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Here are thirteen things I worry about. This topic was inspired by a very long and stressfull drive home through ice and snow.

1. Money. ‘Nuff said, I think.

2. Job loss. I don’t believe that Tim or I are in any danger of losing our jobs, but if we did, it would pose a serious financial hardship. Not to mention that we both love our jobs and would hate to leave them.

3. Big Brother’s behavior. He’s mostly a nice boy, but his mouthiness/defiance/rudeness etc. rear their heads often enough. Are we not being strict enough with him? Is he going to start getting in trouble in school? What should be be doing differently?

4. Little Sister’s behavior. She’s a good girl, but she gets what she wants most of the time, and she’s bossy. Is this going to start causing problems at preschool?

5. Death. Mine, Tim’s, my parents’, the kids, etc.

6. Car crashes. Tim and I are both great drivers, so I don’t really worry about US causing a crash, but we don’t have control over how other people drive. At least I know that in the event of a crash, my kids are restrained as safely as possible.

7. More specifically … crashing into water. We go over two bridges on the way home from school. What would happen if we somehow went over the edge? How would we get out? Actually I think I could get myself out and even one kid, but what if I had both kids with me? Or what if it was summer and the windows were down, so the water came rushing in immediately?

8. The kids’ health. Both kids have mild asthma and while it generally responds well to treatment, sometimes (like now) they get a lingering cough. What if it turns into pneumonia? What if I take them to the doctor and she says she should have seen them weeks ago? (They haven’t had the coughs that long.)

9. Retirement. Will we have enough money? Will social security (or a reasonable replacement) be available to supplement our retirement income? Will we even be able to retire?

10. Our house. I always worry about the potential for expensive but necessary house repairs.

11. My weight. Am I ever going to get back into the right mind set to re-lose the weight I lost before I had Little Sister?!

12. Brains. Are my kids really as smart as I think they are? (I don’t think they’re geniuses, just smart.) Everything so far points to yes, but then again, they’re only in first grade and (barely) preschool.

13. Teeth. I frequently have dreams that my teeth are falling out. Are we brushing BB’s teeth often enough and well enough? (He fusses every time we brush them.) How about LS – she fusses about it too.

What do YOU worry about?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Here are thirteen places I like to shop. Thanks to Gal for the inspiration!

1. Borders. I love books!

2. JoAnn’s. I don’t have (or make) as much time to sew or scrapbook as I used to, but I still like to shop for the stuff!

3. Meijer. OK, I admit it, I like to go grocery shopping. Even better when a kid or two wants to come with me! (Assuming, of course, that said children are well-rested and in a good mood.)

4. Target. I can rarely get out of there without spending at least $50.

5. Ikea. An Ikea store opened near us a couple of years ago … I could spend the whole day (and our whole bank account) there! BB likes to there too, too.

6. BabiesRUs. Kind of an annoying store, but love the baby geat. Plus they have a decent selection of car seats for me to play with inspect in order to keep up my product knowledge.

7. Wal-Mart. Oh, the prices!

8. Big Lots. “Lots” and “Lots” of junk … but usually a few good bargains to be had. Mom and I like to shop here together.

9. ToysRUs. Also kind of annoying, but it’s fun to go here for my big Christmas shopping trip. (Provided that I’m well-rested and in a good mood.)

10. Children’s Place. Love some of their clothes, and they frequently have great clearance.

11. Sam’s Club. Way too much of everything you never needed. But you can skip lunch if you go at the right time on the weekends – lots of free samples!

12. Best Buy. I’m not as interested in the electronics as Tim is, but it’s fun to look.

13. Home Depot/Lowe’s. I don’t have the need for much home improvement stuff, but again, it’s fun to look around! And we always go to one of these two stores when we DO need home improvement items.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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While Tim and I aren’t huge TV watchers, we do enjoy watching a little TV in the evening. We really haven’t been watching anything at all lately, because of the writers strike. Here are some TV shows that we miss (or will miss when they run out of episodes). They are in no particular order.

