Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Finished Stocking!

When I was a kid, my Christmas stocking was handmade for me by my grandmother (on my dad's side). I still have it and it's a great family heirloom. When Emily was a baby, I decided that I wanted to make her a stocking. I can't knit or crochet, but I can cross stitch.

This stocking has been a long project - it's taken me probably three years to finish it. I actually started it once but had miscounted, so I had to get another kit and start from the beginning.

I had been stitching a lot because I had wanted to finish it before this past Christmas, but I didn't get it done. So I put finishing the 'sock', as Emily calls it, as one of my big goals for this year.

A week or so ago I finished all the stitching, but I left it for a while because I was afraid of cutting it out. I was really afraid I was going to mess something up after all the year's of work I put in. Finishing up was actually easier than I though and I finished it all on Tuesday night.

Emily was very happy with how her stocking turned out and wanted me to hang it up in her room. I'm proud that I was able to finish it and give Emily her own family heirloom to enjoy for years to come. Now she can stop using her 'Baby's First Christmas' stocking!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


We had a busy Easter weekend but it was a good holiday for us. On Saturday evening, we colored eggs. We didn't make a ton of them because we don't eat hard boiled eggs that much. But Emily likes it so I wanted to do some.

Todd's cousin had given us a no mess egg dying kit. It was a little messy, in part because I didn't drain enough water out of it. Emily just plopped the eggs in, and then I took them out. It wasn't as fun because you really couldn't do more than one color on an egg.

The next morning, Emily woke up a little after six am. I had been awake for a while because I had been listening for her. I wanted to stop her from going into the living room without me because I wanted to tape her reaction of seeing her basket.

We went a little overboard this year with stuff for the basket. We generally give more presents and less candy because a sugared up Emily is not a good thing. She had really wanted a Doc McStuffins lab coat for a long time so that was the big thing I got her. Todd ended up picking up some Infinity figures. He thought she'd ignore the lab coat, but she's played with it every day since Sunday.

After she found all the goodies in her basket it was time to go to church. I love Easter services - lots of singing and it's very festive. My favorite part comes at the end where everyone is invited to join the church in singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Once we were done with church, we headed out to drive to GA. My aunt and uncle live outside of Atlanta and we often go there for holidays because my cousins all have kids, some around Emily's age. It was nice to see relatives and everyone remarked on how skinnier Todd looks - one of my cousin's wives didn't even recognize him at first!

We had a great meal and Emily had fun playing with her cousins. We were on the road longer than we were at my aunt and uncle's house, but it was worth it to see family for the holiday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Week Services

Easter 2011
Holy Week is a big deal in the Lutheran church. We do extra services throughout the week to mark the different parts of Jesus' Passion at my church.

On Thursday we had a Maundy Thursday service that had a worship meal. Emily and I went and we sat for supper with Emily's best friend from school and her family. The meal was really good and it was nice to have some fellowship time. We did communion with the bread before dinner and the wine after, just like Jesus did on that day all those years ago.

The service was nice, but it was really hard for Emily and her friend to stay completely silent since they are five (at least Emily is). By the end, Emily's friend's mom offered to take the girls out. They are generally quiet in church but when they are together they tend to get a little loud.

Todd had yesterday off from work, and let me go to church by myself for Good Friday service. There were a few kids there, but mostly adults because it's another 'be completely silent' kind of service. Good Friday is always a really intense service for me - to think that Jesus went through that pain and agony of dying on the cross to save us from sin can be really overwhelming.

I admit that I got very teary-eyed from the beginning. I felt the presence of God very strongly through the service so it was very powerful for me. But I think that Emily would have been either completely overwhelmed or just really bored.

Our church has done an Easter Vigil service on Easter Saturday before but not this year. So we just have Easter Sunday service tomorrow. It is will be a lovely finish to Holy Week.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Want Vs. Need - The Frozen Conundrum

Emily and her own "Olaf"
As you may have noticed, I love Disney. Disney World, Disney movies, Disney music. Because of my love affair with all things Disney, we went to see Frozen in the theater. I actually saw it twice because Emily and I went to the Frozen sing-along too.

