All decorated for Autumn at work… I will have to do Halloween decorations mid-month since I was late getting these up.
Category Archives: We Love to Decorate
With it being William’s first Christmas that I don’t have him under lockdown and house arrest (i.e., meaning that people actually get to see more than just the top of his head while I’m wearing him), we decided it would be a good opportunity to get his picture with Santa. He has no issues with strangers, in fact he reels them in with smiles and laughs. In particular, he loves older people — the grayer the hair the better the experience is. Glasses? Bring them closer. Shaky voices, stooped shoulders and frowning wrinkles that melt into smiles upon beholding William’s radiant smile — perfection! So we figured Santa would be a non-issue.
We went to the mountains earlier this month, and there is a Santa that makes appearances in a little shack up there by their big Christmas tree. Not just Santa, but Mrs. Claus, too. What could be better? So we’re walking up to the shack and William is all smiles and happy. We get to the entrance, and he lost it. Hated it. Didn’t want to be in that shack or near the shack or anywhere around that shack. If he saw the shack, all smiles disappeared. We know this because we tried twice, once with Tony holding him and once with me holding him. Oh, and since this Santa and Mrs. Claus are Hispanic, they are clearly imposters. Anyone in the know knows that Santa and and his wife are as white as snow and, obviously, William is a genius, so he knows.
Later, walking the town, we came across a window painting of Santa and in the interest of familiarizing him with the colors of Santa, we allowed William to get close to it. Getting close then evolved into William laughing while punching the window painting’s nose. While probably not something we should have encouraged (Imaginary conversation: “Hi Santa, Can my son pop you in the nose so he’ll smile while we take a picture of you two?”), we considered this an improvement.
A couple weeks later, we went to a neighborhood that decks its sidewalks and houses in seasonal accoutrements. One of those houses had a realistic robotic Santa, William was in his stroller — a contraption that he’s familiar with and loves, so we thought we’d give the picture another try. Even a non-living Santa was an epic fail. (sigh)
We decided to stop messing around with imposters and robots, and just go visit the real one at the Queen Mary’s Chill event. We’ll consider this a success and one that I’m happy putting in the baby book.
Or maybe this one.
Or maybe both. I do like to agonize over these things, you know.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! (More Christmas pictures: LINK)
There are so many things to be thankful for this day. Every day really, but today especially when thankfulness is the topic of the day.
I’m thankful for those of you who still read here. I’m thankful for those of you who still comment. If you read here and don’t comment, I really wish you would. Authors of blogs love comments and I’m no exception!
I’m thankful for my husband who really is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met. Not a day goes by that there isn’t something new that I appreciate about him. I really need to be better about telling him. He does so much around here and does it without fanfare.
I’m thankful for my mom who cares for William during the day. It is so special that she is able to have a relationship with him and that I can trust that he’s being well-loved and well-tended while we go to work.
Topping my list is the miracle that is our William. There are moments that I still can’t believe he’s here. There are also moments that I still can’t believe he’s ours.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
I’ll start this post with a confession: I do not think of myself as a crafty type of person. I would like to be, I come from lineage that can create something from nothing, but that is not me. I need to have something as a starter, something I can modify, and a vision in my brain isn’t always enough.
This year presented some challenges for me. I had to dress myself as Barbie for Halloween, as that’s a tradition for me. I also needed to tie it in with the theme for my team at work which had to be based off of a television show. They chose Mad Men, so I had to figure out something that looked professional and like it was from the decade of the 1950’s-60’s. Oh, and the other thing is, my outfit needed to be pumping friendly, which limits my wardrobe even more.
After some thought, I recalled that I had a dress that might work… but Barbie didn’t. I needed fabric. That presented the opportunity to walk the aisles of Joann’s, a store that I’ve only walked one time before, and that was to buy a gift card for one of my more crafty relatives. I don’t know how to use a sewing machine, and don’t know if one would even work for such a small item anyway, so I hand sew everything I create for Barbie every year.
For William, he needed to be a leprechaun… and it needed to be completed before October 27th, because the important Halloween party he was attending was being held that day. The problem was, I couldn’t find a leprechaun outfit for a toddler ANYWHERE. There was a picture of a toddler who won a contest based on his leprechaun outfit, but when I clicked on the link, I learned that outfit was handmade. Of course it was! All the best costumes ARE handmade.
I finally found one that I could customize, but it started out a girl’s costume and had to be ripped and redone. Then I had to find a plain black t-shirt and plain black tight fitting pants to go underneath the green jacket.
Meanwhile, Tony was busy decorating our home and carving our pumpkin… we have a reputation to uphold as the most overdecorated house in the neighborhood and we take that task very seriously!