1. Jericho (I know, this is coming back next month! Woohoo!)

2. Heroes

3. Chuck

4. Pushing Daisies

5. Scrubs

6. 30 Rock

7. My Name is Earl

8. Bionic Woman

9. Daily Show (the REAL Daily Show, not the non-writers version)

10. Colbert Report (see comment above)

11. The Office

and two shows we’re looking forward to seeing as replacements

12. Big Brother – the first winter edition

13. Survivor (me more than Tim – he’s not that big a fan anymore)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Well, my Christmas break has been wonderful. I’ve been off since December 20, and have really enjoyed the holidays, hectic as the may have been. But of course, vacation is over now, and it’s back to work on Thursday. I love my job, but am not quite ready to go back yet. Here are 13 reasons why.

1. I’ve gotten used to sleeping later than 5:30. (Not much later, but at least a little.)

2. I just discovered that I like playing Lego Star Wars on the Xbox with Big Brother.

3. My boss will be out of the office for a few weeks, which could make work life very hectic for me.

4. My boss will be out of the office for a few weeks, which could make work life extremely quiet and boring for me.

5. Two DVDs I reserved at the library are now in. It’s much easier to find time to watch movies when I’m on vacation!

6. We still need to take down the Christmas tree.

7. Little Sister starts preschool tomorrow! (Well, day care really, but they have a preschool component in the morning.) I’m not at all worried about it – Big Brother went there, and still goes there in the summer/school breaks, and will be with her the first two days – but it’s a big change.

8. I’ve just started sewing again and would love to have some more free time to continue.

9. I love playing with my kids! (OK, this really should be #1, but whatever and I don’t feel like renumbering them.)

10. I’ve gotten used to staying up very late.

11. I have a stack of books I want to read.

12. Aren’t you supposed to catch up on your sleep on vacation – even get some extra sleep? Somehow I never really did that!

13. I’m not ready to go back to the regular evening rush

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Well, Christmas has come and gone (though we’re still in a holiday mood here, and will be until after New Year’s!). The kids have been busy playing with all their presents. Some are great, some are not (say the parents!). No major duds, though, which may be a first!

Hasbro Nerf Reactor1. A Nerf “Reactor” (i.e. gun) This is a fun toy but also quite obnoxious. It came with four or five balls, and I think we may be down to two, so I’m not too worried about it. However, if the other balls turn up, I suspect this may end up on top of the refrigerator quite often!

2. Fisher Price Little Mommy ballerina doll. Oh, how Little Sister loves her dollies!

3. Barbie doll. LS likes to carry this around, along with the doll’s hairbrush, saying “Barbie hair! Barbie hair!”

4. Sesame Street Old School, Volume 2, 1974-1979. I would much rather have had more of the 1969-1973 years, but this’ll do!

5. Spy gear. BB and his cousin spent the day “spying” on a girl cousin, and on the way home BB mentioned that he would like Santa to bring him some spy stuff. Santa was able to comply, even on such short notice! (And as a result, BB definitely still believes … wasn’t sure he’d make it through the season believing this year!)

5. Webkinz. LS is ambivalent about these still, but BB loves them. (Though somehow I always seem to be the one taking care of their online counterparts!) BB got a gorilla and LS got a black horse.

6. The Star Wars Pop-Up Book. BB has the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland books by the same company and has truly enjoyed them, so it was a no-brainer that Santa would bring him this.

7. Candy. Santa will be on strict orders to put MUCH less candy in the stockings next year! My children had chocolate smeared on their faces since Christmas morning, it seems.

8. Books! Lots and lots of books (well, maybe a dozen total), including part two of a Captain Underpants book. BB finished part one on Monday, and was extremely impressed that Santa brought part two the next day. (I think this also contributed to the whole “still believes” thing.) He actually went into his room to read this book before we finished opening presents!

9. Tights. LS loves to wear her tights, but she has outgrown most of the ones she has. Santa smartly brought her two new pairs.

