Friday, January 29, 2010

Dreaming of Disney



Let me start by saying that the kids have inherited my old camera and as a result, they have taken hundreds of pictures of each other and our house. 75% of the photos involve Legos. It's fun to see the world from their perspective, but frankly, I lose interest after about the 8th Lego photo.

In any case, I included the above photo in this posting because a) it contains Legos and b) I thought it was cute to see my son's hair sticking up/out.

But wait? Isn't this post about Disney?

Well yes it is.

Back story: My 6 year old loves Legos. He has been wanting a specific Lego Star Wars item that is currently out of stock so he was hoping to get it for his birthday (since he didn't get it for Christmas). As luck (or planning) would have it, he will be in Disney for his birthday. You would think this would make for one super-duper excited little boy. But instead, he told me, "Mom, it is the worstest thing you could do to take me to Disney on my birthday! Now I won't be able to get my Lego Star Wars!!!"

OK, SERIOUSLY????? Oh yes, he was serious. There is something definitely wrong with that kid.

But then I told him that there is a Lego store at Downtown Disney and after I described it (there is life-sized Lego dragon in the lagoon outside of the store), he remembered it. Well now he is delighted to be going not only to Disney, but also to the Lego store. A BIG Lego store (as the one close to us is quite small in comparison). He keeps asking me to call the store to see if they stock the item he wants. He keeps asking, "How BIG is the store? Are you SURE they will have Lego Star Wars, mom?"

Then he asked if I could show him a map of Disney (on the computer). He wanted to see where we were staying and also wanted to see the Lego store. He wanted to know if he could walk from the hotel to the store and was frustrated that he could not zoom in on the map enough to figure out his walking route.

Even though his birthday falls towards the end of our trip, I think we are going to have to visit the Lego store sooner rather than later in an effort to preserve our sanity.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bad Blogger/Best Blogs

I have been doing a very poor job of blogging. I've paid little attention to this blog and have completely ignored my photo-a-day project. I just find January so . . . . uninspiring. Perhaps I will have renewed enthusiasm in February?

Anyway, my sister is coming to visit this weekend so hopefully I'll have some pics of the kids/cousins to post. Little Mis-tah is no where near crawling (apparently he is uninspired as well) so I'm hoping that he gets the idea once he sees his cousin, Maeve, motoring around on her hands and knees.

In the meantime, Part III of my favorite blogs.

I have never met David but I think of him often and pray for him when I think of him. I started reading his blog when I read that he needed prayer for a brain tumor. I started reading his story and WOW, the guy is amazing, inspiring, introspective, persistent, gracious . . . I could go on and on and on. His is an amazing story of being in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time. If you wanna read about him, start with the amazing story link and then move through the blog from there.

I know, another photography blog. I wasn't kidding when I said I was a blog stalker. Kelley takes the most beautiful newborn photos. Looking at the pictures is like a little slice of heaven. I think part of the reason I like this blog so much is because visiting it is like going to Fantasy Land. For me, taking care of a newborn is like spending 6-8 weeks in my own personal hell. Visiting this blog helps me to remember (as well as one who is sleep deprived can recall) that there are a few fleeting moments of peace and joy when you are taking care of an infant.

The authors of this blog are sisters who live, you guessed it, 300 miles apart. They each take a photo (daily by 10AM) and then post the photos side by side on the blog. It's interesting to see how the photos compliment each other and it's fun to read the comments (often left by the photographers offering a back-story on the photos.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Walt Disney World, Here We Come!

Yippee!! The Langans are headed to Disney World! We had TONS of fun the last time we visited so we can't wait to go back! We still have a while to wait (summer) but anticipation is half the fun!

Disney World, May 2008

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hats for Haiti

The kids' school is sponsoring a fundraiser today: wear a hat all day at school and pay $1, towards Haiti, for the privilege of wearing the hat.

Of course my oldest, the fashionista, has her outfit coordinated with her hat.

And of course the drama queen is refusing to wear a hat (although she is still taking her $1 to school). In this photo she is trying to keep my husband (who is home sick today, stomach bug) from putting the hat on her head.
Note: new glasses for the drama queen. Didn't get a chance to blog about them earlier.





