Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Gift

Although this post sounds like a family-only one, if you relish my embarrassment, then read on. You will enjoy it, I promise.

Last Thursday, we celebrated Christmas with Rob's parents. It was early this year because Chris and Sonya came in from Tampa and have to return before Christmas.

After all the presents had been opened, Cindy announced that she had one special gift left. She said it was something of Big Mama's, and there was only one, so we had to draw for the gift. However, it wasn't a one-time thing. The girls were supposed to regift to one another during the year, or at the very least by next Christmas. Since Julie was at home trying not to go into labor with the twins, it was just between Sonya and me.

I'm thinking a purse or some other personal item.

Maybe a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Perhaps a special photo album with lots of memories throughout Big Mama's life.

And I'm thinking... I want this gift. I looked at Sonya and sized her up. I could tell she wanted it too. Did she know what it was? I couldn't tell. But I knew by looking at her face that she would be willing to fight for the gift. Sure, she looked innocent--but that was the game plan. Then I thought, well thank goodness Julie is on bedrest, so I don't have to fight with both sisters-in-law. One relationship might make it through this "special" gift. Did Cindy really think about this before she decided to pit us against one another? Don't think so...

Then, I decided that if I were lucky enough to win, I was keeping this thing--whatever it was--all the way until next Christmas. And if Sonya was gracious when I won it, I might give it to her first. Sounded fair to me.

And the winner is....

Oh yes, I am the owner of a pair of red and black-lace panties and some sort of a bonnet. No, they are not super-sized boy shorts--these are granny panties. Where does one find red and black panties this size? I don't want to know. Apparently, Cindy found them in Big Mama's drawer. And apparently, Cindy thought they would be a very sentimental gift. What?!

I do like to win competitions, but I'm not really sure if I am the winner here.

Since opening the gift, I have adjusted my plans to keep this special gift for an entire year until next Christmas. If they are around this house another week, I'll be surprised. Heads-up Julie and Sonya!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gingerbread House

I don't really remember making a Gingerbread house as a kid. (If we did--sorry Mom, my memory fails.) But, I thought it would be fun this Christmas. Maybe we could start a new tradition. Well, I think we did a pretty good job. Check out the pics below, and keep in mind that a 2-year-old decorated.

The beginning--note the concentration. John was very serious about this project.

As we went along, we stopped every 5 minutes or so to clean up. John didn't want the icing on his hands or his clothes. Building houses is a messy job, but someone has to do it.

I would say he definitely got the hang of lining up the gum drops along the edge. Yes, that would be my anal tendencies coming through in the next generation. Poor John. Poor John's-future-wife.

The finished project. No, it's not perfect, but close enough.

As soon as he finished, John didn't hesitate to begin eating. I don't think I've ever seen him on a sugar rush like that. Whew! We now limit him to a few pieces at a time.

And finally, the end. This is the part that my entire family gets backward (both Mom's and Dad's sides). You read the directions after you are done to see if what you did comes close. I can't vouch for Rob's entire family, but he apparently gets this gene from somewhere on his side too, because he only looks at directions after there is a problem. John has no hope. In the end, I think he concluded that winging it was better--he clearly liked his version better than the one on the box. Me too, buddy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Behind the Times

Well, only in the area of Christmas cards. I've gotten at least 5 requests for our new address. And I expected this, since we have moved since last Christmas. My problem is that we haven't even taken our Christmas picture yet, much less put it on a jump drive and take it to the store. And then addressing all of them... Geez! Y'all will be lucky to get them by Valentines.

This is a short FYI post. Seriously, it will be a while before you get your cards. I'll try not to hold a grudge against all of you "on the ball" people.

Anyone else behind? (I don't want to hear from you if you've already sent them out. That would definitely turn me into Scrooge.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have you ever forgotten...?


See I was caught off-guard today. I had a hair appt scheduled while John was at school. About an hour before the appt, they called and asked if I could move it to 2. Um, no--that's nap time. How about 1:15? Suuuuurrre.