10. MP3 player. I found this cute little “Sansa Shaker” MP3 player for $9.99 with free shipping, and couldn’t resist getting it for BB. (I had already been thinking about getting it before I saw it at that price.) We’re going to load it up with some songs tomorrow.

11. Movies. Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Shrek the Third, and Cinderella. We don’t buy a ton of DVDs, but BB is quite the repeat watcher, so if I know he’ll like something (or if he’s already seen it and liked it, like Transformers) I don’t mind getting it.

12. Toy pots and pans. We recently moved the toy kitchen from BB’s room, where it has always lived, to the dining room. LS plays with it multiple times a day now, and it seemed like she should have some realistic looking metal pots and pans.

13. Hooded sweatshirt. Which BB proclaimed “the dumbest gift ever!” But he was happy to wear it later in the day – he likes wearing hoodies and his others are really starting to get too small.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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I’m really finding myself in the Christmas mood the past couple of days – perhaps it’s because I’m now off work until January 3, or maybe Big Brother’s excitement about the last day of school (they have lots of great things planned for the kids) and Christmas has been contagious. In any case, here are 13 things that I love about the holidays this year (in no particular order).

1. I’m off work until January 2.

2. The kids are going to love their presents this year.

3. Little Sister is really old enough to understand Christmas this year, including the fact that Santa brings presents.

4. Snow! Yes, I hate to drive in it, but it sure does look beautiful from inside the house. I love a white Christmas. (Sadly, it’s supposed to be in the 40s and rainy this weekend, so we might not have a white Christmas after all.)

5. Our “Cousin Party.” Every year on the Saturday after Christmas, we have a party for the cousins on my side of the family. Sometimes there are a lot of us at the party, sometimes only a handful can make it, but we always have a blast.

6. Our Christmas tree. It’s not exactly professionally decorated, and the ornaments are unevenly distributed now (because every time LS takes one off, we put it back on in a higher spot), but the kids enjoyed decorating it, and we often spend time in the evening with the house lights off, just admiring the tree and chatting.

7. Christmas at my aunt and uncle’s house. Since my parents spend the winter in Florida, and Tim’s family is so far away, we’ve spent Christmas day at my aunt and uncle’s house the past few years, along with my cousins and their kids. We get along great with all of them, dinner has been lovely, and we have a fun time. Plus my 22 (?) year old step-cousin can always be counted on to entertain BB, LS and my cousin’s two kids for most of the day … he deserves an extra special presnt for that!

8. Christmas “specials” on TV. At least we used to call them “specials” when we were kids, because they were each only on once per season, if that! BB has really gotten interested in watching them this year, especially the stop-motion animation ones (is that what it’s called?) from the 60s and 70s.

9. Christmas music. I love Christmas songs, and can often be heard singing to them while I’m in the kitchen.

10. Vacation! Did I mention that I’m now off work until January 3?

11. Food. I hate to admit it, but I welcome the excuse to indulge in all the holiday food – cookies and candy, cakes/pies and other desserts, Christmas dinner (especially turkey and mashed potatoes), etc.

12. Presents again! OK, OK, I love getting presents. Even though Tim and I have set a small budget for each other this year (remember the laptop I got in July, which was Mother’s Day/birthday/anniversary/Christmas all rolled int. o one?) but it’s so much fun to wonder, to imagine what I might receive for Christmas. Tim has done very well in the past. And I hope I’ll receive something sweet and handmade (or written) from BB this year, too.

13. VACATION! (Oops, how’d that one sneak in there again?) OK, let’s call this one having extra time to read/scrapbook/sew. (I DO need to make LS a blanket/pillow to take when she starts at her new day care/preschool – where BB went and still goes in the summer – on January 3.)

14, Missed one – my kids’ Christmas pictures! Could they get any cuter than this?!

christmas_2007_6.jpg

What are YOU enjoying – or not enjoying – about the holidays this year?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Here are thirteen Christmas presents I’ve loved over the years.

