December 2007

2007-12-16 13:30:51

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Greta did not enjoy her meeting with Santa this year. In Greta's defense, Santa had cold, dead eyes, and I was slightly creeped out myself.

Greta did enjoy walking around the mall holding a PBK bag, seeing all of the sites, and showing off her Elmo to everyone who came up to tell her she's pretty.

Today we're all snowed in and feeling a tad stir crazy.

Fran

Who ordered the toddler?

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This picture appropriately represents Greta as of late: disheveled pigtails, two Elmos, snotty nose, devilish look in eyes.

Just thought I'd share.

Fran

I am happy to announce...

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...that I feel terribly guilty that I can't mail everyone some little gifties. Well, I mean, I could, but I'm not going to. How does Tyra do it every week? Send home an eager wannabe model without even flinching? This is a tough business doling out rejection. I guess I'll try to focus on the good by saying that my numbers I picked were 1, 6, and 11. Ring-a-ding-dong!

Unless my counting skills fail me, that means Shelley, Amanda, and Pam are the lucky winners of my still undecided prizes! Congratulations, ladies. (All three of you will need to email me your mailing addresses.) Thanks to everyone who commented and played along. I'm glad that so many people were enthusiastic about it and that many are planning to take part in this pay-it-forward scheme on their own sites, in their classrooms, or otherwise.

When I get my act together and pick out the gifts and get them all set, I'll post an update so you can all drool over what the winners are getting. I'm thinking something along the lines of sock monkeys and pedometers...or maybe a year's supply of nearly expired contact solution (long story)...or maybe verbal tips like, "Don't eat yellow snow." You never know. I also have an extensive extra button collection (you know, from all of the buttons that come with new clothes that you never actually ever use), but I'm not sure I'll be able to part with that. Well, we'll just see. Feel free to leave your suggestions for gifts (under $10 in the comments section).

This was fun.

-Fran

Pay it forward

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In her last post, my dear Internet friend Stella Devine offered nonspecific prizes to the first three people who comment on her site, with the caveat that the winners pay it forward and do the same. I was thrilled to be the first wiener and excited to do the same here on this little site…with a couple small changes/specifications.

In my version, prizes will not (necessarily) go to the first three people who comment. I have chosen three numbers and if the number of your comment matches one of my numbers, then you win a prize! It’s (perhaps) more exciting because there is more suspense and because I would ideally like to drum up more than three measly comments (followed by some comments ranging in tone from disappointment to rage).

Here are some things you should know about my version of the game:

  • If you win something, you will then need to pay it forward. If you have a site, do the same on yours. If you don’t have a site, surprise three friends with little packages.
  • If you don’t want to pay it forward, just don’t play. It’s that simple.
  • If you comment a bunch of times, that’s fine and dandy, but only your first comment will count as part of the game.

What are the prizes? I’m not sure yet, but you can bet they will be chosen with the utmost care. It’s probably a safe bet that they will arrive after Christmas as well, so don’t get all excited that you’ll have something to regift at your workplace Yankee Swap or whatever you call it.

I will announce winners sometime tonight or tomorrow, depending on when we reach my last previously chosen number and I get around to making the announcement.

Okay, happy commenting and good luck!! And just so you know, you’re all winners in my book.

Fran

Hiiiiiiiii

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So I don't really have anything to talk about, yet I feel obligated to give some kind of update since my last entry was about some lame mannequin waaay back on Sunday. I'm going to just start talking and see what comes out.

We had a pretty good low-key weekend. Friday night involved some multitasking with both of our company's holiday parties. Pat picked Greta up from day care, got her all dolled up, and brought her to his party for a little while. Then we all met up at my company's party. Greta wasn't exactly invited to my party per se, but of course no one could resist a cute little toddler holding two (count 'em, two) stuffed Elmos. Pat got to meet some people who he's heard a lot about, so that was really nice. They headed out and left me to have some adult time with my coworkers. It was a really nice night.

Dear Mr. Holiday Bouncer Man: Could you possibly turn this sweet child away from the party?

Saturday evening Pat had some friends over to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special. How he has watched this thing more than once is beyond me. I can barely get through 20 minutes of it. It's really painful to watch. According to IMDb, "George Lucas once remarked at an Australian convention that 'if I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every bootlegged copy of that program and smash it.'" I don't blame him! It's bad; it's really, really bad. Luckily I had my own plans for the night. I went over to my friend Dee's house for a joint birthday party for her and our friend Sarah. I will admit that I kind of cringed when I walked in the door. There was a big group of people in the living room and people were playing a video game. Do you know that I hate games? Well, I always think I hate games but when pressed to play one I always seem to enjoy myself. But video games seem especially dislikeable because they cost a lot of money and waste a lot of time. Dee and Sarah were playing a game I could finally sign on for, though, SingStar. It combined my love of making a fool of myself in front of people and my love of crappy karaoke. Sarah kind of had to twist my arm to get up there, but once I did I had to get an unvite to leave. It was so much fun (even though Sarah totally schooled me).

