Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Crazy, Hazy, Lazy days of Christmas.

Crazy, because that's my life.

Hazy, because that's my head.

And Lazy, because my butt is glued to my couch after all the crap I've eaten.

I can't seem to get out of this vacation funk and remember to get a blog post done.

So much to do and there doesn't seem to be enough time to get it all done. Family is still in town and we've been hanging out, shopping and playing games like crazy. Which means my laundry is piling up, neglected in the basement. My room is a disaster and the bathrooms scare me.

Christmas was a blast!

My husband loved his present I surprised him with! I decided to buy him the remote start for his truck, but because of his warranty on his truck, it had to be done at the dealership and he didn't want to do it because of the cost.

I had to schedule this and plan ahead like crazy. When I told Jay I was going to need his truck to "pick up" his present, he tried to get me to borrow someone else's, but I had to convince him that only his would do.

Then I had to bring cash, so he wouldn't see the transaction statement.

I had to make sure the people working on his truck knew that this was going to be a surprise so they wouldn't call him randomly. They even put "Top Secret Christmas Present" on the top of all the forms.

When I got home, he took his truck to get some dinner and when he returned, he was very upset at me for adjusting his steering wheel, messing with his truck buttons and was wondering why I filled up his window washer fluid.

So I had to work up some serious fibs and lie my butt off about how I adjusted and played with the buttons just because I felt like it. Much harder to do than it sounds. I have no clue how to adjust a steering wheel. I'm sure I could figure it out, eventually....

After all that work, trying to keep this a top secret surprise, he received an email on Christmas Eve from the service center asking how his truck was and if he would take a survey about it.

Nice. Real nice.

He was nice enough not to say anything until after he opened the present and was happy to have the remote start finally, but I'm still upset that I can't seem to pull off a Christmas present for him.

He bought me a nook hd. The big one. I can't seem to put it down...

Now my house is a mess, presents are still all over the house, the Christmas tree is dead and falling apart and my kitchen is full of old, stale treats.

Tomorrow is clean up/tear down day.

I can't wait.

I know it's going to be exhausting but totally worth it.

Then Monday and Tuesday can be relaxing days. Hopefully.

We don't do anything for New Years Eve. We have 3 kids...where would we go?

To bed. That's where.

I didn't do too many pictures on Christmas, just because I prefer to be present in the moment and not behind a camera the whole time. But we managed to grab a few pictures.

Christmas Eve day. All our presents before taking them out.
These include our dice game gifts too.
Best game ever to play on Christmas.
We purchased a bunch of food gifts, wrapped them all individually, and had a couple sets of dice.
Then piled all the gifts in the middle, sat in a circle and started passing around the dice.
When someone rolled doubles, they would pick a present from the pile.
After all the presents are gone, we unwrapped all of them, surveyed what everyone had in front of them, then started the timer for 10 minutes and started the process all over again.
Except, when we rolled doubles, we could steal a present from someone else.
After the 10 minutes is up, what you have is what you get.
It's a blast. 

Our dinner mess on Christmas Eve.
We do a snack night themed meal.
Bunch of yummy appetizer type goodies.

Everything was soooooooo goood!
Except for that tray of sushi.
Not so good.
Well, the people that like nasty fish wrapped in disgusting seaweed, loved it.

Morgan snacking on her treat.
This cookie took her 25 minutes to get down.
She takes her time and savors every, single bite.
Pissed Evan off since we were waiting on her to open presents.
He paced the living room the whole time she ate this one cookie.

Another picture before the destruction.

Evan and Grandma.
He's "patiently" waiting to open presents.

Morgan opened a baby doll and a bottle that cries like a baby.
Declan freaked out every time the bottle made a crying sound.
He was very worried for the baby doll.

She got an entire Minnie Mouse dress up outfit for Christmas.
My Mom made her dress and bought a bunch of accessories for her.
She also made a Cinderella one.
Seriously adorable.

My Mom is very talented.
And now my daughter is very girly.
Putting on her accessories for her.

Christmas is over....kind of depressing, but relieved that I can relax a bit now.

Trying to talk my husband into signing up to go to the gym with me this year.

So far, I'm not having a lot of luck. Can't say I blame him. I've eaten so much food lately, I'm not sure I'll be able to zip my pants anymore. But if I'm going to be wearing yoga pants, might as well get the gym membership so I can look legit.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

RACK day 23 and Elf on the Circus Shelf

RACK day 23 was a little more unplanned acts of kindness.

