Friday, January 30, 2009

super sniffer

I have a superpower. Every time I am pregnant I develop an extraordinary good sense of smell. I have no idea why this happens, but there is no escaping my super sniffer. For instance, if someone is eating peppers within a five mile radius, I know it. My kids are no longer able to sneak treats in the kitchen; even if I am in the attic with the door closed not only can I smell them in the kitchen, I can tell you exactly what they are into. So stinkers beware! If you have any odors you are trying to hide make sure you stay a good distance from me.
And if you happened to skip a shower or two, for mercy's sake, my stomache is still delicate so unless you want to get bowled over as I make a mad dash for the porcelin god, keep away!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the name game

With the new baby on the way the boys have already been discussing what to name her- I say her because they are convinced she is a girl -we don't have any proof yet. Samuel was set on Obi Wan Traverso until I painstakingly convinced him that Obi Wan was NOT a girls name. ("What about Obi Wan with the long hair down?" James confusedly asked. "No, not even then!") So then we ran the gammut of Star Wars girls characters and the boys, with John egging them on, came up with Asouka Tanno Ratto Traverso, compliments of Star Wars the Clone Wars.
Shoot me now!
Anyhow, I am not really sure the boys (all three of them) should have any say in the matter of naming the baby. After all, when presented with the opportunity to name their stuffed animals, Samuel came up with Marty Stripes and Marty Zebra for his zebras and Aaron the Elephant (Aaron pronounced AA-Rin); while James came up with the stunningly clever Lamby the Sheep and Lamby the Lamby for his Lambs and for his new dragon webkinz, what else but Dragon the Dragon! Not to mention that Samuel was lovingly referred to as Bagel in-utero while James was auspiciously called Wookie. Both courtesy of John.
I think if it is up to them we will end up naming our new arrival Baby the Baby or Girl the Girl.
Maybe I should invest in a Baby Names book.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

new lingo

We finally broke down and bought James a webkinz this weekend. He is so excited I don't think he has stopped smiling for two days. Due to the webkinz the kids have developed a new lingo. Just before dinner tonight Sam announced, "Mom, I am so hungry I am down to a 72." (Referring of course to the hunger meter on the webkinz website) James chimed in, "Well, I'm a five!" I laughed and fed them dinner. As they were washing their hands James said, "Now I am 100." Samuel nodded in agreement, asking if we could play with the webkinz online...again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

banana bread and froot loops

Oh, the joys of pregnancy! Like many moms-to-be I have morning sickness for the first 16 weeks or so. This time around my doc prescribed this amazing anti-nausea pill that does a great job of quelling most of the sickness. However, the baby is already picky (definitely a member of our family) and food which is ok to eat one day is not any good the next- with two notable exceptions: banana bread and froot loops (without milk of course). So if you stop by our house, we may not have real food to offer but there will be no shortage of banana bread and froot loops...if I feel inclined to share.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

what our children see

I have spent the morning following the media circus of the inauguration today. It annoys me how sensationalized the news has become over the years- almost like they are trying to become the next hot reality tv show. Anyway, FINALLY we got to the heart of the purpose of all this craziness, the actual oath of office and speech by President Obama. I have not been a big fan of his and have been waiting to be impressed since he first stepped onto the political scene. Today, in his speech I finally saw someone worth respecting and though incredibly idealistic (how in the world does he expect to make that many changes in 4 years, let alone an entire lifetime???), someone worth believing. I only pray that he carries through with his goals and holds the government to the ideals he so strongly laid out today.

What affected me most during his speech was the potential his presidency has to effect the lives of my children and children all over the world. Last night we sat down with the boys and talked about Martin Luther King Jr. We read his "I have a dream" speech and explained what Dr. King was trying to accomplish. Samuel could hardly believe the unfairness with which black people in America were treated. His expression was shock when we related the speech to Barak Obama and told him that Obama would be the first black president of our country. I love that he could not believe it! I want my kids to grow up understanding that everyone should be treated with respect and given the same opportunities. That Samuel never felt differently makes me very happy. (I have to think that this is a credit to our Philadelphia ward that is so racially diverse with amazing people who are appreciated for who they are not what they look like.)

I look forward to a society where the color of our skin really makes no difference, not just in the eyes of our children.

Friday, January 16, 2009

water troubles

So, there is sort of a learning curve you go through with a new house: what weird noises does it make, where do we set the thermostat, how well does the dishwasher work, how many leaves can be in the gutters before you can clean them, etc. Well, we are still trying to figure out this house and we just came up with a doosy of a problem.
For the month of December we apparently used 11,600 gallons of water- which is impressive considering we were gone for two weeks of that time. If the figure seems astronomically high to you, don't worry. Now you understand how we feel. The question is, where is the water going? We don't see any water damage and we don't hear any water running. ???????
Has anyone ever had a similar situation? We are now paying about $60 more a month for water (more than double what we should be paying) and we have no idea what is going on. Are there any plumbing experts out there who have come across this sort of thing before. It is driving us crazy trying to figure out this new house idiocyncracy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

webkinz crazy

I know Erin K. already posted about this topic but I wanted to add my two cents. We got Sam a webkinz elephant for Christmas and the entire family has become completely enthralled by the whole deal. John and I have been spending the last couple of evenings playing the games on so Samuel could build more rooms and decorate, feed and clothe his webkin. In fact, I am embarrased to say, I spent most of the day on the website just for the fun of it. While Sam was at school James wanted his turn to play the games and feed the webkin--now we know what to get him for his birthday. Just when I thought I wasted enough time on the computer, I found this new way to throw away an entire day.

