Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year End

year end

Here's another little meme my friend at The Fairy Blogmother likes to close the year out with....

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Drove a Hummer in downtown Chicago, gone without a fully functional (yet NEW) washing machine for 5 months, worked at a school, cooked a full Christmas dinner on my own and for just my immediate family, had my hair dyed pink, purple and blue (at once), put 9,000 miles on a new car in 4 months, saw the Chicago River dyed green.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Don't remember all I said but probably not. I have some ideas I'd like to implement this coming year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Who didn't?? Ashley, Katie, Lara, Laurie, Liliana, Lynne, Mary Anne, Misty, Normie, Neighbor Rosa and probably some I forgot. And if they didn't give birth this year, they are preggo and about to pop!! Why do you think I stopped drinking water and only mainline Red Bull?? They are ALLLLLLL boys, too, except for Laurie and Normie.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My uncle. But we were no longer close.

5. What countries did you visit?
Only the USA. Little matter about an expired passport.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A smokin' hot bod.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
President Obama's inauguration for obvious reasons. Impromptu tour of Oprah's Harpo Studio. Michael Jackson's death. My SIL & BIL coming to visit in August b/c it was their first time in ChiTown. Spending a solid week at Grandma Grandma's bedside b/c we all thought she was going to die but she pulled through!!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I felt like a failure for most of the year. Maybe giving gifts to people that they genuinely liked - I suck at gift-giving so this was a major score for me.

9. What was your biggest failure?
My entire year. I failed at juggling work and home and family and friends. Truly, I feel like a complete failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Praise God, no! Other than cutting my foot and requiring stitches, it was uneventful health wise for the fam.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our city car.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mini Me for not being a crying mess at school. Of course, that means she is a mess on the drive home and in the evening, but she holds it together in school and at the end of the day, I think that is what matters.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Everyone who treated Michael Jackson like an ass for so long, only to sing his praises when he died. Why couldn't we have shown him some love before he died?
Ohh!! And Adam Lambert. Why did he have to blow his whole wad (literally) in one performance? I wish he had eased us into his madness and not been so prideful. I wanted to enjoy his music. Now I am sorry I paid money to vote for him and even this mention of him on my blog is pissing me off.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Tuition. Food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Making Christmas dinner for my family.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
I Got a Feeling by The Blackeyed Peas. They performed it on the Chicago River with a flash mob dancing on the season opener for Oprah's Show.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
a). sadder b/c I wish I was home full-time b). fatter c). richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Widney Wednesdays

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Working outside the home.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Cooking and baking for my family and spending the day in PJs.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes. With a cow named MooMoo.

22. How many one-night stands?
None this year. I'll make a goal of that next year.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Brothers and Sisters.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word.

25. What was the best book you read?
Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega. Must read book.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lady Gaga

27. What did you want and get?
iPhone 3Gs. New car. Tickets to see Yoni Ki Baat (South Asian version of the Vagina Monologues)

28. What did you want and not get?
A smokin' hot bod.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Hangover!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Spent the day with my family and ate at Cafe Trinidad. Had my favorite cake from Whole Foods for dessert. I turned 40. J wanted to throw me a big party but I really just wanted to quietly and gracefully usher in this wonderful and miraculous age.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not working outside the home.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Fat girl cover up.

33. What kept you sane?
My faith in God. Knowing that God has been there for me/us and will continue to be there.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hugh Jackman. Robert Downey Jr.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
US health care. I know how scary it is to not have health care and I have seen the massive debt a major illness can incur.

36. Who did you miss?
My Canada and Tulsa family and friends.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My office mate, PixieGirl. I should blog about her and tell you how wonderful she is. PixieGirl makes leaving my home and family to go in to the office worth it. She is a little gift from God every day I walk in to the office.
And online, Outnumbered. He keeps me laughing.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Not to talk to people or send emails the week immediately before and the few days during my period.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I gotta feeling...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MooMoo the Christmas Cow - Extended Sugar Frenzy

The children were NOT ready for MooMoo to return to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, with Santa. Mini Me bawled. Literally, boohooed. The ugly cry. Who knew a singing, dancing cow would ingrain himself into the hearts of our family??

J sent Santa a text to see if MooMoo could stay.
Santa said 'Yes!' We were so excited.

Until Monday morning....
And that, boys & girls, is what a sugar induced cow frenzy looks like.
I think the MooMoo has mad cow disease...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

And a short dance for you...
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MooMoo the Christmas Cow - Live, Love, Laugh

Working has really kicked my butt!
I was late RSVPing to Santa by the deadline.
All the visiting elves were gone.
The Widney's got MooMoo the Christmas Cow.

MooMoo has been wonderful and sweet.
He dances and moos "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
and is pretty good, except for when he is naughty!!
Our family will miss MooMoo when he hitches
a ride back to the North Pole with Santa tomorrow night.

