Tara Zandra dot Com

Friday, December 31, 2004

Turned out not to be an unintersting morning afterall. My dad is still in town and came by for another visit. It went very, very well. The child was her usual charming self and I enjoyed nice conversation with my dad. It's a shame I only got to see him twice, but he'll be back next year once I have another granchild to present to him, not that babies are terribly interesting beyond the initial "Oh, how cute she is" and "who does she look like?" excahange. In any case, I'm glad he was here as it's been too long in between visits.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 12:18 PM PST

We're having a small car issue right now that caused me to cancel Tabitha's playdate today. I won't go into more details because it simply cheeses me off to now end. Suffice it to say, I'm not happy.

So. We're home in the rain, yee-haw. I'll finish up the last of the holiday decorations, Chris will put the boxes away once he's home. I've been itching to scrapbook but don't have any pictures printed. Maybe I can at least choose some to have printed and feel like I'm doing something scrapbook related.

Just a blah, unexciting day. Though we'll have fun tonight so I do have something to look forward to :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:31 AM PST

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I really hope the ultrasound technician is correct, because if we have a boy, he'll be mostly naked or confused as to his gender identity. I got all the 0-3 month baby clothes washed yesterday. When I was pregnant with Tabitha, I didn't get a lot of clothes from people I guess because almost everything was stuff I bought and the colors are blue, black and white. This time around, everyone is giving me clothes and all of it is PINK! Tabitha is estatic as she loves pink and swears the baby will only be dressed in pink. It looks like she's going to get her wish. Mostly everything is pink or white and pink. As I suspected, stains on some of Tabitha's old clothes did not come out. I'll give them one more washing with a boost of Oxi-Clean and if that doesn't work, then they'll go into the donation pile. None of them are horrible, all of them needed to be held up to a strong light to make out the stains, but I know they are there and will not put them on my baby since I don't have to. One outfit I'm really hoping the stains come out and may give it extra special attention as it's the one I want to use in the hospital for her picture.

So we had a pretty wasted afternoon yesterday. We were going to my mil's to get something down for her and she called and said never mind. Well we went anyway because we had a couple items we needed to drop off. We could have saved ourselves the trip because Chris just has to go there today to put away her Christmas decorations with his brother. Then we headed to Target (I am so tired of going there) for yet another return when I realized I didn't have the receipt. We got back in the car and went to Kohl's to return a couple things and the return line was so long. But not just long, it didn't move. I decided it wasn't worth it and we left. I was feeling pretty grumpy by this point so we went to Red Robin for dinner. I didn't really feel like eating so I didn't get to enjoy my food and barely ate, but I did enjoy relaxing and just being with the family so it was just what I needed. We then walked over to Borders so Tabitha could get the second Unfortunate Events book and then stopped at Albertson's before heading home. Chris and Tabitha spent the rest of the evening playing Donkey Konga which looked pretty fun so I did a song too before heading back to my sorting the mountain of baby clothes.

Now I just need to get in gear and try and take care of more Christmas stuff. Not to mention doing regular laundry for the rest of the family.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:30 AM PST

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tabitha has done nothing but read and build her "tiny town" today. She couldn't even be bothered with lessons. She finished Unfortunate Events, finished a Magic Treehouse, read quite a bit of Henry and Beezus and is currently sitting in her book nook with Unfortunate Events 2, bought this evening with her gift card. I always hoped I'd raise a reader, I got that wish back tenfold.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:50 PM PST

So we finished lessons yesterday and get all set to use Tabitha's Easy-Bake Oven. We're going through the direction and I notice it mentions a 100 Watt lightbulb. Not something I have. I consoled a rather upset child by letting her know that as soon as Chris got home I had been planning on running to the grocery store anyway and I would just buy it there and we could bake when I got back. She accepted that and all was well. Right up until I got home and she asked for the lightbulb and I realized I completely forgot about it. *sigh* So I had to put her off again until after dinner at which point we schlepped to Target in pouring rain but we did, finally, get her lightbulb. Once home Tabitha made a little yellow cake with chocolate frosting and had the time of her life :) She just positively loves it and we'll probably be making something else today.
Tabs finished the Unfortunate Events book, only took her 2 or 3 days, but at least it lasted longer than most books. She has Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary waiting that she started a bit of on Christmas day that she'll probably read next. Then she has 3 Magic Treehouse books and Charlotte's Web, not sure which she'll go to first, though I know she read a little of one of the Magic Treehouse books the other day so that may be first. She was also given a gift certificate to Borders so we'll be going there as soon as her current selections are finished, so I guess within the week, lol.
Today I plan to wash baby clothes and put them in the baby dresser and just bask in the knowledge that one more baby task is done. I'm 35 weeks now, we're getting down to the wire :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:51 AM PST