So I...
1. called Mema to have her meet me at school to pick John up (so he wouldn't flip when I wasn't there).
2. Prayed he would go happily with her. Yeah, I'm sure prayers weren't needed--he hopped in the car and said "Bye, Mommy!"
3. Realized when I put him in her car that he only had the diapers in his backpack. That should be 2, if he didn't have a surprise #2 while at school. Luckily, he hadn't and there were 2 diapers.
4. Vowed to run back home after the appt to get diapers.

5. After appt, I completely forgot the necessity for diapers in my rush to get to Mema's to put John down for a nap (it was 2:10).
6. After changing John's diaper, I put him down at the GP's house because we were going to eat with them. Note: this means 1 diaper left.
7. After dinner, John got a bath and I used the last diaper.
8. No prob, or so I thought--we were going home shortly.

Remember the #2 he didn't have at school? Yeah, it happened. No diaper. It was glue-poo, the kind you can't not clean up because it will leave a hefty rash (especially after the fruit he devoured at lunch).

So, clever Mema and Kacky decided we would use pins and a dish towel (no one seemed to have cloth diapers laying around, but somehow found 2 diaper pins). I left the mess of toys, got everything together, and got home as quickly as possible.

Just in time, because he was in the process of drenching the make-shift diaper. I so wanted a picture, but he was about to drench his pants as well, so I had to quickly change him.

Anybody else ever forgotten something and brought about a similar, panicky situation? The last time I felt so Mommy-incompetent was when we went to the Vandy/Bama B-ball game in 2007, and I brought a bottle, pumped in the car, and noticed I had forgotten a bottle-nipple.

Today's grade in Mommyology: F

Monday, December 1, 2008

Roll Tide!

After the domination at Bryant-Denny Stadium this past Saturday, I just have to tell you all how close we are to one of the greatest Bama traditions... Big Al. He and John party all the time. See the picture below-this is after they got "high" on Dippin Dots.

Yes, this is from a game we went to in September, BB or Before Blog--I would not let my child wear shorts in this freezing cold weather! And yes, I am excited about being able to hold up 7 fingers instead of Auburn (this is their 7th loss of the season instead of them beating us for the 7th year). And yes, that is the lame excuse I'm using to post one of my favorite pictures.

Shout out to my boys.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Tis the Season

Seeing Santa is a wonderful tradition, and everyone seems to do that--as evidenced by the lines at every mall and store that Santa frequents. But it's kinda like a bowl-game. It takes a lot of building up.

Check out the following vocabulary to help explain the rules of visiting Santa:

Football = child who must visit Santa*
End Zone = Santa's lap
Runningbacks = parental units who overcome great adversity while attempting to carry and deposit the ball into the End Zone
TouchDown = a successful visit with the man in the red suit
Coach = the photographer, who consistently yells commands, demanding the football's attention, while simultaneously yelling commands to the Tackles
Tackle = photographer's assistant, whose job it is to get the football's attention, and also tackle said child before he runs into the crowded mall, screaming and crying better than a victim in a horror flick

Do you need a quiz? Or are you comfortable enough with the terminology to proceed with the full explanation? If needed, consult the above glossary at any time during the explanation.
*Note: many Runningbacks play with multiple Footballs; however, the below demonstration only includes one football. Be creative in adjusting the following prep-steps for your personal needs.

Preparation includes a lot of talking and analyzing (well, a 2-year-old doesn't really understand X's and O's on the blackboard, but he can read stories to help him better understand).

Watching videos of successful games is very helpful.

And lastly, a key prep for the big game is getting into the other team's head. You have to think like they think. What will their reactions be? What is their default move? And so we practiced with John, encouraging him not only to say what Santa says, but also to assume the jolly, low tone of voice.
All of this to prevent a screaming child running away from the camera, the parents, and most especially the man in the red suit. It helps if Santa is enticing the child with said child's most precious lovey (a.k.a. BeBe). Hey, it's not a foul, or even a recruiting violation. The MSVA (Mall Santa Visitation Association) has no rules against such behavior.

Finally, a win. The end result is worth all of the preparation.

Note: prior wins, especially a single win, do not guarantee future wins. It is essential to continue training and preparation for the full football season (mid-November through Christmas).