The DVD came out the day before my birthday so I got it as a birthday present to myself. Emily and I have seen it about a dozen times since then. But we have no Frozen toys, clothes or other merchandise in part because of the scarcity and in part because my kid has too many toys to begin with.

Emily is an only child, and I know we spoil her. But we try to keep the spoiling to a minimum. She's no Veruca Salt and doesn't get everything she wants. So there is no way I would be willing to spend even a $100 on the hard to get Frozen stuff.

Nobody's kid NEEDS an Elsa dress. They may want it, but when faced with the choice of no Elsa dress or having to pay tons of money for one the choice should be easy. But apparently parents are trying to get their kids the dresses, no matter what the cost.

Yes, Disney dropped the ball with Frozen merchandise, but I'm sure they are already ramping up production. And as soon as September hits and the Halloween stuff starts coming out, there will be a ton of Frozen costumes to buy.

I did ask Emily what she wanted to be for Halloween. I thought she'd say Anna, Elsa or possibly Sailor Moon. But she said that she wanted to be a pirate! That we can do but she'll probably change her mind before October.

The world isn't fair so while it's hard to not give my kid what she wants she needs to learn that the world isn't fair and you don't always get what you want. I wonder how those kids whose parents are stressing so much to get them Frozen stuff will turn out in the end.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Palm Sunday and Family Time

 After our busy day on Saturday, it would have been nice just to relax on Sunday. But that didn't happen since I was up early on Sunday to get ready for church.

We are Lutheran and Holy Week is a big deal in our church. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday and my choir was singing at the early service.

Everyone got to process in with their palms at the beginning of the service - Emily was very excited to wave her palm. Because Todd came to church, I got to sit with the choir which was nice.

After church, we left right away. Todd's Aunt Denise lives outside of Charlotte. Todd's cousin Mandy, her husband and daughter were down visiting. Since it's only a couple of hours drive, we wanted to make sure to see them while they were in NC.

It was great to spend time with family and to meet Kenzie who is now a toddler. Living in NC is great but we don't see a lot of our family because we haven't been able to get to Michigan for a couple of years now.

Emily and Kenzie played great together despite the age difference. While Kenzie was napping, I took Emily to the neighborhood park was only a few blocks away. They have the standard playground equipment including a merry go round, which none of the parks we frequent have. So Emily loves the merry go round.

I made the mistake of letting Emily push me on the merry go round. I hadn't bee on one in years and once I got off I had a migraine. Beyond that, we had a great time.

I ended up in bed as soon as we got home. With as full as our weekend was, I really over did it. But it was worth it to see family and have family time with just me, Todd and Emily.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Egg Hunt of DOOM!

I like taking Emily to the free activities around town that pop up around the holidays.  We did several for Halloween and a couple for Christmas. Now that it's Easter, I wanted to take her to the egg hunt at Carrier Park in Asheville.

It has been quite a few years since we got to go to this particular event and I didn't realize what a mob scene it was going to be. The shindig started at 2 but I didn't get out of work until 1:30. Since the park is in Asheville we didn't get there until about 3 pm.

We had a hard time finding a parking spot and ended up parking about a mile away. I had my phone with me so I turned it on my Runkeeper app. It was .93 miles from our car to the park. The walk there wasn't too bad, especially because Emily was excited.

She had a great time while we were there. She got to meet the Easter Bunny and the Bojangles Chicken. She got to play in some bounce houses as well. It was really warm on Saturday and they ran out of drinks, so by the time 4 pm rolled around and it was time for the egg hunt itself, Emily was pooped.

She did do the hunt and got 4 eggs. The nice thing was that they also gave each of the kid's a goodie bag as they left. So even if your kid didn't a ton of eggs (or any), they would get something.

Then came the Doom part of the day - the walk back to the car. It was tiring for me and Todd, but you would have thought we were killing Emily. We had told her that we weren't going to carry her back and she said she'd walk. And she did walk back the whole way.

Afterwards, we were hot, tired and sweaty. So we went to get ice cream at our favorite ice cream place, The Hop. It was super busy there too but soon we had our ice cream and got to relax for a bit.

Both Todd and I decided that we weren't going to do that particular egg hunt again. There just isn't enough parking to handle the crowds.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

After the horrible winter we had, I am very glad that spring has finally arrived to my part of NC. The weather has been nice enough that we can go outside and enjoy our yard again.