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

We finally found a book that is at Tabitha's reading and interest level. Yay! It's the first in Lemony Snicket's Unfortunate Events series. My bil gave it to her for Christmas and it is definitely holding her interest, yet, she can't read it in an hour and a half. She can't wait to see the movie. I have little to no desire to see it myself so that will be a Daddy and Tabi date. I think maybe they'll go after she has the book finished.
I've been spending the morning undecking the halls. None of my boxes are in from the garage, so for now I'm just doing things that can be neatly stacked on the table. Plus Tabitha took care of all her Little People Christmas stuff and put away the family puzzle (it only took us until yesterday to finish it, lol). Right now some of my walls look bare because the pictures that go on them are in the Christmas boxes. Chris is probably going to be home late and then has to go to his mother's to put up her boxes, so I guess mine won't come into the house until tomorrow.
Once lessons are done, we'll be setting up the Easy Bake Oven so someone can cook for me for a change, lol.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 01:06 PM PST

We shopped so much yesterday and the best thing was, none of it cost us a dime! I love getting gift cards :) We went to Target first and got the baby's dresser (not really, it's just a rubbermaid drawer system for the first year while she's in our room since that's all that will fit) and a diaper bag for me. Of course, now I have two and Chris has none so we still need to get one for him. We also got bins for Tabitha's toys and also a big one for all her Little People Christmas sets. Tabitha had a five dollar gift card herself and bought some Care Bear figurines with it. She also had an exchange and got a snack pack for her Easy Bake Oven, which we will probably set up today.
After Target we went to my mil's for a while and ran an errand for her and then had lunch at her house. Chris had $40 left on his Best Buy gift cards, but the one thing he wanted, Karaoke Revolution 2, could not be found at any Best Buy (we had been to 4 so far) so his mom bought the card from him and gave him the cash so he could just buy it at the one store we did see it at. So we stopped there real quick and then headed to the mall. I knew it would be packed but I was itching to hit the Clinique counter. I'm only sad that there wasn't a gift-with-purchase going on, but at least I got what I needed and still have money left over for next time. I also have a general mall gift card and went to Motherhood Maternity with it and got two more shirts. We're all pretty happy with our purchases.
Once home, I was pleased to see that the Math 2 books I ordered were finally in. Tabitha was ready to tear into them until I reminded her she has a week's worth of Math 1 left. I perused the books and, just as I thought, the first couple weeks of lessons are a bit of review. But there's also new stuff, though nothing earth shattering, so I don't know if I'll end up combining or even skipping some lessons at first. In any case, I'm glad it's here.
Tabitha spent the rest of the afternoon playing with her Blinkie. Man does she love that thing. Chris and I played Karaoke 2 which has loads of fun songs. Dinner was unispired and then we all played some more before bed.
Today is trying to get back on some kind of track. Work for Chris, housework for me, lessons for Tabs.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:49 AM PST

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Today was long but very nice. It started with my dad coming over to see us. He's here for a week, but today was the first day we've seen him since he got in. He gave Tabitha her Christmas presents and we gave him one as well that I hoped he liked. Then we all headed to a Mills mall and walked around talking for awhile. He'll probably come over again later this week so he can see Tabitha again. She really wants to see him as well.
After the mall and a quick lunch, we started our returns and redeeming of gift certificates. First stop was Toys R Us. Chris stood in the return line while Tabitha and I went to see what she wanted to get instead. She grabbed a Blinkie which is reminiscent of Tomagotchis, but you can't kill these guys, though you can break their heart if you aren't a good enough friend. She also got a buy one get one free deal on two My Little Ponies. Next we went to Best Buy where we had the worst cashier in history. He was rude and stupid, which is a fabulous combination. I got so frustrated that Tabitha and I just left and I let Chris finish up because I just could not take it anymore. She and I walked over to Target and I realized I had left the receipt for our exchanges at home. You can't do anything without some kind of receipt, so we just grabbed a drink and snack for Tabs and then met Chris at the car. By this time it was after 4:00 and I was just tired of it all so we forewent the mall and came home instead. Tabitha immediately started learning how to play with her Blinkie while Chris and I sang some duets since we now have two microphones for Karaoke Revolution. Now that was fun :) We sang "California Dreaming" and "I Got You Babe." I don't know if we'll sing more tonight or not as I kind of want to play The Game of Life Pirates of the Caribbean.
My mil came over this evening so she could see all of Tabitha's gifts and she stayed for a nice visit. We had dinner after she left (just more sub sandwiches as I didn't feel like cooking) and now Tabitha is playing with her Blinkie before bed. Tomorrow we hit Target and most likely Robinson's-May.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:57 PM PST