Somehow, it all came together. (Picture overload ahead.)
William as a leprechaun at the annual Miracle Babies reunion…
Me and Barbie, reunite as BFF’s once again this year…
With my cast of co-workers…
Our decorated home…
We wish you a Happy Halloween!
I finished making William’s Halloween costume and am now working on mine. You know I do this every year, wait until days before and then decide I have to make something instead of using something already in the box. Well, this year is no different in that respect, except that it kind of is because I’m trying to be a team player at work and they’re doing “team themes” based on TV shows… and I have to still dress the same as the Barbie doll I carry (tradition, you know). So now I’m making a dress for Barbie that matches my dress that matches the theme my team selected. Confused yet? Good. I’m not the only one.
Meanwhile, Tony has been decorating outside our home, and I visited the card aisle for cheap entertainment. I thought I’d share pictures of some of the cards I thought were funny.
Once Halloween is here, I’ll post pictures of the costumes. And Tony’s decorating skills. Promise!
Our Thanksgiving this year was perfect, awesome really, and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m so grateful for Tony’s family who has embraced me in their hearts and accepted me, quirks and all. The four days off from work were really nice, too, and spending them in my mom’s company made it a double blessing for me.
My contribution to the Thanksgiving feast this year was my standard sweet potato souffle. It’s an easy enough recipe that either Tony or I can make it, depending on who has the time available. Last year, he did it, this year I did it. This year I also contributed a green bean casserole quiche. It is different enough from the standard green bean casserole (which my sister-in-law makes) that it didn’t feel like we had doubled up on green bean things. Of course, my favorite dish of all the food was the turkey, but then I’m all about the turkey even when it isn’t Thanksgiving! In fact, I used money that was given to me for my birthday to purchase a broiler oven (like this one) so that I can easily make turkeys all year round if I want!
The hours at work are long, some days I’m there before 7am and usually leave after 5pm. Once work is over, the evening workout at the gym is done and dinner is eaten, there seems to be just enough time to prepare for the next day and get ready for bed. Under the heading of “Actions speak louder than words” I know my contributions at work are appreciated, because my boss relocated and now travels to the corporate office here in California a few days each month. This week he was here for three days. He spent one of the evenings he was here baking his seasonal batch of pumpkin bread just because I requested it. Now THAT makes me feel pretty special!
I’m also grateful for having a trustworthy mechanic in my life. Especially since it seems like there’s always something knicky-knacky going on with my car these days. For example, one of the tires in my car picked up a screw (insert various screwed jokes here) and I simply dropped it off on my way home from work and went and got it after they had closed. That minimized the inconvenience of the whole thing for me and they patched it right up at no charge to me.
My outside swim days are over for the season and the gym’s pool is my new haunt. While I’m not thrilled about it, it does serve its purpose and I’m grateful for that. Although it does seem as if the chemical levels in that pool are consistently wrong — I notified them last night that the chlorine levels are too high given that I went home one night and my swimsuit faded from black to grey in 24 hours and then last night I got home and discovered that the reason my skin was burning like I’d just been sunburned was because of a first degree chlorine burn (informational link) on the lower half of my body. I went back to the gym later that evening and did a “show and tell” with one of their female employees of the affected areas. She was stunned and promised to notify the gym’s manager this morning, which is good because I was uncomfortable last night feeling like I was sunburned on my butt (and elsewhere). In the whole scheme of things, though, my health is something I never, ever take for granted and I’m grateful that I am able to swim and eat and feel fantastic, healthy and strong.
My husband has already started putting up Christmas decorations on the outside of our house this week. He plans to finish it this weekend and I plan to decorate the inside of our home (as always) this weekend. We’re looking forward to that!
It should be a great weekend ahead with popcorn, hot chocolate and Christmas music playing while we decorate!
The first Big Thing around our house this time of year is Halloween (in case you’ve forgotten or couldn’t guess). Our tradition of decorating for Halloween (our home and my work space), carving our pumpkins while watching Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin DVD, and my annual Barbie Doll outfit are things that we always look forward to doing!
Tony changed things up a little bit this year with the decorations on our home. He set up the flashing light and scary sounds CD so that they broadcasted through the vent of our garage, instead of on our front stoop. That made it a much more pleasant experience for us while we carved our pumpkins and watched Charlie Brown. He also moved the scary grim reaper closer to our front door making it appear as if he wanted to welcome our visitors with a warm embrace. The motion sensor "Welcome" was a big hit (to us) because it scared my mom every time she entered the house. Gotta love that! ha
Even though I didn’t win the decorating contest at work this year (like I did last year), personally I think the decoration of my work space was BETTER than last year’s decorations… and I even baked a shit-ton of pumpkin cookies to bribe my co-workers! ha I think we waited too long to decorate this year, since my area doesn’t get the foot traffic that the other departments get. But, Tony and I had fun decorating and my mom had fun watching us. We all had fun taking it down yesterday!