Friday, January 15, 2010

Caught Red-Handed


Apparently someone forgot to put away the markers. As you may remember, 4 year olds are not allowed to have access to markers in our house.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Favorite Blogs, Part II

Freckle PhotoBlog
This is one of my very favorite blogs! Not only do I love her photography style but I feel like I relate to her because she also has a houseful of kids (4) and she's a teacher (as I used to be). I enjoy seeing her work as much as I enjoy seeing photos of her family.

The author of this blog is also author of a book by the same title. Her message (both blog and book) is about "giving our kids the freedom we had without going nuts with worry". Good stuff.

Oh, let me count the ways I love this blog! It all started with the photographs; they are magnetic. But my love affair with this blog has grown to include the back-story that Jasmine sets-up with each posting. And then there's the ultra-hip, ultra-trendy look to her blog which is unlike any I've seen. And of course, there is Jasmine herself, the driving-force behind all of the above. You feel like you know her just by following her blog. And as far as I can tell, we'd be friends if we knew each other in person. Another one of my very favorite blogs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ahoy, Matey!

My 4 year old took the hook attachment to my mixer and was using it to play pirate. Here he is showing his best pirate face:

And his fancy pirate-sword-hook maneuvers:


Monday, January 11, 2010

My Favorite Blogs, Part I

Since you are reading my blog, I thought you might like to know which blogs I read regularly. I've got 9 favorites so I'll give 'em to ya three at a time. I'm gonna start in alphabetical order as it would be really hard to categorize them otherwise.

I don't even know how I stumbled upon this blog. It's written by a (working) mom of two kids and I really appreciate her sense of humor. I always come away from her blog feeling happy because she makes me laugh. And I really like to laugh so her blog rates highly with me. Also, when I read her postings, I get the feeling that we might be friends if she lived just down the street.

I am a fan of the AMC show Mad Men. If you have never watched, you must start with season 1 (Netflix). Each season is only 12 or 13 episodes so you still have time to get on board because Season 4 doesn't start until August. It just might be the greatest show ever. (Which means that Seinfeld and I Love Lucy will have to move to spots 2 & 3 on my list of Best Shows Ever.) Anyway, I'm getting off track. Back to BoK. It's a website dedicated to all things Mad Men. I love the way the writers dissect the show and I love that two ordinary sisters started the blog and that BoK is waaaaaay better than the AMC blog about the show. My very favorite thing about this blog are the Random Quotes that appear on the left-hand side of the blog each time the page loads. Not only are the quotes among the most clever from the show, but it's fun (for me) to read the quote and then quiz myself as to whom it belongs. Love this blog!!!

When I first started reading blogs, all the blogs on my RSS feed were photography blogs. I'm not even sure how my photo-blog stalker habit started. I guess I've always loved pictures and although I cannot take beautiful photographs, I really enjoy looking at other people's work and appreciating the beauty in their photographs. Anyway, Kristen lives in Australia and I like her blog because she takes photos of places that I will most likely never see so it feels like a little vacation when I get to see her outdoor photos. I also enjoy her work because she takes really yummy looking infant photos and who can resist a sweet little baby all bundled up, soft and lovely and perfect? The third reason her blog rates highly with me is because she was the inspiration for my photo-a-day project on my other blog.

So there you have it, the first third of my favorite blogs. Hopefully I'll get around to posting the other faves later this week . . . .?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mister, Mister


I have a nickname for the baby: Mister, Mister. Except that when I say it, it sounds like, "Mis-tah, Mis-tah". He knows his given name but he also responds to Mis-tah, Mis-tah. He's so darn cute!

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I hate New Years and hate Resolutions even more! I hate all the looking back, looking forward, talk about who died, who did this, who did that, blah, blah, blah. Time passes, big deal.

My favorite way to celebrate New Year's Eve at midnight is in bed, asleep! I know, I am so very, very boring. I'm not gonna even say I'm tired because I have 5 kids. I've ALWAYS been like this! Even in college, when everyone was happy to party, I always felt better going to bed and pretending that it was just like any other night.

I mean, really, if you wanna change your life, just DO it! Don't wait until January 1st! If the idea hits you on July 19, then GO FOR IT and make a change.

Every year my resolution is to not make any resolutions. I do have one rule that I try to live by though, and that is to live without regret. For me, it means thinking about my life and what I'm doing or could do or should do and how that decision will look to me in 20 or 40 years. I want to look back and not regret.

