe she is. The part that made her so special, her soul, left us earlier this week. Now, they are left with a body filled with morphine to help the pain. My heart hurts for them. What do you do for a family that is going through something so utterly wretched?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hannah's Point of View

Hannah gained control of the camera at a recent family birthday party. Jack turned 2, he got great presents and blew out his candles. Not that any of you will be able to see these things. Hannah chose to record different things. We will cherish these memories forever.

Double the Fun!

These two have lots to say.  They talk from the minute they wake up until they fall asleep.  Cassie even talks in her sleep sometimes!  It's really amazing how high my noise tolerance level has gone up since having children.  I remember a Christmas season several years ago where I had to leave the cash register area because it was too noisy up there.  The crinkle sound of the bags, the customers talking, the registers humming, it was too loud.  That seems pretty funny now.  Most of the time I don't even hear things until they have been repeated a few times.  It's generally tolerable when Cassie & Hannah talk to each other, but when they have competing conversations with each other it can sort of make your ears bleed!  Cassie was intent on reading a story to Hannah, Hannah was intent on telling a story to her...lamp? Oh whatever, you know you have talked to lamps in your past.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Big, Scary Knuckles

She found these Hulk Hands in Christian's closet and was terrified, but fascinated at the same time.  She wanted to see them but not be too close.  She asked about the Big, Scary Knuckles often.  Then Holly showed her that weren't scary at all, just big and squishy and green.  Now she calls them the Big, Hairy Knuckles and wears them herself to be a monster.  Although at night, she stores them in her closet and checks on them before going to bed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spatially Challenged

I have always had this problem.  
We have something in the cafe called "Wave plates" that are put on earth just to mock me.  These plates are to be placed in the bake case of our cafe at certain angle.  I can never figure this out. 
The other day I had to move two square tables side by side at an angle and had to call a customer over to tell me if they were angled correctly (they weren't- so he said).  Luckily he is a regular who already knows that I have issues.  I am not one of those people who can "eyeball" things.  I still try though because I am spatially challenged and lazy.  This means that all my pictures in my home are crooked and at strange heights.  I can't read maps unless I turn the it to face the direction that I am going, thereby making it difficult to read because it is then sideways or upside down.  I ran into real problems with the maps on the iPhone because when you try to turn the phone it magically turns the map for you as well.  I kept making wrong turns.
I do puzzles by making names for each piece, such as "OK, I'm looking for the piece that looks like a camel drinking."
I'm pretty sure that I was one of those kids that couldn't make the shapey things go in the right hole.

Have Yourself a Blood-Sucking Christmas

I try very hard to not judge what people read.  As a business person I am just glad that they are willing to spend money on books, as a person person I am just happy that they are reading. When Harry Potter was all the rage and I became so very tired of walking to the same section over and over again to hand someone a Harry Potter book, I could easily tell myself this.  I enjoyed Harry Potter and I could see a new genre emerging.  It was fun to talk about a good book with people that were interested.  I will sell all sorts of crap and not be annoyed because 1.  It is my livelihood, and 2.  The world is amusing because of differences.

 But this year, from this point on, known as The Vampire Christmas, has me weary.  And grumpy.  In 22 years of bookselling I cannot recall a book that has brought people out from the hollers of Kentucky quite like this series.  I can pinpoint the Twilight Mamas when they walk in the front door and gaze up at the tall ceilings and bright lights like they are in New York City, walk past the Twilight table to ask if we have bathrooms, then tell me that their daughter just saw the movie and would like the books.  I will explain the order of the series and recommend titles, then they will mosey on over to the cafe to order a Co-Cola.

Truly, I am not a snarky, judgmental person by nature.  I sort of live and let live.  You don't have to explain to me that the sex book you are buying is a gag gift.  I don't mind if you want to liven things up a bit.  But here's the thing:  the books STINK.  That is all.
Did I mention that I was grumpy?

Stephenie Meyer is driving me to drink. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Visit from Bob, and other Misconceptions

This is the Santa that we have outside our home. He has a light bulb in his belly, of course. Hannah wanted to know why Santa was outside our house and not at his house. Christian convinced her that he was actually Santa's brother, Bob. Which I would think leads to the question, "OK, so what is Bob doing outside our house?" But whatever. Anyway, now she asks me everyday if Santa is coming. When I tell her no, not yet, but soon, her follow up question is always, "What about Bob, Mommy?"

The stockings are also a bit confusing. She keeps pulling them off the mantle and putting them on her feet, except that she fits both legs in them and looks like she's ready for the potato sack race. This morning she pulled mini stockings off the wall to put on each foot. You can see how confusing this might be.This morning we went to visit Santa Claus at the mall where she sat on his lap and gave him a sucker. She also took dental floss (her most favorite treat) to give him a bit. Poor Santa, I bet he get lots of sweaty candy and strange gifts. She asked him for a black race car for Christmas, who knew?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love, love, love Thanksgiving.  It's not because I particularly love pilgrims, or cooking, or even turkey for that matter, but it is because I get to have the entire family over.  I would be happy doing it every week.  Honestly, I would.  I grew up with a very tiny immediate family, but lots of aunts, uncles and cousins that always celebrated holidays together.  Once my family moved from Illinois to Kentucky it was harder to get everybody together and it rarely happened.  Since getting married, I've inherited my own large family!  At first it felt a little like being a code breaker.  I wasn't even totally clear on names and relation, let alone history.  There were some customs that I had to learn. For instance, when traveling with food, you put all your items in a laundry basket lined with towels.  Did you know that?  It's a very sensible thing to do, it keeps the food warm and is easy to transport.  I also felt so inadequate at first, being surrounded by these confident, strong Boddeker women made me a little intimidated.  I was so nervous, that I never ate when we had parties at our house!  Since then, I have learned to relax and enjoy the day.  Even when the oven dies and we have to transport 2 raw birds to my mother in law's house via golfcart.  No worries, because Melissa brought the wine!!