It really was a wonderful Christmas this year. I've put some pictures up at our Christmas site on the page marked "Christmas Morning." We didn't do much of anything during the day on the 24th, but went to my in-laws' that evening. Tabitha had an absolute blast with a friend's child who just turned 4. I guess he really liked her picture that we included in our Christmas cards (the one at the top of the page here) so he was very happy to see her that night. We ate, sang songs, watched the kids act like maniacs and open gifts. It was good.
Once home, Tabitha opened her Christmas Eve gift which was a pair of pajamas as is the tradition going back to when I was a kid. She really liked the new ones, but had her heart set on wearing her plaid nightgown that she got last Christmas Eve. It didn't really matter to me, though, I'm just glad she liked the new one too. Once she was in PJs, she sprinkled oats on the front lawn for the reindeer, left milk and cookies for Santa, and also a snowflake she made him, and then she and I settled in for our traditional reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Then it was off to bed for her and off to Santa's workshop (aka the living room) for Chris and I. We filled Tabitha's stocking and put together her dollhouse before heading to bed ourselves.
The little one woke us around 7:30 and raced down the hall as fast as she could to see what was in her stocking. To her, that was the very definition on Christmas, a filled stocking. When she got to the living room, she stopped short at the sight of her huge dollhouse and seemed pleased, but then went back to her mission of getting to that stocking. As I assumed, the whoopie cusion delighted her to no end and she had loads of fun with that. Her trickery skills need a bit of work though. She also got some mini fuzzy posters and went about coloring them in while I made the cinnamon rolls. After food, she was ready to rip into those presents! This is really the first year that Tabitha had a clear cut list of what she hoped to receive. It really made a difference in my shopping. Instead of getting her all these things I wanted her to have, I bought exactly what she wanted (with some items farmed out to grandparents, of course). She was so excited about everything and very grateful for all that she received. She was glad to get a doll family to live in her dollhouse, though she wondered about furniture (that was coming from my in-laws later in the day). Her favorite gifts were definitely the hopper ball and bop bag and jack-in-the-box. It was nice to keep hearing "It's just what I wanted!" over and over :)
Once all was open and she had a good time playing with stuff, we got dressed and went to my in-laws' where they had more gifts waiting for Tabitha (and us too!). Tabitha got 6 rooms of furniture for her dollhouse and couldn't wait to arrange it all and get to some serious imaginative play. After a while, we loaded up the car and came home and added everything to the growing piles in the living room. We had a light lunch of cheese (muenster, smoked cheddar and premium aged gouda), crackers, sourdough bread, red pepper hummus, blue cheese stuffed olives and garlic and herb cheese spread. Chris and I also played a new game on the PS2, Karaoke Revolution 3. Man, that was fun :)
My mom and sister came over in the afternoon and though Tabitha appreciated all she got, the biggest hit was definitely the Easy Bake Oven. We'll be baking little cakes today, I'm sure :) My mom was very generous with Chris and I as were his parents. There was a definite theme this year to our gifts, I hadn't realized we asked for nothing but games and gift cards. Between the three of us we got 11 games and 7 gift cards. Tabitha recieved a Barbie computer game, My Little Pony, Uno Attack and Monopoly Jr., plus Donkey Konga for the Game Cube, though we'll all play that. I got Pirates of the Caribbean Game of Life and Magic Kingdom (a Disney game), the second of which can be for all of us. Chris and I received The Incrdibles for PS2 and Disney, Scene It, again, we'll all play those. And Chris got Karaoke Revolution 3 for PS2 and Mario Tennis for the Game Cube, of which I'll karaoke with him. We're going to hit Best Buy today to get a second microphone so we can do the duets.
I also had a rather domestic Christmas. I know most women would hate these kinds of gifts, but I like getting things I need so that's what I ask for. I got a new crockpot, electric griddle, air popper, sweeper, wooden spoons and spatula and mini chopper. Chris made out well with stuff he wanted too, a few new books, a Sport Illustrated subscription, beers from around the world (that was my gift to him) and CDs.
As usual, our families were much too generous and we cannot thank them enough.
We're going to brave the crowds today and go to Best Buy for Chris to use his gift cards from his birthday, Target to do an exchange for us and also one for my mil as a favor to her, the mall so I can visit the Clinique counter with one of my Robinson's-May gift cards and Toys R Us as we had one duplicate gift for Tabs. Wish us luck! I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas as well :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:16 AM PST