Yesterday, Emily rode her bike around the neighborhood while I walked with her. Then she played on her swing set for a while I soaked up the sunshine.

Today we'll be going to Carrier Park in Asheville to take part in the Easter Eggstravaganza - Emily is really looking forward to it. And thankfully the weather will be beautiful out.

Spring isn't my favorite season - my seasonal allergies get really bad in the spring. But after the long, cold winter it's a welcome change.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Problem With WrestleMania

I've been a wrestling fan since I saw my first PPV event. It was August 2001 and it was Summerslam. My new roommates were big wrestling fans so I went to the bar to watch the show with them. I was hooked.

On my 2nd date with Todd, we went to a WWE house show. It also happened to be our first Valentine's day. Todd loves wrestling so we've attended many live shows over the years including WrestleMania when it was in Atlanta a few years ago.

Because Todd works 2nd shift, I don't usually watch Raw. He tapes it and watches it later, but I usually don't follow it too much. It's pretty easy to get back into it. Todd calls WWE a male soap opera which it totally is. And yes, we know it's scripted - but it's still fun to watch.

Last night, Todd opted to sign up for the WWE Network. He had been hemming and hawing about it for weeks even though I told him it was just $10 and just do it. I knew he'd love to watch all the programming that it has to offer because we still have old VHS tapes of old PPV's around the house. Now all of those are available to stream on our Roku.

Because he signed up for it, we were able to watch WrestleMania last night. The main problem with WrestleMania is that it's always, always over hyped and it never lives up to that hype. WWE has become rather predictable and I think that is what lead to the travesty last night.

The PPV was ok in the beginning. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H was a great match as was the Battle Royal. The John Cena / Bray Wyat match was really boring but that happens. Finally we got to the Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. There was one constant in the WWE and that was the Undertaker's streak of being undefeated at WrestleMania.

The last few years, Undertaker has only wrestled at WrestleMania and he was looking rough last night. But they should have let him win one more time and then had him retire for good. Instead, they let the streak end and let it end by a man who left WWE in order to try and be a NFL player. Brock Lesner came crawling back to the WWE in the end after he failed at that.

So the streak has ended and I'm sure I'm not the only fan who is unhappy with that decision. I know they were trying to stir things up but this was the wrong way to do it. And still, WrestleMania is still over hyped and under delivered. John Cena didn't show his dark side and from what I've read, Daniel Bryan won in the main event.

We'll still watch WWE PPVs, but WrestleMania will never be my favorite.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sleep Paralysis

I've suffered from sleep paralysis since I was a little kid and it's awful. It's generally considered disrupted REM sleep, but it's like being caught in a dream and not being able to escape.

I can go years without having an incident but last night I did. I was in the middle of a dream and suddenly I was aware but couldn't move. I felt like screaming but I couldn't do that or even move. It only last a minute and I was finally given back control of my body.

I'm always really sleepy when I finally shake off the paralysis but I should know not to because it always happens again right away. It did last night but it always doesn't last as long as the first time. But then I have to get up and do something for a few minutes to wake up enough to not slip into the sleep paralysis.

Because I've dealt with this since I was a kid, I'm terrified of being actually paralyzed. When I had my c-section with Emily, I was numbed from the waist down. I nearly had a panic attack because I couldn't move. I felt so relieved when I got feeling back.

I'm feeling a bit groggy today because of it. But I'm feeling very lucky that it was just sleep paralysis and not something worse.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Problem With April 1st

I've never been a fan of April Fools Day. I don't like pranks because they can become cruel. I generally just lay low and wait for April 2nd to roll around.

The internet has put a spin on this holiday though. Some things, like today's Google Maps Pokemon Hunt is cute and fun. But the spoof news bits have kind of gotten out of control.

The rumor that Netflix is going to make new episodes of Firefly is making the rounds again. It's hard to believe anything that is announced today. Some of them are easy to spot, but others aren't. It gets annoying after a while.

It can also be hard on people - for instance some people will post that they are pregnant but just be joking. I've not had losses or infertility issues but people I'm close to have and I know it hurts them a lot.

I might be a scrooge but I'm just not into it. I'll be happier when it's tomorrow.