Cookie bribery for co-workers — Pumpkin caramel chocolate chip, Pumpkin oatmeal raisin and Pumpkin date:
Tony getting ready to carve his pumpkin:
Me getting ready to carve my pumpkin:
Carved pumpkins… Tony did the werewolf pumpkin. I did the "Best Friends" pumpkin:
Last, but not least, I decided to wear my favorite Halloween t-shirt to work this year and go with the whole Boney Barney theme, with my work space, me and Barbie. This necessitated the creation of a t-shirt for Barbie that matched mine. As you may recall, I go through this every year and am usually up until the wee hours of the morning hand stitching a tiny outfit for her. I was quite proud of myself for digging out Barbie’s wardrobe and assessing the situation early this year, which enabled me to create a matching outfit with a little less stress in preparation that reaped a TON of compliments and amazement due to the tiniest details that matched.
The second Big Thing is my birthday, the day after Halloween… or All Saint’s Day. Because I’m just that saintly!
If there’s such a thing as ordering up a perfect birthday, I somehow must have done so yesterday! With a quiet, relatively stress-free work day, getting bright autumn colored flowers from my bosses, briefly seeing my friend, Grace (always a bright spot, no matter how short the time), discovering that our community pool was still being heated last night, sweet birthday cards from my loved ones, and dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world with family… on a Tuesday night, meaning everyone felt I was special enough to come out and play on a school night.
Pretty birthday flowers:
Oh — and it’s not over yet, we still have a weekend in the mountains that we’re anticipating!
P.S. I know the pictures won’t display correctly — sorry! I’m posting by e-mail, so I’ll fix them later this evening.
* This headache that I’ve had since Monday night. It’s one of those lingering ones that hangs out at varying levels of intensity. I think it’s sinus related, because food, hydration, sleep or pain meds don’t cure it. Also, I have a weird mental reaction to headaches in that I convince myself it must be because of dehydration, so I overhydrate. which means that I do lots of peeing while having a headache. Aren’t you glad you know that about me?
* Everyone at work has a cold in various stages. What on earth did you people do? Spend Thanksgiving with a bunch of sick people? And how am I supposed to stay healthy when all of y’all are haawwwing all over my work space?
* Productivity, even while being off my feet. Christmas cards got written and held for mailing until the 1st of December (thankyouverymuch!). I got pictures downloaded off my SD card (but not uploaded to the Internet). I reformatted and reloaded my primary flash drive (had a corruption problem). Oh, and let’s not forget about reading the first 4 Harry Potter books.
* Weirdly uncrowded theater. We had a date afternoon on Sunday and went and saw the new Harry Potter movie. Initially we were gonna go to the 3:15pm showing, but opened the theater door and stared, horrified, at all the people wedged in there, elbow-to-elbow. Went to the 3:45pm showing instead, and there were maybe 20 people in there. So I stretched out across four seats and watched the movie as if I were at home in my living room.
* We had a fancy meeting yesterday at work. For the fancy meeting, fancy food was ordered. This concoction is a chocolate chip covered strawberry. Have you ever seen such a thing before?
One Last Thing:
Christmas decorations are showing up… I saw this one on top of a high-rise building when I was leaving work last night. It gave me a moment of happy. Obviously. Because I took this picture to share with you.
We’ll be digging our decorations out this weekend. I’m half excited and half terrified… I’m fairly certain the stuff multiplies during the year while it’s hiding under the stairs, because there’s always more stuff than what I remembered having.
Maybe someday, we’ll do scaled back Christmas decorating … when meeting neighbors for the first time (still happens, even after 5 years here) the first question is, “Which house do you live in?” And when I say, “The house that gets over-decorated for Christmas,” they always reply, “Oh, we love that house! That’s you??”
So, yeah, scaled back decorating? Ha. Right.
* An inbox. To clarify, I love the concept of an inbox on my desk. In fact, it’s something I embraced early on in my career. But gradually it became the elephant that sat on my desk that no one wanted to acknowledge. Despite the label reading “INBOX” in 68 point font size, prominently sitting on the corner of my desk, most people refuse to use it. My desk is neat and tidy, so it’s not like their stuff will get lost in piles of paper. Instead, people put stuff on my chair, my keyboard, the corner of my desk, anywhere BUT the inbox that is labeled “inbox” in 68 size font. I’m pretty sure if it were an empty room with nothing in it but an inbox, people would STILL put the paper right beside the labeled inbox. Anyway, so now, when I come in some mornings, and the accountant person has put something on my chair instead of my inbox? I sit on it. So when she gets it back, she has something that my rear end has sat upon. That seems fair to me.