Look Melanie!  We did it and it was FUN!

After eating we went for the traditional Thanksgiving swim and rock wall climbing exhibition.  Just like on the First Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Visit from Gracie

Hannah's cousin Gracie came over for a visit today. They had so much fun dressing up, painting finger and toenails, taking on and off various house slippers and playing with Playdough. There was a little discussion about what little girls are allowed to do vs. what big girls are allowed to do, also some talk surrounding ballet slippers and sharing. Gracie brought over Hannah's favorite treat of all time...PEZ!! The consensus is that both girls like Pez and that Pez is crunchy. Really, there is nothing better than eating your favorite candy with your favorite friend while in a fairy/princess dress. (Mary Jo, I'm lookin' at you!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sweeping Sam

Hannah's Grandma Lisa gave her this talking broom.  His name is Sweeping Sam.  I know this because he says, "Hello, I'm Sweeping Sam" anytime you look at him.  He's real sassy, this broom!  He comments on your work with no regard for how hard it was for you to even get up off the couch, let alone tackle the crumby floor with only a plastic, talking broom.  He also tells lies like "It's fun to clean up."  Well, yesterday Hannah had had enough of his sass.  She was sitting next to Sam when he started mouthing off and I could tell she just wasn't going to take anymore!  She said, "No, I did not miss a spot again!"  Later she told him that it was NOT FUN to clean up.  NOT FUN!!!  I have to agree.
PS-  I will try to find my child pajamas that cover both her belly and her bottom.

I Finally Moved In!

Something has gotten into me. Is it Fall Spring cleaning? Maybe it's pregnancy "nesting" without the pregnancy. Or perhaps I am just tired of having boxes of my stuff in the basement. Regardless, I have finally decided to go through closets, drawers, cabinets, basements, garages and attics to clean out baby stuff, beat up kid stuff, mismatched Polly Pocket shoes, legless Barbies, ex-wife stuff, wedding gifts and wedding albums from Paul's first wedding. It has been quite an adventure! I found things that I didn't even know were stored in this house. I have had to make strange decisions like what do I do with a photo album from Paul's previous wedding? What about the wedding videos? What about the bridal shower videos? The kids will want to have them someday, right? Where do I store them in the meantime? I have filled a dumpster (no exaggeration) and have made so, so, so many trips to Goodwill. I have become a joke at work where I question my employees about their hobbies and hobbies of their family members so that I can bring them snow globes and baby stuff and extra clothes hangers. Weird stuff. I was in a crazy frenzy to get this house organized. I stayed up until 2 or 3 am just to finish a closet or a cabinet. I was beginning to feel cluttered in my house and in my head. I made the decision that if in the 4 years that I have been in this house I have never used something, or better yet, didn't even know what it was, then it was time to get rid of it! The end result? I have space! I have organization! I have my old stuff surrounding me again! I redecorated each kid's room by just moving things from one room to another or using things in different ways. Cassie was so excited about her new Littlest Pet Shop set-up (Christian's old train table) and her new reading lamp (Holly's old lamp-she had 4 others in her room!) that she reads at least 20 pages a night in her bed. She cleans her room every night and makes her bed every morning! We choose her outfits for the week and hang them in old sweater organizers that I found and now she doesn't have to have help trying to find something that matches every day!

See this little kitty?  Well, he is the size of a quarter.  He comes with a removable cast.  Did you hear that?  A removable cast.  That little, teeny, tiny white thing on its leg.  Yeah, it comes off.  Then must be found.  Usually smooshed in the carpet.  
In Christian's room, he and I went through all of his clothes and gave a friend 2 garbage bags of things he had outgrown. It meant that he only needed one dresser. Then we moved in a desk from Holly's room and brought in an art easel that I found in Cassie's closet. Now he goes up to his room to draw and color. He's a great artist and makes amazing things up there!
Holly's room is now free from baby dolls, Barbies, Disney Princesses, and any stuffed animals that do not hold sentimental value for her. We were able to create a really neat "sitting and talking on the phone" space for her.

Hannah's baby crib and changing table was given to a friend at work and now she has a toddler bed. Her baby clothes were boxed up to be donated to a local family in need. Holly's old baby doll bunk bed now contains Hannah's monkey and various "babies"! I pulled an old rolling laundry rack out of the basement and hung all the dress up gowns and costumes (that I didn't know we had!!) in the bonus room so that the girls can actually wear them now. This meant that last weekend both Hannah and Cassie were fairy princesses all weekend long!

The sunroom is an arts and crafts room. Supplies are organized in boxes labeled things like: Feathers, Googly Eyes, Buttons, Beads. I have an entire bin filled with nothing but Playdough!!

It finally feels like my home. It is starting to feel warm and cozy.

Then Paul asked me what I did with the CD protectors that were in this drawer right here. You know, those paper/plastic things that you buy at flea market by the hundreds? I didn't throw them away did I? Where did I put them? Why would I throw them away when he needs them? 

Then I beat him senseless with a Barbie leg. When he came to, he apologized.  I did not. 
The end.

Oh yeah, I'm tired. Really tired.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008