I brought cards and little things of candy and decided to hand them to cashiers at all the stores we went to during our shopping trip.

Worked out very well, when I remembered to bring the cards and candy inside with me.

My sister-in-law and I were even able to help someone out in the checkout lane by giving her the 14 cents she needed to complete her transaction. She was about to run to her car just for that.

Sometimes going out and just hoping your in the right place at the right time is the most fun.

Today, we are going to try to drop a flower arrangement off at our nearby hospital for someone that needs it most.

Tomorrow is taping microwave popcorn bags to Redbox machines.

Our Elf is almost outta here!

Evan started crying a little this morning when he realized the Elf had to leave.

"I'm going to miss Alfred. I wish he could do this forever."

Mommy doesn't. Mommy is pleased as punch that he's heading back to the North Pole for awhile.

Here are some pics of his very last adventures:

Just hanging around.
Kids thought this one was funny.
I'm just glad he stayed there all day and didn't fall due to faulty rigging.
Alfred created a good-bye breakfast for the kids this morning.
Well...he created a good-bye breakfast table setting.
I had to make the breakfast.
But he left the recipe for Waffles in his note, so it wasn't too hard.

The table settings.

Safely out of reach again.

Alfred even brought some cute cups for the kids.
Evan said he was so excited and happy about Christmas that his heart was going to burst.
I feel the same way.
When I was little, I remember getting SO excited for Christmas that it was hard to even eat.
Every single thing about the day seemed special.
Everyone was happy, we had yummy food/treats to eat and presents waiting to be opened.
After you get older, some of the magic leaves Christmas.
It's still good and can be fun, but it comes with more responsibility now.
A house to clean, food to make, presents to buy and wrap.
That creates some stress, depending on your situation.
But then you have kids.
And they are so full of Christmas joy that it spreads to everyone within reach.
Now wrapping presents, all you can see is how excited they will be opening this gift.
The food is fun because they know it's going to be special.
Even though they won't eat a bite, I still make them something good.
My kids make me excited for Christmas again.
I wouldn't trade this moment for anything in the world.
This Christmas is just about being blessed.
Being blessed to have each other.
A roof over our heads, food on our table and and family surrounding us.
What more could a person really need?
Jay took some pictures of Morgan being...well, being Morgan.
She's kind of a lump in the morning.
And the afternoon.
Ok...she's lazy all the time.

She brought her bed with her this morning.

If that darn pacifier wasn't there, I bet that would have been a cute smile.
Merry Christmas!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful day.
And I hope you have a great day tomorrow as well!
Lots of work to be done, so I better get my butt in gear.
I'm off to conquer some dirty diapers.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

RACK day 20, 21, and 22 plus, Elf on the toilet shelf

RACK day 20, 21, and 22.
Day 20 and 21 were some we did at Evans school.
Day 20 was a gift for his teacher.
Day 21 was a box of chocolates for his main office.
Day 22 was supposed to be an extra large tip at a restaurant but I forgot to bring everything I needed to do this, like money.
Way to go me.
I'm going to try to make up for this tomorrow by doubling up and doing 2 RACK.
It's getting closer to the holidays so it will be hard to get on here and update as frequently.
Our Elf, Alfred, has been getting into trouble lately.
He wrapped our toilet up just to freak Evan out the next morning. Alfred got a little crazy with the tape. 
Please don't mind my messy bathroom.
Evan woke up in the morning and was less than thrilled about not being able to pee.
When it was time to unwrap our toilet, he said, "Mommy! Look! The Elf made us a new clean toilet!"
The same, filthy one.
Nice try.
If the Elf cleaned, he wouldn't be leaving us Christmas Eve.
He wouldn't be leaving us ever.

After wrapping presents for 2 hours, I was a little too lazy to do too much.
He hid in our wreath.
Today I decided to try my hand at decorating Christmas sugar cookies.
I started around 10 a.m.
Finished around 2 p.m.
And this is what they look like.

Worth the time?
Not a chance.
I had fun though.
But never again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

RACK day 17, 18 and 19 PLUS Elf on the Praying Shelf

Time to play catch-up on RACK. I've missed a few days.