Helping to make the gingerbread houses
Showed up in my purse...
Shhh...I brought him to work w/me one day
Playing games. Literally.
This is where MooMoo was found one morning
What? Was he lonely?
MooMoo got into the Christmas decorations!
MooMoo had to do some corner time...
How sweet!
Cuddling with the bears Santa gave the kids
when they had their picture taken that day.
Spooning? Really? MooMoo!!
We are all going to miss MooMoo!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Language of Love & Respect

If you only read 1 relationship book, 'The Language of Love & Respect' by Dr Emerson Eggerichs, should be it. Communication is the core of relationships and Dr. Eggerichs makes it clear how to bring out the best in your relationship through personal change and growth - and easy to follow steps!

'The Language of Love and Respect' by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, published by Thomas Nelson doesn't deal so much with gender 'roles' as it does gender 'communication'. It was about, well, love and respect. It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman. You need to love and respect your partner. Eggerichs gets to the core and then gives you simple to follow help on how to improve yourself - not your partner.

Pop culture is all about communication. 'The Language of Love and Respect' is about successfully communicating with the most important person in your life. Communication is a process. 'The Language of Love and Respect' challenged me. It made me look at things differently and work on them differently. This is a book I need to keep handy so I can reference back to work on another aspect of my attitude and approach to my marriage. It is well worth purchasing for yourself and for a newly married couple in your life. Or as an anniversary gift for couple that has been married awhile - sometimes we get into a rut.


This is the second book and you need not feel like you are left out if you did not read 'Love and Respect' because Dr Emerson Eggerichs gives a synopsis of the first book at the beginning of 'The Language of Love and Respect.' That was a nice feature. From the sounds of 'Love and Respect', that might be worth reading as well. As always, I PLAN to give my free copy away to my blogosphere. However, I need to hold on this one. It's so good!!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I found this meme over at Confessions of a Working Mom. It was fun and quick. Enjoy.

1. Middle name?

Maria

2. What do you think is your best asset (physical)?
Hair

3. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for a year, what would it be (Mexican, American,Chinese..etc.)?
Trinidadian. Now. That said, please know that if I were still living at home, I would say Canadian/American because growing up, I NEVER got to eat food like meatloaf and all that white people food that white people seem to hate. As I only ever eat Canadian/American (aka white people food) these days, I want some good home food.

4. Walmart or Target?
Walmart Supercenter. It is what made my life livable as a working mom. I don't like Target because I can't ever get out of there under $50 when all I go in for is just 1 little thing.

5. Favorite State besides the one you live in?
Canada. It's the 51st state, right?

6. What side of the bed do you sleep on, left or right?
Right side if you are in the bed. We started off with me on the left, but I didn't like being so close to the door. If someone was going to come in to kill us, I wanted a few extra seconds. So we switched. Every bedroom since, it has worked out that way too.

7. King or Queen size bed?
Queen. We had a king when we were first married and lived at J's parents' home. We were so far away we couldn't find each other at night. It would be nice with kids to have a king. We gave it much thought a few years back when we bought a new headboard. But each time we go sleep at his parents, we don't like the king. I guess we are queen people. Oh. And I just gave J new 1,000 thread count sheets for his bday. Do you know what those cost in a king???

8. Beer or wine?
Wine. Lately I'm all about the riesling. I'm very much a guy's girl so it goes to say I should be a beer drinker. I just can't get into it. I have yet to acquire a taste for beer.

9. Water..ice-cold or room temp?
Ice cold! I know room temp is better for your voice if you are talking publicly or singing. I seldom do either these days.

10. Christmas..love it or hate it?
LOVE IT! Hello? Born again Christian. This and Easter are the reason for my existence.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dream House

This is my dream house.
When I look at this house, it whispers 'home' to me.
'My home' is located in my hometown.
I absolutely love everything this home stands for.
For almost 15 years, this has been my dream home.

The owners have always maintained it nicely. I just know I would be happy living here. This doesn't mean I don't love Chicago. I do. But I would want to have this home to go to for holidays and to write in that room upstairs that overlooks the manicured backyard.

What do you wish for?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Facts of Life for Mini Me

J was lucky enough to pull parenting duty tonight...

Mini Me: "Let's play doctor!"
Motor Mouth: "I'm gonna be the doctor first!"
Mini Me: "Daddy, you play DEAD first!"
(Dead patients? Too much NCIS...)

The game progresses...

Mini Me: "Okay, let's play go to the hospital and have a baby."
(She saw a birth on TV 2 months ago and is obsessed.)
Mini Me: "I want a baby girl. Let's cut it's penis off!"
(Ouch...)
Daddy: "Girls are just born girls and boys are just born boys.
Mini Me: "Oh."

The game progresses...

Mini Me: "Okay, Daddy, now YOU go to the hospital and have a baby."
Daddy: "Boys can't have babies. Only girls can."
Crying and fits ensued.
Mini Me. "You are WRONG!! You are WRONG. Daddy, you are wroooooong!!"
Crying and fits ensued.
Fortunately for me, I was not home for any of this.
Truly, there is a God.

Annual Widney Gingerbread House - 2009

It's that time of year again for our Annual Gingerbread House(s).

 This year, I decided to get one for each child and let the kids decorate it for themselves because last year, I was far too obsessive.

Last Year....