I do have one big regret though. I was unable to attend my sister's wedding (in Ireland in 2003) because I was too pregnant to fly. I was disappointed when I discovered that I would be unable to attend. But on the day that everyone left for the wedding and I was stuck at home, I lost it and sobbed and sobbed for hours and just knew that this (not attending) would be something that I'd regret for the rest of my life.

And I was right; I do regret it.

As it turns out, my pregnancy went 2 weeks past its due date and I had to be induced. And when my son was born (whom my husband happened to deliver in our bedroom!) it seems as though the due date was all wrong and that he was actually born early, even though we all thought he was late. And all I could think of was that I could have gone to my sister's wedding, if only the due date had been correct. But you can't really play the would have-could have-should have-game because you will always lose.

Like I said, I'm not making resolutions.
But I am into making change when change is needed.

First change: I am taking the time daily to unsubscribe from all the annoying emails that end up in my in-box. Usually I just delete them and move on but I decided that it would be great to just unsubscribe and not even have to waste time each day deleting. (Because when my in-box gets too full it is like emotional clutter and it makes me a bit edgy and anxious. I know, I have issues.)

Secondly, we are getting back to One TV Show Per Day in this house! I'm sorry to say that we got away from our One Show Per Day policy back when I was pregnant. I would put the TV on for the boys in the afternoon and then nap (can you blame me?) so they ended up watching far too much TV. And then, once the baby was born, I didn't have the time or energy to enforce the Policy. So we slowly got away from our routine of one show per day. But now that the baby is older and I'm feeling well rested, the Policy is back in place. With a tweak. Now they get to choose one show OR 30 minutes on the computer. So far, so good. Usually they (the boys, the girls are in school all day) both choose the same show or both choose computer. I guess they haven't figured out that if one chose computer and one chose a show, that they'd actually each get to do both. But I'll wait for them to figure that out on their own!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Star Wars


A lazy morning in Langanland . . . no preschool on Thursdays . . . so the boys stay in their jammies as long as possible. (Yes, those are jammies and not a costume!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Family Photo

My aunt, uncle and (two) cousins came from Texas to visit between Christmas and New Year's.

Missing from the photo: my cousin (who stayed in Texas), my sister and her family (who had already left), and my in-laws (who were taking the photo).

It was great fun to be together, wish we all lived closer so that we could be together more often!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

365 Days in Langanland



I got a new camera for Christmas and am trying to learn how to use it. I thought it would be really great to take a photo-a-day and post it here. I figured I could learn how to use my camera, document my family's life and maybe learn a little about photography in the process.

But my motivation didn't last long. I'm already thinking it's a huge waste of time.

But then I read an article that said it's really GOOD to take a photo-a-day because you really sharpen your skills by doing so. I'm thinking they mean for people who actually know how to use a camera. Nonetheless, I have decided that I should continue with my photo-a-day plan.

So for the month of January, I'm going to photograph Emma. I know, it seems wrong to start with the family dog. But she is easier to photograph because she doesn't move as much as the kids do and she never whines or complains when I take her photograph.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Nap

Photo taken January 1st


He tried to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve but feel asleep by 11pm. Even so, he was really tired the next day and needed a nap. He fell asleep clutching his favorite Christmas gift: his sword.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Marshmallow Shooters

I read about guns that shoot mini marshmallows and I thought they would make good Christmas presents for the boys. But my husband said he thought he could make shooters for a fraction of the price. As it turns out, ALL the kids wanted the shooters, not just the boys. So my husband took them all (sans baby) to Home Depot and they loaded up on supplies and came home and constructed their shooters.



You load a mini marshmallow into the shooter and then blow into it to send the marshmallow shooting out.


I nearly lost an eye the first time around but once we made a rule that you have to aim below the neck, I felt confident that no one would lose an eye.

Sure there are mini marshmallows in every room of the house but at least they can be re-launched and fortunately, Emma is not interested in eating them. The kids discovered that the shooters work even better if you load them up with about 10 marshmallows and then creep up the steps and shoot them at unsuspecting family members sitting on the couch. Who knew such fun could be had for under $10?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Creative

My boys received magnetic blocks for Christmas. In addition to using them to build, they have also been using them to turn each other into Star Wars characters:



My son informed me that the blocks are his costume and also mark the place on his body where he will have laser surgery.

Who knew that 4 year olds think about laser surgery?