Greta is basically chronically sick. I thought the first year of her life would be the worst, but I think this year is actually worse. I assume this is due to Greta still having the immune system of a young little thing and now interacting with little kids at school (who pat and I affectionately call "the little rats") vs just laying there like a blob on the floor chewing on the occasional toy. I keep attempting to make plans with friends with kids saying, "Greta can't possibly get sick again because she was just sick, so let's hang out," and then the next day I just have to cancel. It's starting to wear on my psyche a bit. Just a little bit, though. All of this sickness is also not helping Greta's already less-than-stellar sleeping habits. I feel like we shouldn't be getting up three times a night to put our 20 month old back to sleep, but we're obviously not going to let her "cry it out" when she's sick. I guess I'll just have some sweet bags under my eyes until approximately May.

I hope you enjoyed my blathering on. Okay, time for bed.

Fran

2007-12-09 15:06:45

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This time last year I took a picture of Pat and Greta next to a particularly creepy mall Christmas decoration lady. I spotted her again this year and felt compelled to take another picture of them to see what changed. Well, mall lady hasn't changed a bit. Pat Reed hasn't changed a whole lot, but I dare say he looks even more handsome in the second than the first. Greta obviously has more hair now and is bigger. She is wearing a nice festive dress in both pictures, but the one she's wearing this year she actually picked out herself (although it's mostly covered by her coat). Also notable, although this may not be obvious to some of you, notice that Greta is interested in the decoration lady in both images. In the first she is clearly trying to grasp the woman's hair (oh how I remember those painful hair-grabbing days). In the second she is showing much more restraint, although based on her balled up fist you can see she would love to grab something. This year it's the food rather than the creepy lady she wants to grab. Greta does love her food.



Later in the day I kept asking Greta if she liked this or that, and her reply to every question was, "No." I then asked her what she does like and she replied, "Eat!" That's my girl.

Fran

Welcome new friend!

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I've been busting at the seams to announce this: Baby Oliver Lewis J was born December 4th! He's a wee little 6-pound lad who looks just like his daddy. Congrats to Taryn and Todd on becomimg two of the greatest parents in the universe!

Fran

Christmas spirit? Check!

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This past weekend we lugged the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the attic and got into the Christmas spirit. While it took probably twice as long as it would have otherwise, we wanted Greta to be part of the decorating this year. We’re so glad we did have her take part. Greta loved helping pull out all of the ornaments and hanging them on the tree. As we decorated the tree we were amazed to learn that Greta knows quite a few more words that we realized she did. She would point to many of the ornaments and call them by name. The highlight, though, was when we plugged in the lights and her face light up and she said, “white!” (She loves lights – turning them on, turning them off, pointing at them, talking about them, you get the idea.)

A new addition to our Christmas decorations this year is this advent calendar that my Aunt Nancy sent us. It’s so cute and is the perfect length of our railing. Greta has really enjoyed pulling out each day’s ornament and hanging it on the tree. Tonight she held on to the ornament all night, throughout dinner, throughout her bath, etc. Luckily they’re very sturdy. This could be a testimonial for the company that makes these things.

Tomorrow is a very exciting day for me. Maybe five years ago I wised up and stopped trying to do my Christmas shopping after work and on weekends. I started taking one day off of work to bang out all of my shopping at once. I do this alone so I can keep my eye on the prize. It’s the Day of Frances Christmas Fun and Sanity Keeping. I go with a plan prior to entering the stores so I can stay focused and get in and get out. I have a whole system. It really is the way to go, and I find it very enjoyable and actually look forward to it each year. Prior to this tradition if you asked my thoughts on Christmas shopping you wouldn't have gotten such a positive response. Anyway, so this year I don’t have quite as much shopping to do because we don’t really exchange gifts with our families anymore, but I do still have a decent bit to buy for Greta and friends. A new addition to Day of Frances Christmas Fun and Sanity Keeping is that I’m going to meet some of my pals from my previous workplace for afternoon tea at Hicks & McCarthy tomorrow as well. I am super excited about this. Afternoon tea is one of my most favorite things ever, and I'm looking forward to spending some QT with some good friends I haven't seen in a while!

Oh, and Greta never ceases to amaze me with the things she understands. I asked her the other day what she would like from Santa and she said, “Melmo,” which is Gretaese for Elmo. I like a gal who knows what she wants. Very cute.

We've just been experimenting a little with our new camera so far. Here's some unconventional stop-action washcloth photography.

Would you check out this out this emo hairdo?

Fran

2007-12-04 20:52:45

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A while back my grandma gave me an album of a bunch of pictures and other things of mine that she had collected over the years. In it was a series of two photos that I found hilarious. These were taken, I believe, in the winter of '77 after a big snowstorm.

My mom and me posing in front of a snow bank.

Shortly following...

Just call me old mud face.

Fran

Ants in my pants

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It's the first big snowfall in Rochester and everyone forgot how to drive, so traffic is at a crawl. I managed to get home in an hour and 15 minutes (normal commute 20 minutes), but poor Patty has been in the car with Greta for two hours. TWO HOURS. OMG.

If I had one of those bloggy-type blogs with a mood indicator it would say "stressed" and show a sweating emoticon.

Fran