RACK day 17- My husband brought a tray of treats to work. We were going to make some, but he made so many, we didn't really see the point. He had a ton and everyone enjoyed his baking. RACK day done and I really didn't do anything with that one.

RACK day 18- Tape candy canes to ATM machines. This was interesting. We have 4 ATM machines that you can drive up to in our town. We thought about going inside and doing store ones, but we looked suspicious enough as it was. We had lots of candy canes leftover and decided to take them to Barnes and Noble where I had some friends working, to brighten their evening that was full of non-stop customers and chaos. Every little bit helps, right? It was nutzo there. Like, everyone was out Christmas shopping for books at one time. I only found 1 person I knew, so we were only able to spread a tiny bit of cheer this time.

RACK day 19 (today)- I had signed up to do Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army tonight, from 5-7 p.m. Evan came with me and managed to stay the entire time, without a break. He was amazing! What made me even more happy was that he actually understood why we were there and the meaning behind it all. Best time ever.

Evan: "Mommy, this day is all about giving and sharing and spreading Christmas Cheer to everyone."

Me: "That's right. You are doing a great job spreading cheer with that smile on your face."

Evan: "You mean this one?" Smiles big enough for me to see the plaque growing on his teeth.

Me: "Yeah....that one is creeping me out a little."

Evan: "I need to smile super big so I can show all the people that I'm happy about Christmas."

Me: "Good point. Keep it up."

We had so much fun. People were so very polite and Evan had a blast talking everyones ear off. I told him to say "thank you" and "Merry Christmas", but he went above and beyond his normal duties and threw in a, "Have a great weekend!".

Evan: "Sometimes, Merry Christmas just isn't enough. I want people to have a good time too."

I learn something new every day.

My in-laws came by for a quick visit and took a picture for us:

It was around 30 degrees.
Pretty toasty for December.
But we had to be there for 2 hours, hence the snowman look.
My sweet, loving husband, told me I looked like a giant, fluffy man.
And thank you.
That giant man was quite toasty.
Although, Jalon decided to be nice and brought us both some hot chocolate fresh from Starbucks.
Saved the night.
I can still hear bells ringing in my head...wonder if that will stop soon?
The Elf has had a few failures these past couple days. Alfred just can't seem to get it right.
After the house set up, he decided to roast a mini-marshmallow over a candle. Evan didn't get it and the marshmallow looked all gross after sitting out overnight.
This morning, we woke up to him praying by our nativity.
Yeah...this is much harder to do than I thought.
Lots of tape involved.
And a little more skill that I seem to be lacking.
He fell down lots.
I had to keep adjusting him.
Luckily, Evan wasn't paying too much attention to him today.
Only a few more days left!
I can't believe it's almost over and Christmas is almost here.
This month is going by way to fast for my liking.

Monday, December 17, 2012

RACK day 16 and Elf on the Overachiever Shelf.

RACK day 16 consisted of visiting my Grandfather in the nursing home and bringing a tray of treats along. My Grandpa has Alzheimer's and it always breaks my heart visiting, because I really hope that he remembers me and knows who I am, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a clue.

But he receives great care in his memory unit of the nursing home and for that I'm grateful.

Here's our picture from yesterdays RACK:

With 3 kids, there will always be a picture where 1 of them is looking away.
It never fails.
And what is going on with my hair?
Why don't people tell me I look like that?
Alfred went above and beyond his normal Elf duties last night.
Or the past few nights.
He's a hard worker with great vision.
Sometimes his visions end up growing and growing until it's out of control.
But it was a blast!
I just wish Evan spent more than 30 seconds looking at it today.
"Oh, look what the Elf did. He's funny. Can we eat now?"
Sure...why not.
I didn't just spend 3 days and countless hours creating a masterpiece.
No problem.
Welcome to being a Mom.
Here are all my pictures, in case you're really bored:
Day 2 of this adventure.
My original idea spiraled out of control quickly.
It was going to be a pipe cleaner Christmas tree, a chair and a fireplace.
Then, I started looking stuff up online.
That's when I went nutzo and came up with all sorts of "fun" ideas.

My box of "stuff".

Beginning of the dreaded chair.
It didn't start out bad, but took a drastic turn towards the end.

You can clearly see I need practice.
Lots and lots of practice.

