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Archive for December, 2011

Family Friday: Merry Christmas!

We’re just about ready for Christmas over here. Well, as ready as we can be. I still seem to be lacking the Christmas spirit at the moment. It could have something to do with the fact it looks like we’re going to have a green Christmas this year. Now, I’m not complaining about the lack of snow, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s only a few days until Christmas. Baked cookies for Santa yesterday, so that helped a little. We did get all of our Christmas shopping finished on Wednesday(I think), and I got all but one gift wrapped last night after the kids were in bed.

On December 10, we had Christmas with my dad and stepmom after my niece’s birthday party. They live about three hours away, so we only see them a handful of times a year. It was nice to spend some time with them. The kids both got gift cards to Toys R Us, I got ones to Michaels and Barnes & Noble(yea for yarn & books!), and Cory got some for Home Depot and Sears. And of course the candy and orange that would have been in our stocking when we were younger.

On the fourteenth, we had a Christmas Party at the fire station for the kids/grandkids of the firefighters. Hayleigh was all excited about Santa being there. Until he actually showed up. Then, she was hiding behind our chairs/under the table instead of going up to sit with the rest of the kids to wait for her turn to get her present from him. The only way she would go up when it was her turn was if Cory carried her. Nathaniel, on the other hand, acted like he could not wait to go up. And he was fine until Cory actually set him on Santa’s lap. It probably did not help that he had not taken a nap that afternoon and it was just about bedtime. They were both fine once we got back to the table with their presents though. And we did finally get pictures with Santa. Hayleigh got a Disney Princess tea set and Nathaniel got a little stuffed Tigger. We thought that one might cause a war in the house since Hayleigh has always had at least one Tigger around, but we put an N on the bottom of the foot and so far it’s been fine.

Waiting for Santa

Not too happy about this

the only way she would go up to Santa

playing with the Tigger he got from Santa

She decided Mrs. Claus was okay

Family picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus

This past Tuesday, Hayleigh had her Christmas celebration at school. One family member was allowed to attend to decorate cookies, ornaments, and listen to songs sung by the kids. Since my mom missed the grandparents celebration earlier in the year due to Hayleigh being sick that day, we asked her if she wanted to go. And Hayleigh was so excited about Grandma going to school with her. Thankfully, this time she did not get sick. Apparently there was an incident though and Hayleigh had to go to the nurse’s office because she got poked in the eye by one of the kids’ folders. And she has treated us to a song several times since then.

wearing her Santa hat

her Santa picture

a couple of the ornaments she made

More Homemade Ornaments

her stocking on the tree

She wanted her picture taken in front of the tree after hanging her new ornaments

Wednesday was her last day of school before Christmas vacation, and she got to wear her pajamas to school for a “Polar Express Day”. When I first told her she would get to wear her pajamas, she was all upset. “You don’t wear pajamas to school. You wear clothes to school.” They also had the class gift exchange that day. Hayleigh got a Hello Kitty lip gloss set with purse. And when she got home, she put all four colors of lip gloss(or lip polish, as she calls it) on her lips at once.

Hayleigh woke up early this morning and told us her ear hurt. She camped out for the rest of the night on the living room floor with Daddy. She’s still sleeping as of the time I’m typing this(6:30 a.m.). Hoping she’s feeling better when she wakes up because I know she did not request an ear infection from Santa. We’re going to be visiting Cory’s grandma later today. We’re doing Christmas with his mom tomorrow. And after opening presents from Santa and having cookies and milk for breakfast, we’ll go down to my mom’s to celebrate with my family on Sunday.

I hope everyone who celebrates has a Merry Christmas. I’ll be taking next week off from posting to the blog but I will be back after the New Year.

Writing Wednesday: Final Check-In of 2011

So hard to believe the end of this round(and the year) is closing in. In the last 5 months since I joined, I’ve written well over 100,000 words on 3 different WIPs, even finishing one of them. And I think finishing that one is the biggest accomplishment I’ve made during these last two rounds. I’m not sure if I would have stuck to it even when life happened if I did not have all of you to stay accountable to.