* Toilets that don’t flush properly (speaking of rear-ends). There is one of those type of toilets at work… I mean it’s a total power flusher, but it only does a half flush… so half of the previous user’s business goes away, but the other half is still there all disintegrated. If I get stuck using that toilet, for the record, I always flush it three times when I’m done. Just to be sure.
* Living a cliché. A watched pot of water never boils and a watched phone never rings. What are the chances I’d be doing two clichés at the same time tonight? So, I swept the floor instead. Suffice it to say, I have a very cleanly swept floor.
* Our Nemo. I can’t believe I haven’t told you about our Nemo before. He’s one of the first baby guppies that was born in our guppy tank. He’s outlived many of the other guppies, including his momma. He’s “special” … as you can see in the picture, his spine is bent and he swims around in a permanent seahorse-like posture, but he seems happy. We keep him isolated because the other guppies kind of pick on him and nibble off his fins — as if swimming isn’t difficult enough for him? Anyway, in isolation he is able to take as many swim breaks as he needs to stay healthy. We love our little Nemo.
The guppy slightly behind Nemo is a “normal” guppy, albeit a pregnant one…
* I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. *happy sigh*
* My darling husband, despite all the challenges he’s faced over the last several months, managed to make my birthday special for me. I’m not the type of person who needs grand things on special occasions, but rather just thoughtfulness and love. He fills those two needs for me rather grandly and I’m grateful to him for that.
* Pumpkin power carver. I bought this thing at Big Lots on clearance and spent about 5 minutes carving my pumpkin. Honestly, when it was all done, I felt as if I had cheated… and poor Tony slaved away carving his pumpkin for, like, twelve hours! Sorry the picture’s so dark of his pumpkin, but it’s of Darth Vader.
Tony’s forever pumpkin…
My five minute pumpkin…
One Last Thing:
This was our table’s centerpiece over the Halloween weekend. Nothing says fall to me like the Three P’s… pumpkins, persimmons and pomegranates. It’s a beautiful (delicious) thing, isn’t it?
Weird thing about last week, Thursday felt like Friday and Friday felt like a holiday. No one wanted to work on Friday and, shamefully, I admit to being part of that group. All I wanted to do was walk around and look at my co-workers’ festive creativity. Even our legal department went all out, they decorated AND dressed up like Indians — our head counsel being the chief… ha!
When it got down to the deadline for voting, people were shuffling by my cubicle one right after the other. I was more than willing to give them a tour of my goodies, “Here is my wraith…” and press the button that made it eerily sing. “Here is Boney Barney, on a leash… leash law, you know.” They would nod, and I would press the button that made him talk. Then I would show them my eyeball ball, let them bounce it. Offer them some candy out of my skull cup, and add, “Don’t mind the rat, I don’t think he’s been able to get the wrappers off…” I would point out my pile of pumpkins, and then have them read the Batz Bar sign, ending with “We serve Boos, not Booze.” And then wave my hands about and say expressively, “BOOOOOO!” And as they walked around the corner I would say in a high-pitched voice that carried, “Vote for me!!”
A goofy video I made of my cubicle…
And I won. By two votes. I think it was the interactive tour. Apparently my win upset someone’s 6 or 7 year winning streak. Oopsie.
Cutest moment of the day? Several co-workers brought their spouses and their kids in to see the decorations. The one guy had two little boys and they gathered around Boney Barney and were petting and talking to him like he was a real doggie. For about 10 minutes! Awwww.
When I got home, I opened the back sliding door. The air was so crisp and fresh — fall-like — it beckoned me to go outside and watch the sunset. It was then that I noticed several tomatoes were ripe, and no birds had pecked through their dark orange-red skins. Then I noticed two bell peppers were ready. Thrilled, I checked my blueberry plant and pulled a handful off. By that time, my hands were so overflowing with harvested produce that Tony had to open the door for me so I could come back inside!
It rained this morning, around 6am, pounding down on the roof. I thought for sure I would be swimming in the rain, and later driving in the rain, but when I went swimming around 9am, the streets were all wet, but the clouds were beating a hasty retreat, and the sun was out for the day.
But really, I just love that I won the Halloween Decorating Contest!
I’m fairly certain that if there’d been a costume contest, I would have won that, too, based on the looks of amazement I was given when they realized I was Barbie Doll for the day. Plus, it’s the one day a year I can wear leather pants to work and get away with it.