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Man, that was not fun. But I got all my errands taken care of, so that's good. Oh, and I finally found that missing present, so I guess I'm not done wrapping afterall. Chris and the child are headed off to bed, once Tabitha is asleep, I'll wrap before going to bed myself. We watched Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas tonight. I thought the stories were really nice and I enjoyed it quite well. Tomorrow Tabitha is going to play with all the bonus features on the DVD.

My camera has mpeg capabilities, though not at a very good resolution. So today I set Tabitha up in front of her tree and had her sing "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" and it was just adorable. That song was made for a child's voice. I had wanted to upload it to my site to share, but sadly, it is roughly 21 megs. so not going to happen. We'll at least be able to share it with family tomorrow and Saturday.

I'll probably update our Christmas pages late Saturday afternoon/ evening or not until Sunday. In any case, I hope everyone enjoys celebrating the holidays however they see fit.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:59 PM PST

Tabitha and I did the shopping yesterday, but it was a bit more of a hassle than I had anticipated. I needed to buy three $10 Napster gift cards. We hit Best Buy and they only had 1. I bought it and we headed to a different Best Buy, they had none. I really didn't feel like running the gamut of Best Buys so I called Chris to see if he could offer any advice on other stores that might carry them. He did a bit of online research for me and it was determined that Target had them so off we went. I had to wait in line to find out if they had them, then was sent to where they were, then had to wait in line to pay for them. The only downside is the second two I bought are for 11 songs and the first one is for 10 songs. Wouldn't matter except they are going to three siblings, so how do I choose which one of them gets the one with one less song?
Anyway, after all that, Tabs and I were running behind and didn't head off to pick up Chris until 10 minutes before I wanted to be there. That's a problem because it's at least a half hour drive. But we got him and then headed to Disneyland where it was, in fact, beyond packed. We expected it of course. Tabitha decided she wanted to see the daytime Christmas parade which meant we had to find a place to watch it right then. We found a good spot and saw the parade after waiting an hour, popcorn kept us occupied. Once the parade was done, it was still 5 hours until the fireworks. There was just no way. We had to disappoint the kid and let her know we weren't staying. She wasn't quite ready to go home though so we went to California Adventure for about an hour before heading home in horrid traffic. It was one heck of a long day, let me tell you, and precisely why I had originally planned to do the parade and fireworks last week. But it couldn't be helped that Tabitha had been sick.
Anyway, once Chris is home today, I'll be doing errands by myself while he takes care of a bit of yard work. But during the day I need to get my grocery list in order and also a to do list for tomorrow morning. Chris will work tomorrow, but he'll be home by noon most likely, so he's not going to miss anything.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:13 AM PST

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

All of Tabitha's gifts are wrapped and under the tree. Well, not the one I still haven't found, but all the others. Of course, Chris and I still have a doll house to build late into the night on Christmas Eve, but I'm less than concerned. We've built most of our furniture and it's never a problem so a dollhouse shouldn't be either. Maybe I should erase that for fear of jinxing us? LOL Today Miss Tabitha and I are going out to do our last minute shopping. I don't need to go to a mall or toy store though, so it's not as bad as it could be. Barnes and Noble, Best Buy (which will probably be the worst), and one place I can't mention because it would give the hubby a hint as to his gift from me iffen he happened to read this before Christmas. We'll be picking Chris up from work in the afternoon and then heading to Disney so we can *finally* watch the Christmas parade and fireworks. Out of everything I'm buying today, I'll only need to wrap two items, the rest are gift cards, so essentially I'm done :) Gotta find that one gift though *sigh* I think I'll have Chris tear the garage apart tomorrow when he gets home while I'm at Target and the grocery store. I guess I'm not cooking anything for Christmas Eve, I didn't offer this year as I have a severe lack of energy and my mil didn't ask me to bring anything. Christmas day we eat at home just the three of us and I just do a make your own sub sandwich spread and various cheese cubes. Very simple and it suits our day perfectly. I try to keep it as laid back as Christmas can be. Tabitha opens her stocking in the morning, then we munch on cinnamon rolls (out of a can this year due to that whole lack of energy thing), then we open gifts. Whenever we get dressed and ready to go we head over to my in-laws' for more gift exchanging and visiting. Then we'll head home for lunch and give my mom a call and we'll either go to her or she'll come here with my sister. Then it's late afternoon and Chris and I start the great "opening boxes of toys and attempting to extract them from there little plastic twist tie confines" adventure. Always good for the child to learn a few new swear words, lol.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:23 AM PST