The room as I started the gluing process.
By the way...gluing is dangerous.
I used super glue, because it works quickly.
But it almost works TOO well.
I glued everything together.
I glued curtains to my fingers.
My sweater to my fingers.
My fingers to the house.
My fingers to my fingers.
Glue is bad.
Beware of glue.

The completed project, without the Elf.
I even had some lights.
And it's a real tree.

The mantel piece.
All made by my hand and look a little scary.
Except the glass jars.
Those I purchased in the jewelry section at the craft store.
One was used to hold the candies I made.
The other as a miniature scene that took me far too long to make.
The dino "dog" I purchased.
My Mom found a bin of key chains and suggested a normal dog.
I found this and decided it fit much better.
This dollhouse scene needed a little weird.

The presents, the ornaments and tree decor were all hand made by me.
I apparently have too much time on my hands.
Now I have a weeks worth of laundry to catch up on.
Way to prioritize.

The Welcome mat was cut out from an ad. 

A closeup of the tiny scene I made.
It's a snowman and a tree.
I took the cork out of the glass bottle and turned it upside down.

Here's the Elf, snuggling up with his cup of cocoa and gingerbread cookie.
The table the food is on was purchased at a garage sale years ago.
The pictures behind him are more cut outs from an ad.
I even made his tiny blanket.

Just another picture.
Hope you enjoyed!
Because no one else cared.
Welcome to my world.
I love miniatures. This was so much fun to create. I'm keeping it forever. Minus the tiny tree. Poor tiny tree is going to need a new home soon.
The Elf brought our Polar Express Train out from the basement the other night.
He's such a helper.
Now my time is spent keeping the kids away from it.
Thanks a lot, Alfred.
When Evan woke up that morning, he said, "Mommy! Alfred brought up our train because Daddy was being lazy and wouldn't do it."
I love these kids.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

RACK #14 &15 and Elf on the Mirror Shelf

Arg...Christmas is almost here.

I'm excited for it and have had a wonderful season so far, but the quicker it comes, the quicker it's done. After Christmas, it's just boring, old winter. Sad.

I've been busy, so I'm sorry I'm not updating as much as I want to.

There are a few items I'm "prepping" for in regards to the Elf. It's taking me some time. Much longer than I originally anticipated. Mostly because once I get started on a project, I get more and more ideas on what I could do, then the project grows into something so large that I'm overwhelmed by it. But it's awesome! Just you wait...

Here's some preparation "teaser" pics for you:

This was much harder to create than I thought it was going to be. It's so tiny! 
Here was Alfred last night:

Naughty Elf.
He's trouble.
RACK Day 14: Was a special gift for our mail guy.
He's very nice to Evan, since Evan runs him down for the mail every day and spends a few minutes chatting his ear off, we thought he earned a treat.

I ripped this apart and shoved it into a small box.
I know, not the manliest gift out there, but we work with what we have.

Here's the picture.
After the mailman took this, I wondered if maybe giving him a random box was the BEST idea ever.
Maybe he had to get the bomb squad out before he would open it.
At least I didn't buy him a new clock.
Today, he brought us a thank you card!

During our RACK, we aren't out doing this for the "Thank yous",
but they sure are appreciated!
And now I know our mailman has a name, so I can officially stalk him.
RACK Day 15:
Harriet Tubman donation day.
Walked into the church building that was holding a donation drop off.
Thought it would be easy to do this donation, but there wasn't a person to be found.
There was one tiny note that told me to bring donations to their Plaza.
So I did and left it, hoping that someone would see it.
This is a picture of what we donated.
They were looking for all sorts of items, very easy to find what they needed.
I better get my butt moving.
This Top Secret Elf project is seriously taking up some time.
But it's the most fun I've had in a long time working on something.
I just hope that it turns out how I hope.
Wish me luck!
Anyone else working on a Top Secret Christmas/Holiday project for someone?
Maybe it's just me, but I always come up with ideas 5 days before Christmas arrives,
then I'm up until midnight, every night, stress and sweat dripping down my face, trying to finish in time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

RACK Day 13 and 14 and Elf on the Baking Shelf

Random stuff first.

My kids are weird.
These two are a little obsessive and organized.
But when Declan is done, he rips it apart.
Morgan freaks out if one block is out of place.
Creates a tornado of terror that lasts for 10 minutes.
Fun times at the Sortor house.
The Elf has been slacking off a little.
I was going to take a picture of the other night, but he really didn't do anything cool.
He plopped himself to the top of the tree....
that's it.
At least last night, he brought dessert.
I have to make it, but still more exciting than sitting in the tree...again.