Last year - My 1st ever gingerbread house


This Year...
J and I put the houses together then I applied icing for the kids to use their creative juices to decorate. Motor Mouth decided to follow the picture on the box. So of course, Mini Me did too. Ever notice how they never give you enough candy to make the photo????

Motor Mouth getting started...


Mini Me...


MooMoo watches the progress


Motor Mouth's finished house...


And Mini Me's finished house...


J did the drippy icing thing on the front
of the houses and chimney.
I think their houses look better than mine did.

Motor Mouth...


Mini Me...


Monday, December 14, 2009

I have failed as a mother and here is proof

This is Mini Me.
Turn up the volume.

video

At least she is polite.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Friday - Snowflakes!

We had a family snowflake making time.
It resulted in a LOT of tears, a TON of animosity
and just plain jealousy.

Motor Mouth started BAWLING when he saw J's.
I fully get what he was feeling.

Motor Mouth's...



Daddy's..


Mini Me's...


Daddy's...


Mine...


Daddy's...


The whole set, Part 1...


The whole set, Part 2...

Do you see the Eifel Tower?
And fleur de lis?

Or the dinosaur hiding behind the tree?
And what about the hearts?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mini Me's 1st Professional Photo Shoot

Mini Me had her very first ever professional photo shoot for Land of Nod. Land of Nod is the children's furniture store division of Crate and Barrel. Land of Nod stores are located in Chicago and Seattle and their catalog can be viewed online at www.landofnod.com. We have a few Land of Nod pieces and they have withstood the test of time.

The entire fridge was stocked with diet...


Prepping the studio for photoshoot.
Steaming the carpets and de-linting by hand!


Checking out the progress...


Mini Me helping to make tough decisions


Vintage car model lost under stove
I can't make this stuff up, people!!


Look for my baby in the Spring 2010 catalog
She's the one modeling the rugs!

Mini Me made more in 2.5 hours than I made all day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Knowing Me, Knowing You - Dec '09

Time once again for that monthly interview project created by The Fairy Blogmother
Knowing Me, Knowing You

1. Are you an egg nog fan?
It's okay. Maybe one glass a season.
My family has a drink called Punch de Creme that is very much like egg nog, only with rum!

2. What is your favourite at Christmas treat?
Pastelles. They are like tamales, with ground beef, capers, and raisins.

3. How is your tree decorated? A theme like red and gold? A does it have a more eclectic slant?
J decorates our tree. Take the number of lights you put on a tree. Now multiply that by 10. Add 5 more strands and then you will have enough lights as J puts on tree. Then drip the tree with ornaments. It depends upon the year as to the color. It also depends upon the room. Lately, it has been gold ornaments. Each child has a tree for their room. Mini Me has a tree with pink lights. Motor Mouth's tree has colored lights.

4. What's your favourite Christmas movie?
I don't have a favorite 'Christmas' movie. I do love to watch Sound of Music with my family. I'm trying to get the kids to love it too!

5. New jammies on Christmas Eve?
Christmas isn't Christmas without new PJ's.

Now, head on over to the Fairy Blogmother and see what her answers were!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

MooMoo the Christmas Cow - Wk 1

MooMoo the Christmas Cow is a major hit in our home! The children LOVE MooMoo.

video

Most people have a Christmas Elf. We have a Christmas Cow. Why a cow? Because I forgot about the elf thing until 8 pm the night before and could only find this singing cow at Target. That's why.

I told Motor Mouth and Mini that Santa sent MooMoo to stay with us until Christmas. The kids are happy about this.

Last night, we went looking at Christmas lights and the kids said they wished MooMoo was with us because MooMoo would have enjoyed it. They actually got a little upset with us because we didn't include MooMoo.

They want MooMoo to eat at the table with us and watch movies together. When I read them bedtime stories, MooMoo has to be able to see the pages of the book. Each day, the children receive a letter from MooMoo that I help Motor Mouth read.

Day 1
Santa's Cow brought Christmas Countdown Calendars for each child. Naturally, they love the chocolate they get to eat in the morning! The kids named the cow "MooMoo."

Day 2
MooMoo gave the kids Pop Tarts for breakfast. MooMoo wanted to fix them eggs, but is not allowed to use the stove.

Day 3
The kids received chocolate syrup for their milk for breakfast from MooMoo.

Day 4
MooMoo brought Gingerbread houses to be decorated with Mommy.

Day 5
MooMoo was hiding in the pantry. Perhaps MooMoo was upset for not being included in the Christmas Light tour. It gave J and I an extra 15 minutes of sleep time while the kids went in search of MooMoo.

This morning, J told me he was so proud of me because MooMoo the Cow is such a big hit with the children.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MooMoo the Christmas Cow - Introduction

We have a new member of our family - a cow sent from Santa.
(Turn up the sound)

video

The cow came with a letter...


Dear Motor Mouth and Mini Me,

I'm Santa's cow. I came all the way down from the North Pole farm to visit you before Christmas!

Christmas is just 24 days away. Santa sent a chocolate Christmas countdown calendar for both of you. Each day, you can have 1 piece of chocolate. When all the chocolate is gone, it will be Christmas!!!!

We are going to have Fun!!
Santa's Cow

P.S. I don't have a name