Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My FAVORITE Day of the Year!

That's right--it's here!!!!! My favorite day of the year!!!!!! It's not because of romance, flowers or chocolate--although, I certainly wouldn't turn any down. This day has been my favorite day for a VERY long time. I love that it means showing the people you love how much you love them. Yes, we should do this everyday, but I enjoy the sappy-ness of the hearts and glitter, buying little things for all my guys, cards specific to their likes and just seeing their faces as they get to open up little gifts.

My late husband was completely against this holiday. Like, totally against it. He didn't go with the "Hallmark Holiday" excuse. He basically just thought it was stupid and why spend double the money on flowers when on any other day of the year, he could send or buy me the identical ones.Our first Valentines Day he did buy me roses---I am SO NOT a fan of roses. They require no thought. We didn't go out to dinner. It turned into an ugly argument. Fast forward to having kids.Well, let's back up a second. I did get the ultimate gift from him on Valentine's Day 1998. I think this was meant to be-- as something he could "hold over me" , even from beyond the grave. Andrew was conceived that day. Today, is the 14 year anniversary of the greatest gift I ever got. :o)
 We did celebrate our first Valentines Day with Andrew at Wildfire for dinner. He was such a good boy. He slept almost the whole time and let us eat. It was nice. I decided, when Andrew was 14 months old and I got a flyer in the mail from the Picture People advertising their Valentines Day props, that I was taking him. I went and had the best pictures of him taken wearing his black overalls, white long sleeved shirt, standing as he was surrounded by over sized candy hearts with sayings on them. I mailed them out in Valentines Day cards to our family and friends. My husband didn't oppose any of this. He thought it was cute. After Issac was born, I dressed the boys in 100% LOVE t-shirts from the Gap and had pics taken again. Freakin' adorable!!!!!! For years I dressed them in Valentine's Day shirts and did pictures...and then, they got too old for this.  So now, every year, the boys get cards and candy and little gifts. We have heart shaped pizza and a special dessert. (This year I ordered a giant "love bug" cookie bouquet for my love bugs) They know that this day is a huge deal for me...but I am not sure they fully understand why.

To me, this day is not about me receiving gifts or cards. It's about me giving to everyone I love. When I was younger, I wanted it to be about me. And, after being disappointed year after year, I decided to change my attitude about it. And now, that I show everyone how  much I love them, it makes me feel really good and that is the best present I could ask for. (of course, I still want a gift and a card....I am human, LOL, but, really, I am just happy to be with my love bugs on this super special day)

Love, hugs and kisses to you all!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentines Day, The Arcade and Needing a Gallon of Bleach

Happy February everyone!!!! I love February! My most favorite day of the year, Valentine's Day, falls this month. My house is decorated. I have started purchasing gifts for the kids and Steve and Bailey is wearing her Valentine's Day collar.

We returned home from our long anticipated family vacation this past Saturday. We took a cruise with the kids and some of my family. We had a truly incredible week--one I will never forget. It was so great to be able to have such quality time together and to be able to relax and just be. None of us ever get to just be. We all needed it

What we did NOT need was a $340 bill from the arcade on the ship. That is correct. Your read that right. THREE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS. I am partially to blame for this mishap. After being woken by a false fire alarm at our hotel in Miami, boarding the ship, and unpacking all 6 of us, I was super tired and just wanted a 20 minute nap. The kids were super excited and refused to quiet down. So I told them (after a TON of their pestering) that they could go to the arcade for a little bit. Less than an hour later, I was awakened to see the watches my kids had "won" at the arcade. I figured these watches ran me about $100--about $97 more than they were worth, but I got to nap. The next night, as we sat waiting for Blue Man Group to start, Andrew asked if he could speak to me privately later on. I had an empty seat next to me and told him to sit down and we could talk. He confessed to the boys spending that much money and told me that they planned to pay me back for all the games. He thought I knew about the phone call Steve had received. I played along..I didn't yell...I just said ok and thank you for your honesty. Then I got pissed. What phone call??? Steve knew about this????So, I turned to ask him about this phone call. He said that morning, after I took the kids to the buffet, he got a call in the room from guest services. They had noticed the "unusual activity" on the boys room/charge cards and wanted him to be aware.  Uh, ok. Why was I not aware? His response: "I was waiting for a good time to tell you." which is code for, "when you see the bill and go bat shit crazy, you'll know what happened." Needless to say, I was not happy with anyone at that point, but decided to not let it ruin my trip--what was done was done and mark my words, these boys will pay back every dime.

A couple days later, we were making our first port stop. Zion was SO EXCITED to visit his first "island" as he had never been on one. My parents took him onto St. Maarten with them. Upon their return to the ship, I asked Zion how his day was. As he started to tell me about the cool new bracelet he got and how he had "the best day ever", my mother was also speaking and telling me how the poor kid threw up about 10 times, starting in the cab and proceeded to keep going. Uh.....WHAT?????? The cab ride was apparently an awful one and he appeared to get car sick from it. But, Zion is a real trooper when sick. He doesn't cry or complain or even make a peep. That's the only problem. He doesn't tell anyone he is about to vomit, so you need to watch him. My mom quickly learned that and had it all under control. Zion also picked out a bracelet for me that is filled with "gems" and he thought I would love it. It was exceptionally sweet and considerate of him and I greatly appreciate his thoughtfulness. 

We had breakfast with the Nickelodeon characters (including SpongeBob, Patrick, Dora and Diego) which of course was the highlight for so many of us. We even ate green slime syrup with our mini pancakes.Andrew was too cool to join us for this pre-paid breakfast so my mom joined us. I think she had the best time of any of us. SpongeBob and Patrick don't drive her crazy at all.

Since returning home and doing an endless amount of laundry (much thanks to Steve for heading up that department!) we have some really icky germs going on in our house. Stomach flu, ear infection, coughs, colds and my poor baby girl Bailey looks like many of the seniors on the ship, hobbling around with some sort of hip problem. Maybe I should go get her a scooter that makes noises when it drives so people know to stay out of her way when approaching a buffet. I'll be taking her to the vet this afternoon--if Steve doesn't need his car. Yes, we are down to one right now. My car needed work and after dealing with the PITA people at the dealership who promised us a loaner car, Steve did not get one this morning. He and Zion received a ride home in the courtesy vehicle and we'll get a call later with an update on my car. Kinda wish Zion had thrown up in it--that would teach them a lesson on lying to Kerry. In the meantime, the car may have to stay longer than anticipated since someone appears to have hit the back of my car and chrome is hanging from it----I missed seeing all of this last night when 2 of the boys and I got home from dinner with their grandma for her birthday. How I missed seeing it is beyond me, but maybe lack of sleep the last couple of nights has something to do with it?

All in all....life is, well, life. These bumps in our road are just bumps. We'll get over all of it. It always makes us laugh and that is the best medicine anyone could ask for.