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Tabitha decided to do lessons today afterall. Since we took a week off due to illness, I'm glad the cursive lesson happened to be a review, that worked out nicely. Math was fairly easy as it was just subtracting 10, I figured she'd get that right away and she did. She went shopping in the Mom Store, but didn't buy anything as she is saving for a particular item. I think I mentioned that I oredered Math 2. Well, I got a box from the company the other day and it felt light to me. Sure enough, it was only the manipulatives and not the book or workbooks. Apparently that's on back order. Figures. I'm giving it until January 3 and if they still haven't shipped it or tell me when it will be in, then I'm cancelling. I guess I'll just order it elsewhere, though at a steeper cost, unfortunately. But I'd rather not take a break in between Math 1 and Math 2. Goodness knows we'll be cutting back enough once baby shows up.

And in baby news, I had my 34 week appt. yesterday. Dr. has determined that she is definitely head down with her back turned towards my left. I don't care which way she's facing, I dealt with a sunny side up baby and the ensuing back labor before, I can do it again, I'm just glad she's not breech. I'm still measuring two weeks ahead, no big surprise there. Next appt. is in two weeks and then I start going every week until I bring this baby home.

We made gingerbread houses last night. Tabitha has spent a good portion of the day picking at hers and eating various pieces. You can see pics of them and also all our house decorations at http://tarazandra.com/xmas2004.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 02:29 PM PST

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Well the child is definitely feeling better. She's been bouncing off the walls for the last 4 hours or so. Considering I don't give her medication (she has some weird immunity to any and all meds. and they don't do her any good), she's neither had too much, nor is she coming off of some med. high so she must be feeling better. She's still coughing, but it's not getting her down anymore at least. In a little while we're going to drive around the neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:47 PM PST

We've been doing nothing around here as Tabitha's cold went from bad to worse. It's all in her chest so that makes her cough horribly and she has an intemittent sore throat. She's been staying in her PJs all day and watching TV or playing computer games. Ocassionally she'll play with toys, but that doesn't usually last long. Unfortunately she had to miss her Daisy Christmas party, there was just no way she could have made it through. She's finally at the point where she didn't wake up even once last night, at least, not to the point of her calling me to her. The previous nights Chris and I were up every 2 hours with her. She sounded so much better yesterday morning, but then seemed to have a setback in the late afternoon and evening. I'm hoping today we can maintain that better for the whole day. We still have quite a few Christmas activities planned, I'd like to be able to go through with them, but it all hinges on how Tabitha feels.

I haven't wrapped anything in a week, mainly because once Tabitha goes to bed, I've been ready to sleep myself and have no energy to do anything. But I've hit one snag, I can't find one of her presents. It's the first one I bought, which was probably at the end of September and for the life of me, I cannot find it. I know it's in the garage, but if you could see the inside of my garage, you would know why that's a problem, lol. Worst case scenario, she gets it for her birthday. It's not something on her list, so there wouldn't be any disappointment on her part, but still. I'd really like to find it for Christmas. Speaking of finding a gift, I never was able to find that hula hoop for her. I guess I should have bought it back in October, which is the last time I saw it. Of course, then it would probably be lost in the garage too, lol.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:35 AM PST

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tabitha is currently taking a morning nap on my bed, which is both good and bad. Good because she needs it, bad because she wakes up in a positively foul mood, which really defeats the purpose of a nap. She has a bit of a chest cold, which is one reason why she's tired, and we took Chris to work this morning, which is the other reason she's tired. We're going to go ahead and go to the birthday party today. I'd rather keep her home, but she rarely gets to see this friend and she really wants to go. She knows to cover her mouth and not touch anyone and I'll be there anyway to remind her if necessary. It should be small and not too long as it's at a restaurant at noon. So it's lunch and opening presents and I assume a cake and that should really be it, I imagine. The original plan was to go on to Disneyland after we picked up Chris, but that won't be happening. We'll go see the parade and fireworks another night, though I haven't a clue when.