I hope the above ideas help all of you other Runningbacks in your quest for a Touchdown. Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sucked in

Any one else struggle with addiction? And I'm not necessarily talking about drugs and alcohol. Addictions can range from buying a new pair of shoes every other week to eating chocolate everyday to... a good book. Oh yes, I am here to stand up and say, "My name is Alli, and I'm addicted to the Twilight series."

But, I can't go any further in the "steps." Call it denial, call it whatever you want, but I completely blame my friend Meredith for my problems. If not for her, I would not have been up past midnight last night. And I would not have stayed in bed until (gasp) 10:45 this morning. If you don't want to be temporarily stricken with laziness, then DO NOT READ START THIS SERIES. I'm not sure if it's the fun of going back to the high school days, or if it's related to my fear/fascination with vampire stories, but this read is gooooooooood. Now, how am I gonna convince Rob to take me to the movie? Meredith, want to go again?

PS- In honor of President Bush's recent pardons, I am going to pardon Meredith for any part she had in my addiction. I will also place part of the blame on my friend, Katelyn, who had told me how good the series was long ago. And lastly, Sam's deserves to be blamed for having the first book on sale for $4.88. Thank you Meredith, Katelyn, and Sam's for a nice diversion.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Jesus....

Rob usually says prayers with John when he's home. But when he's out of town, it's my job. So, after reading The Little Red Caboose (twice), this is how it went down:
A: So, who do you want to pray for tonight?
J: Daddy
A: Who else?
J: Mommy
A: Ok, let's pray. Clasp your hands... Dear Jesus
J: Dear Jsss
A: Thank you for Daddy
J: Danke Daddy
A: Keep him safe.
J: Safe
A: Thank you for Mommy
J: Danke Mommy

And here is where I paused, to see what would happen. I've never done this before, but maybe I should have because John continued on his own!

J: Danke Mema
Danke Biddy
Danke Kacky
Danke hut-two-tree!

Haha! I just about rolled in the floor. But instead, I prompted our ending "I love you Jesus, Amen." And he copied me.

I know this requires an explanation. See, we ate dinner at my grandparents' tonight. At one point, John marched around the house, after recruiting Mema and Kacky to join his ranks. This is a scene from Jungle Book that we replay all the time--at home, in Wal-mart, and even in the library. John becomes Colonel Hathi, who yells "Hup-Two-Three-Four" and then later "Haaaaaalt!!!" And the recruits are always expected to march along, singing "hup-2-3-4" until... John yells "Halt" and everyone crashes into one another.

We should all be thankful for the little things, for the fun times. So, tonight, thank you Jesus for "hup-two-three," thank you for little ones' imaginations, and thank you for endless entertainment. Amen.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Caught in the Act

Have you ever gone to the fridge to get the quintessential ingredient for a cheeseburger (that would be cheese, for those who may not be fans...) to find that there is none? But you knew there should be some there. You just bought some recently. But... none.

Crime: Cheese theft

Alleged criminal: John Robert DeArman

Evidence (as entered to the Family Court):

Ruling of the Jury: Not guilty (gasp) since criminal intended to cook for the rest of the family.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween all summed up

This is going to be a long one. I'm including everything we've done all week, from the Pumpkin Patch to fall festivals (we visited 3) to Halloween night, so there will be lots of pics.

Sunday night (26th), we went to the Crosspoint fall festival. This is the church we've visited for 2 weeks now. They put on a fabulous show, complete with praise band, lots of food, lots of games, and 4 or 5 inflatable for ages 5 and under (there were more for the bigger kids in a different location). Here's a shot of my big kid and little kid going through one of the bouncies:

Monday, Rob took off so we could take a trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Time ran away from us, and the month was almost over, but I refused to miss this tradition that we started last year. Rob was overloaded with vacation anyway, and I love to force relaxation on him :) We went to Hayden, and it turns out that almost everything is free for 2 and under. So, we did it all. First, we visited the petting zoo and then let John ride a pony (because he wouldn't let us do anything else). Then, we took a hayride out to the patch, where John picked out his own personal pumpkin in addition to our big one. Then, John got to bounce in the inflatables for a while (yes, he loves to bounce). Then, the ponies again, and finally a choo-choo ride. Whew! we were all tired after that busy day.