I have to keep him out of reach.
The twins think he's edible.
Evan would have a seizure if he saw the twins touch him.
Christmas would be ruined and the planet would implode.
Better to just keep him high enough.
I'm just trying to save Christmas for everyone.

Look, he even brought cookie cutters!
What a darn thoughtful little guy.
Looks like I'll be busy this afternoon NOT watching Doctor Who.
Can you tell I'm obsessed?
My husband doesn't even have the energy to roll his eyes at me anymore.
I just finished Season 2 and was sobbing last night on the couch.
"How DARE they! I LOVE my characters!"
He managed a small eye roll at that...
Moving on.
Because I could talk all day about Doctor Who.
All day.
But I won't.
RACK day 13 was giving a gift to our Therapy teacher that comes here to help with the twins.
She's great.
Declan is finally starting to talk...not sure why I'm excited about this.
I can't get a 5 year old to be quiet for 30 seconds,
you would think that I would learn to appreciate the quiet when I can get it.
The gift looks like this:

We taped a RACK card to the top.
There were 4 total that look like this that we plan on handing out.
RACK day 14 (today) is giving one of these to our mailman...or mailperson.
I'm just going to shove into our mailbox with a little note saying,
"To our Mail Human. Please take this gift. Merry Christmas".
The end.
No, really...I mean it.
The end.
That's it.
It's all I have for today.
Except...this is my 150th posting.
That's insane.
150 posts on this blog.
I write a lot of crap.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RACK day 12 and Elf on the Forgetful Shelf

RACK day 12 was to purge our bookshelves and donate books we no longer read.

I didn't have as many, because most books I invest in, I tend to read over and over again.

I found about 8 books off my shelf. My mother-in-law came with us and she had a pretty big box full of donations.

The kids had a bunch that they no longer read and weren't ripped apart or colored on. We gave them quite a bit. I may have to make this a habit to keep our shelves clear.

This one was quick and easy- Thank goodness!

Alfred has been a busy little Elf lately.

I missed posting about one night, so I'll just show you the photo.

I missed posting because I forgot about him.
Until 2:30 a.m. when I woke up in a panic, ran out into the living room and pulled this out of nowhere.
Evan woke up and said, "Ouch! That one has to hurt. Wonder what he was trying to do?"
Trying not to ruin Christmas, that's what.

Last night, I put a little more effort into it and attempted this.
I tried to get him to climb the firetruck, but there's no way he would have stayed there all day.
The kids love that firetruck.
Last night, Evan, my Mom and I, all went to the Holiday Train.
We stood outside in 10 degree weather, freezing our butts off, to watch a highly decorated train come to our town. It has a band inside. They play music and we had some free hot chocolate.
That's about it.
See? So pretty...

And so very cold.
But they were giving out free glow sticks.
Evan didn't care what happened after he received a glow stick.
Life was good.
After this, we went to Kohl's to get my son boots that actually fit his feet (his are too small I guess, after hearing him complain the entire night).
The registers weren't busy, but the two that were opened had annoying customers that we're being "finicky".
The cashier didn't seem too stressed out, but I was feeling bad for her and was trying to be on my best behavior and remain patient.
After the bratty customer left, I said something like, "I did cashiering during the holidays and it's one of the hardest times."
She was like, "Oh no! I just love it!"
No sarcasm at all. Seriously. The most happy person on the planet. She was totally not picking up on my humor at all.
I said, "Most customers aren't too bad, but every now and again, you just get a bad one that ruins the day."
She said, "I don't let them ruin my day. I love working here."
I gave up talking to her after that.
I wanted to ask her if she was high or on some sort of pill.
Go you for being so darn happy, but I still wanted to stab her a little for being so overly chipper.
Glad I don't work with someone that cheerful.
I can't handle that much "cheer". Drives me up the wall.
AND on a final note, this blog is very brief because all I want to do is get back to my Doctor Who marathon I'm working on. I've gone through the first season in 24 hours. Now I'm working on season 2.
Best. Show. Ever.
I love you Doctor Who. I love you.
And I love my friends that convinced me to watch this husband probably isn't a fan, since I'll no longer be doing the dishes, cleaning or making dinners until I've seen them all.