Tabitha lost her second tooth yesterday. It was so wiggly in there and sitting at an odd angle so both Chris and I just told her to pull it out and she did! So the tooth fairy visited again and brought Tabitha one dollar and a new toothbrush (which will be the normal haul). So she's now missing her two front bottom teeth, a nice big gap, although the first one she lost can already be seen.

Tabitha isn't really up to lessons right now, which is a shame because the cursive is something that needs re-enforcement pretty much daily. She still loves learning it and is oh-so-excited to get to it everyday to learn something new. I finally! ordered Math 2 so we're waiting on that. She was happy to hear that she'll learn some multiplication in Math 2 as it's something that she's interested in. We've been talking about the concept anyway because set up a Scooby snack store the other day and I was showing her how to use the X on her cash register to figure out what we owed her when we bought more than 1 of the same Scooby snack. Also, yesterday she spent a bit of time at Birthdayz by Shindigz and was picking out items for her goodie bags for her birthday party next month. Since they were priced per item, we once again went over how to use the X on the calculator to figure out a total cost.

Christmas activities we've done recently include taking Tabtiha's Santa letter to the Post Office where they have a special mail box set up and making more paper chains yesterday. Our puzzle is coming along fine and Tabitha just loves working on it. I have the makings for gingerbread houses that perhaps we'll work on tonight since our other plans were thwarted. I also need to make a trip to the store and put together 12 little food goodie bags for her Daisy meeting tomorrow as it's their Christmas party.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 11:04 AM PST

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

We got out a family puzzle last night. I had just been thinking it was time to get out the first Christmas one, and then a friend mentioned puzzles her dd was doing so that spurred me into action. We're starting with a gingerbread scene. It's called a family puzzle because it comes with three different sizes of pieces from large to small so varying ages can work on it together. We have two like that and then two regular puzzles also with Christmas/ Winter scenes. We opened up our dining room table to work on it, but since our table is so big, we can still eat dinner there.
After Tabitha's bath, we watched a Christmas episode of House of Mouse while making paper chains. We hung one chain on the curtain rod of the sliding glass door in the dining room and the other is hanging off of Tabitha's bed. She and I will probably make a smaller chain today to hang on the head of her bed as well.
She's feeling a bit under the weather, so she's staying in pj's and playing on her computer or watching tv for the better part of today. We have plans tomorrow so hopefully she won't get any worse. One set of our plans can be postponed, but the other is a birthday party so it's tomorrow or not at all. That reminds me, I have a present to wrap.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:22 AM PST