At the end of November, I made a spreadsheet to keep track of my writing. I had another one before that, bit it did not fit all of my needs/wants. I took some of the things I liked from it and from the Daily Writing Target sheet that you can generate with yWriter. I have columns for the date, my daily target, cumulative target, actual daily words written, cumulative words written, and how many words I need to write each day to reach my goal on time. I also have two little charts to keep track of how much I write each week(without me having to actually do the math myself). And a graph to visually show where I am as far as my goal and how much I have actually written. I know, I’m a dork. But, I like to actually be able to see my progress in front of me.

Onto my progress:

WIP: I wrote less than 2000 words all last week. But, so far this week I’ve written another3500+. I’ve been posting in the ROW80 Facebook group daily what my goal is for that day and updating on my progress so I can keep myself accountable more than just twice a week. Today is going to be a day where I might not meet my goal as we have a lot going on, but I’ve accepted that. It will just change what my goal is for tomorrow. Of course, today is my daughter’s last day of school before her Christmas break, and she does not go back until January 3, so I’m not sure how much she will let me get written in that time. Hopefully though I can still meet my deadline of January 15.

I have done nothing toward my exercise and blogging goals. I will get back to the exercise either after Christmas, or more likely after the first of the year. I know, I know, but it just seems pointless at the moment. And I lost about 6-7 pounds from being sick and have only put back on about 2 of those, so I’m still closer to my weight loss goal. And I will get a blog post up this Friday. After that, I will probably take a break from it until after the new year.

How has everyone else done during this last week of the final round of the year? And for those who celebrate, and won’t be reading my blog on Friday, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Writing Wednesday: Standing Still

I have not made much progress toward my goals during the last week. I was finally feeling better during the second half of last week and did meet my goal of 1000 words by the weekend. Then, Monday morning we took the little guy up to the doctor as he’d had a fever since Saturday night and just was not acting like himself. They said it was probably just a cold/teething. He’s never acted so miserable while teething before but she said he had 3-4 coming in and if he’s coming down with the same cold I had, I don’t blame him for feeling miserable. Then, I got hit with a stomach bug or something so sitting at the computer was the last thing I wanted to do.  I should have taken advantage of the boy’s multiple naps yesterday to get some writing done, but I didn’t. And since I don’t think I’ll be able to get over 33,000 words written in the next 10 days(well, I probably could if I ignored everything else), I’m going to have to extend my deadline. Obviously I will not write over Christmas Eve or Christmas, but if I can write 1000 words a day, I could have this first draft finished by the middle of January. So, that is my new goal. And by the end of this round, I will be 2/3 of the way through or 60000 words. This is going to be my only goal for the next week although I will still try to at least get up my Friday post this week.  But, I want to concentrate on the WIP for right now.

Writing Wednesday: Row80 Check-in

This will be a really quick check-in since I really don’t have much to report. I’m finally feeling more like myself so hopefully can get back to my usual pace soon. Planning on taking it slow the rest of the week though. Hoping to get at least 250 words added to the WIP each day for a total of at least 1000 words for this week. Today’s the first day I’ve written anything all week and managed 330 words. Hoping to do the same tomorrow and Friday. Probably won’t get any writing done on Saturday as we have my niece’s birthday party and Christmas with my dad after that. Don’t think I’ll get the last 35K of this story down before Christmas gets here though. Still hope I can have it done by the end of the month though, which was my original goal.