I think I need some professional help! Is there such things as Webkinz Anonymous?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


This morning Samuel asked me if the baby could smell already. I laughed because the question was so sweet- he is so excited and curious about the baby- and told him I wasn't sure. He looked at me exasperated and said, "Mom! You should know these things!"

too relaxing?

I think our vacation to Utah must have been too relaxing. Want proof? Check this out!

This is James sleeping through Theo's blessing and the accompanying party.

Theo was so tired, he knocked his daddy out too!

Now how can that be comfortable??? Can you tell that Sam is sleeping on John's head?! I came in for bed one night after a long day of running around with cousins and this is what I found. Now where am I supposed to sleep?

And last but not least, while we were at the playground one day, relaxing, I found the best location for our next family portrait. Isn't this beautiful?!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

travelocity trauma

We arrived back in Philly last night to a miserable drizzle. For the most part we were lucky with our vacation travel. There was very little delay on any of our flights, we just had one small snag. We booked our tickets with Travelocity back in August or September. They, for some unknown reason, changed our return flight from a one-stop layover in Chcago to a direct flight. I called to clarify that everything was ok with the ticket because the information they sent me was a little confusing but I was assured that everything was fine and we would have no difficulties.
Fast forward to about 9:00pm on Monday Jan 5. I am online trying to check in and pay for baggage so that we don't have to wait as long in line at the airport the next morning. The website won't allow me to check in so I call United -the airline we are supposed to be flying. They let me know that the tickets are actually for their partner, US Airways and that I need to get seat confirmations from the airline before I can check in online.
So I call US Air. It takes me 20 minutes to get to an actual person instead of the obnoxious electronic voice operated system. When I finally do get an actual human being they tell me that the ticket needs to be officially transferred from United to US Air. They give me a new confirmation number, and seat confirmations then send me back to United.
At this point I am getting a little annoyed. I have been on the phone for somewhere between 30-40 minutes and I still have no idea what is going on!
When I finally get in touch with United, again, after taking some time to consult with their supervisor, they say that it is actually a website difficulty and transfer me to the United website technical support. Finally at technical support I get an intelligent and compassionate individual who can tell I am ready to lose it. He suggests that he calls US Airlines for me using 3 way calling so that I can have his help resolving the matter. Finally I get some sort of an answer. The woman at US Air informs me that because the ticket was changed, we can not check in online. Ok, that was all I needed to know. The guy from United keeps me on the phone for another 20 minutes trying to confirm that everything is ok. At which point he tells me he is going to call Travelocity to double check everything and then call me back. I am grateful for the help and more than ecstatic to be off the phone. He never calls back.
Tuesday morning we wake up bright and early to finish packing and load into the car to make the two hour drive to Las Vegas in order to have plenty of time to check in and make it through security at the mammoth sized Vegas airport. As we leave my parents house I get a call from Travelocity. Apparently there is a problem with our tickets. I spend about 20 minutes on the phone with a guy who's indian accent is so thick I can barely understand him. I tell him we are planning on the flight we are scheduled for and tht we have seat confirmation. he spouts something about needing to confirm with the airline - at which point, we drive into a dead zone and I lose the call. I don't get back in touch with him and am praying as we arrive at the airport that we are actually going to be able to fly home.
At the checkout counter the clerk is as confused be the whole mess as I am. She calls her supervisor and the check in process we had hoped to speed through takes about 30 minutes. Eventually she simply reissues the tickets, shakes her head over Travelocity stupidity, and sends us on our way. With yet one more little snag- she did not put us in seats together. Our new seat assignments are in four different rows. Anyone who knows James knows that this is not going to fly. He would scream the entire time if he had to sit next to strangers. So we race through security to the counter at our gate to see if we can change our seat assignments. The woman rather rudely interrupts me trying to explain the situation and says to sit and wait and she will see what she can do.
Luckily, it all worked out and John ended up sitting with the boys with me in a row behind.

This morning when I check my email, there is an email from Travelocity informing me there is a problem with our tickets. The email was sent at 11:00am on Tuesday the 6th. Less than an hour before our scheduled flight.

Needless to say we are happy to be home and will not be using Travelocity in the future. Ugh!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

new year brings change

Most people make new years' resolutions come January 1. This year I was so overwhelmed by changes that are coming despite any resolutions I chose to make that I decided to take the easy road and just skip the resolutions altogether.

So here is a list of the changes that I am looking forward to this year:
--Samuel finishing kindergarten and starting 1st grade
--James starting preschool
--Lots of visits with Lisa and Tracy in VA
--Jared and Steph coming to visit in August
--The arrival of our new baby. Yep, we are actually crazy enough to do this again!