John loves horses, and I wish we had a ranch so he could ride and be around them more often! Maybe lessons are in his future :)

John loves bouncies. He also loves for his parents to enjoy the bouncies. He'll do it alone, but it's much more fun when we slide too. (Obviously, we don't enjoy it at all.)

Wednesday night, we were heading out to get a treat, and we spotted another festival. It was cold, and I felt under the weather, so the camera and I stayed home while Rob took John. I did get 1 snap of John's Roll Tide face-paint. Not sure whether this was Rob's idea or John's. Probably a bit of both.

Just in case anyone thinks it's mooching to hit up a random festival... in our defense, we did try out this church one Sunday. And it's a block from our condo. Yeah, I know those are weak excuses.
Thursday, John had a "Book Character Dress-up" party at his school, Noah's Park. In this pic, John is pretending to enjoy the party food with his fellow "book characters," while they are really waiting for the cupcakes. He had a special "first"-experience while at the party, but that is for another blog, since this one is getting rather long.
Friday night, I took John next door for Trick-or-Treating, and then he went to DeDe's neighborhood with his Daddy (while Mommy got a night out--heehee!). From what I've heard, my child welcomed himself into every house he stopped at. I guess I need to work on manners!

Superman (a.k.a. John) and Batman (a.k.a. Matthew) sized one another up. Superman accepted Batman as a fellow superhero, but Batman wasn't so sure the duo could ever fight crime together. Yes, I know there is a snake in the picture (it went Trick-or-Treating with John). I'm not really sure why John is obsessed with snakes. Here, he seems to like them. But, we actually have to skip the Creation story in his Bible because he flips out over the snake, afraid he will bite Adam and Eve. I want to explain that the damage the snake did is worse than a snake-bite, but I think that's a bit over his head.

Here he is peeking in one of the doors. Those manners! Where is his Mama and what is she teaching him? I'm sure he was thinking, "If no one is home, then let's get on to the next candy-giver!" Not that he really cares about it, because he's only eaten a couple of nerds and half of a Reese's cup. So... Rob and I are getting fat!

Finally, Saturday, I took John to yet another festival at Springville Road Church (DeDe's and Pop's church). Here, he enjoyed more popcorn, and more bouncies. We didn't find out until almost the end that there was a little toddler room inside the church for little-people games.

John didn't stick around long, but he took time to share some Smarties with Aiden Johnson. By this, I mean he "took" the Smarties from Aiden, who was nice enough to share. Again, MANNERS! At least Heather taught her son to share.

Before we left the little room, he took a few seconds to milk a cow. Where did my child learn that?!?

Even though there was a lot of other entertainment at the festival, John's favorite thing was the jungle gym that is there year-round. Who says it's expensive to entertain a child? Give him something to climb and hang from, and he's happy.
Whew! Thanks for hanging in there for the super-long post. But, hey, this was more efficient than 4 different posts!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So, you've heard of the Naked Cowboy...

...But you didn't know he was so young.

John will kill me for this post one day, but I couldn't resist. Not many guys would consider horseback-riding naked.

In an effort to redeem myself in the eyes of my son, I will now show you what I came home to today. Upon entering the condo, I could hear Rob and John but could not find them. I came into our bedroom, and this is what I saw:

My boys have always built forts, but they are usually in the living room on the couch. Now, it looks like I will have to straighten the bed as well as the sofa cushions. Oh well, I guess it's worth building John's imagination. The things we sacrifice for our children :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Applause, please!!!!!

I have finally stepped into the 21st century and joined all you bloggers out there. So add me to your blog list and check back for updates. I can't promise that I will be a pro--like some of you who post every other day. And I can't promise extreme sarcasm, bouts of humor, or a suspenseful plot loaded with twists--if that's what you need, check out your local TV listing for some shows suited to you. This is just the DeArman updates--probably lots of stuff about John, and a little about Rob and me.

FYI: my tech skills are so bad that I can't even list them on a resume (e.g. when I complain of computer glitches to Rob or my brother, the first thing they say is "have you restarted the thing?" Yeah, it's bad). So bear with me as I embark on this journey into cyberspace. I'm just about as scared as if I were walking across a rickety bridge suspended 500 feet in the air above a boiling lake of lava. So... as this is titled, how about some confidence-boosting applause, people?