1. San Francisco Music Box Co. music box. (1994?)Tim chose “Lara’s Theme,” which is what my grandmother’s music box played. Her music box was always in her living room and it was very special to me, so I was pleased that Tim remembered this. (I also have my grandmother’s music box now, too.)

2. Commodore 64 computer. (1984) Mom and Dad bought this for us when I was 14. At the time, it was still cutting-edge to have a computer in your house. Since there were four kids in the family – and we all loved to play computer games – Mom limited us to 30 minutes per turn. Yeah, that worked well. (MOM, her turn is OVER! Make her get off the computer! was commonly heard around our house.) But it was an awesome gift.

3. Raggedy Ann paper dolls. (1973?) I’m not even sure why I remember this gift – it wasn’t a big gift, and I was probably only three at the time. (Mom, it was the same year that the girls got their Winnie the Pooh Weebles house, of which I was extremely jealous.) I still remember what some of the clothes looked like.

4. Creative Zen MP3 player (2004). This was another of Tim’s famous budget-buster gifts (which I have never complained about, of course!). I spent at least a week “ripping” every CD that I owned so that I could store it on this little player. Sadly, it had two major flaws (headphones had to be plugged in *just right* or you didn’t get good sound, and lots of the tracks skipped even though the ripped versions didn’t skip on the computer) and I have recently replaced it with an iPod classic. But I loved my Zen!

5. Fisher Price Mary Doll (1976). Oh, how could I forget Mary? She was my best Christmas present EVER! The year I was in first grade, for some reason I recall that money was tight until right after Christmas, and there were few presents under the tree. Instead, a short time after Christmas, Mom and Dad took us to the big toy store and we were allowed to pick something out. (More than one thing maybe, I don’t remember – I only had eyes for Mary!) Mary was my top doll forever after. She looks much worse for the wear, even worse than the one in this picture (and her original clothes are long gone), but I still have her and will never get rid of her.

6. VCR (1985). Mom and Dad surprised us with a VCR when I was in 9th grade. Again, we were a little ahead of our time, and we loved it.

7. Blue Blankie (2000). Tim gave me this when I was pregnant with Big Brother. OK, it was actually meant for BB, but I got to open it. After switching through several favorite blankets in his first couple of years, BB finally settled on Blue as his one and only. Blue is pretty ratty these days but we all love “him.” (Little Sister has Pink Blankie, which is pretty similar, but she’s not quite as attached to it. She tends to go for quantity, not quality, when selecting her bedtime blankets.)

8. Bookstore gift certificate (1981). This gift certificate from my aunt and uncle was the first time I can really remember having my own money to spend in a bookstore (we were always big library users). Wonder if they had any idea what they were starting! I believe I bought Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and another book whose title escapes my memory.

9. Duran Duran 13-CD “singles” set (2004). I’ve been a fan since 1985 (except for a few years when they lost their way) and was thrilled to find this set that included all kinds of never-before-on-CD tracks. I had some of them on vinyl (as B-sides to extended dance mixes and things like that). Wish I could find the darn set so that I could “rip” it onto my iPod. I know it’s around here somewhere …

10. New house (2001). OK, we officially closed on our house on November 30, but Tim and I got possession of our house on December 19, 2001. Perhaps the best Christmas present ever!

11. My laptop (2007). This actually counts as my Mother’s Day, birthday, anniversary, and Christmas present this year. Well worth it, though!

12. My serger sewing machine (2001). Tim knew I wanted a serger but did not want to risk actually picking one out. So he made me a certificate with a dollar amount on it and something like “to be used for the purchase of a serger of your choice.” I believe we ordered it online within the week.

13. Sunshine Family dolls (1975?) These kind of hippie dolls – mom, dad, sister, and baby brother – were kind of the anti-Barbie. I even had their bright yellow car! I remember playing with them in the basement for ages with my sisters. (I think with my sisters … surely I shared the dolls?)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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