Sunday Check-in:Struggling

The second half of this week did not go so well for me. In fact Monday and Tuesday were my best days. After sleeping in Wednesday, I got some writing done during the boy’s nap. On Thursday, I just started to feel “off”. Figured I was getting the start of a sinus headache because of the way the weather’s been seesawing lately. It happens every time. Sinus pressure got worse on Friday and had a scratchy throat too. Started coughing during the day. Then, it just knocked me right over on Saturday. I barely slept Friday night, seemed to wake up about every hour. Couldn’t get warm all day Saturday even though the house was at a normal temperature for us. Barely ate anything from lunch Friday until lunch Saturday and probably still haven’t been eating as much as I should be. And the biggest sign I’ve been sick is that I drank a whole container of orange juice voluntarily. I typically hate the stuff! I was feeling a little bit better today, still have sore throat and cough, but I don’t feel like death warmed over. Of course, it can be difficult to maintain any control over a 4 year old & 15 month old when your voice keeps coming and going.

Anyways, onto my progress for the week:

WIP: Even though I slept in, I managed to write 628 words. Managed just 593 on Thursday, but was able to push through the cruddy feeling on Friday and get another 837. I decided I was not even going to try to get any writing done over the weekend and just try to get over whatever this is. So, I didn’t even come close to getting my 7500 words in this week, ending with only 5152. That’s ok though, because I’m sure I can make that up when I’m feeling better.

Blogging: Got my Friday post up, a little later in the day than normal, but it still got up.

Exercise: still nothing on this. hopefully if I continue to feel better I can get back into it this week.

Family Friday: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

In our family, Christmas celebration begin before December even gets here. For the past couple years, we’ve had our first one the weekend after Thanksgiving since that’s when my brother-in-law has been home. This year, we went down to my sister-in-law’s for brunch and to do our gift exchange. We live close enough that we figured we might as well walk down even with the diaper bag, bags of presents, and crock pot. What we weren’t thinking about though, was the gifts we’d have to bring home. It was a good time with family and the kids made out pretty good. Hayleigh got a princess piano, princess puzzle, and a couple Beauty & the Beast playsets(not sure where this sudden interest in princess & pink has come from. She used to be my little tomboy). Nathaniel got some different Tonka sets as well as a “Tow Mater” push toy that can blow bubbles(which will wait until the spring when we can take it outside).

playing with the horse from one of her playsets

pushing mater around

carrying around his semi and trailer

On Wednesday, we finally got the Christmas tree put up. Would have put it up right after Thanksgiving, but I’m a bit of a slacker I guess. Once Nathaniel went down for his afternoon nap, Hayleigh & I put her ornaments up on it. Thursday morning while she was at school, I helped Nathaniel hang up one of his. Then, he started trying to pull all of the other ones off the tree, so I figured I’d finish up with the ornaments. I usually set out a bunch of other decorations, but did not feel the urge to get them all out just to put them away in another month. So, we’ll probably just have the tree and our stockings up this year. We put the tree behind a fence so Nathaniel could not get to it. But, over the last few days we’ve realized it’s Hayleigh we needed to worry about. She can’t seem to keep her hands off the ornaments. And she nearly threw a fit when she got home from school and saw the lights weren’t on. We had to explain that no it’s not broken, we just haven’t plugged it in, we were going to when it started to get dark. So, at 4:45, when it started to get dark, she informed us it was time to plug the tree in. She got home from school today and asked if there were presents under the tree yet, and I had to explain to her again that it’s not quite Christmas yet. This could be a long 3+weeks.

Hanging the first ornament on the year

checking out the tree

Checking out his ornament

After lunch today, I had the kids write their letters to Santa. Nathaniel was much more interested in eating the crayon. And Hayleigh tried to take up half a sheet of construction paper with one word. When she “signed” her name to the letter, she wrote the H then just made lines for the rest of the letters.

writing to Santa for the first time

Maybe this crayon will taste good.

Hayleigh's letter to Santa. She wants a game, a puzzle, and a book.

Our next Christmas celebration is next weekend. We’ll have my niece’s 3rd birthday party at my sister’s and after that, we’ll do our Christmas with my dad and stepmom. Just hoping the weather will hold for the drive there. We haven’t gotten much snow yet(unusual for around here) so hoping we don’t suddenly get dumped on.

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