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

We had such a great time yesterday. The weather was just right at 73º and the park, though fairly crowded, never felt overwhelmingly so. Our first stop was the decorating cookies station. Tabitha chose Mickey with Santa Hat to decorate. She managed to get plenty of frosting on her as well as the cookie. Next we decided to wait in line for Santa. It was a loooong line so first Tabitha and I went and got her holiday pressed nickels, then she and Chris went for a walk (read: to buy a Christmas gift for me). We got to the front of the line and Santa had to go feed his reindeer so we waited another few minutes for our turn. He was so wonderful. I loved how he took Tabitha up on his lap immediately and told her how big she was getting this year. I don’t know that Tabitha honestly thinks he’s Santa because of a comment she made earlier, but she loved getting to see him, nonetheless. I took a pic of just her and then we had the family pic taken as well. Tabitha wanted her picture taken by the gigantic Christmas tree so she did a few poses before we headed of to the rest of Disneyland. On the way down Main Street we saw the Dapper Dans which is an a capella singing group with chimes. They weren’t singing at the moment, nor did they have a crowd so they were just kind of chatting with us and I asked if they did Christmas songs. They chose a form of Jingle Bells and gave Tabitha bells to accompany them. Next we started to head to Haunted Mansion Holiday, but Tabitha wanted to go on Jungle Cruise first. Considering I had my fill of that ride when I had to work it, I decided to pass. While she and Chris rode, I went in search of Alice because Tabitha had mentioned wanting to visit her today. I found out she would be by “it’s a small world” so I went to wait for her and she came out with the Mad Hatter after a few minutes. I called Chris to tell him to head over and they arrived as Alice and the Mad Hatter were playing hide-and-go-seek. It was girls against boys and it was the girls turn to count when Tabitha showed up so she counted with Alice and the other girls. After Mad Hatter was found, it was suggested they do something else so they decided a ride on the tea cups was in order. I decided to ride with Alice and Tabitha and we had a grand time spinning about. After our ride we said good-bye to Alice and headed to “it’s a small world” Holiday. It’s such a beautiful transformation of the attraction and definitely a favorite. We then went into Mickey’s Toon Town so Tabitha could visit with Santa Goofy and I could sit and rest for awhile. A snack was definitely in order by this time so we had pretzels with hot cheese and honey mustard sauce. Then we hopped the train to finally go on Haunted Mansion Holiday which had been our destination 2 hours previous. We walked right on and enjoyed it as much as always and then rode Pirates of the Caribbean. We went back to Main Street to ride the fire truck back to the main entrance and then did a little bit of shopping. I let Tabitha pick out a holiday themed pin for her pin collection and as we were leaving we saw Mickey come out and he gestured for Tabitha to come on over so we went to see him and say good-bye for the day.
Once home and after dinner, we settled in to watch Snowed in at the House of Mouse on our bed which was a great ending to a wonderful day.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:46 AM PST

Monday, December 13, 2004

At five I was awakened by a killer leg cramp. I could not stand at all so I had to wake Chris to massage my leg for me. This was a minute or so after I had just drifted off after a 4:30am restroom run, so I admitted defeat in the sleep department and here I am. I'd rather be up too early than sleep in though. Ask me if I still feel that way in February, lol.

A couple days ago I gave Tabitha some black construction paper and had her draw winter scenes with white chalk. She was really enamored with that idea and after a couple of white drawings, she used all her colors and did about 15 drawings total, half of which were Christmassy and are now hanging up around the house as decoration. Yesterday we cut snowflakes. She did four large ones, I did 1 large and 5 small and Chris did two large ones as well. Tabitha then used her glitter glue to decorate them. One of them will be a gift to Santa, I think that's based on the Christmas Dora the Explorer episode she watched last week, and the rest will be hung from the ceiling I imagine. She wants to cut more so we'll probably do that tomorrow.

Saturday afternoon Chris and I got to Ikea and picked up the bear Tabitha wanted for Christmas. We then went to Target to get the hula hoop and was informed that's a spring and summer item only, despite the fact that I saw them in October. Guess I should have bought one then. I'm not completely admitting defeat, there are plenty of other Targets I can try. If I can't get it, at least I'm secure in that it's not something Tabitha has placed on any of her wish lists, it's just something that I know she wants. So there will not be any disappointment to not getting one.

Tabitha is so enamored with cursive. She's learned c, a, and d and goes around writing dad, add, and ad on anything and everything, lol. Chris is the recipient of quite a few pieces of paper with "dad" written on it, made just for him. Considering the child refused to use lower case letters just a few months ago, I'm pretty impressed with her. Goes to show what a little determination will do, I guess.

Yesterday we went to the mall. Not by choice, mind you. I don't care for this particular mall on weekends anyway, but less than two weeks before Christmas? Forget it. But it was the last day CHP was going to be there collecting toys and we had a whole bagful for them that Tabitha bought at the beginning of the month so we really needed to go there. The officer was amazed at how much we brought and made us take a fanny pack by way of appreciation. Not that I would ever let any of us wear a fanny pack let alone a bright blue one that says "¡Si Tomas, No Manejes!" (If you drink, don't drive). But the officer was so happy with all we brought I really didn't know how to turn him down. So it looks like Goodwill will be getting a fanny pack at our next donation run.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:53 AM PST

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Ah, the age of crude humor. My child is doing a Christmas Mad Libs and for her verb she chose "peeing." Lovely. Of course, she thinks it's the funniest thing ever and she is delighted with her cleverness.

We've had the Christmas music station on DirecTV playing non-stop, but I turned it off yesterday because it's 80º outside. We did start our candy making on Thursday and made candied walnuts. I had planned to give a bag to the UPS guy yesterday, but he didn't make it here until after we were all gone from the house. I don't know that I'll see him again before Christmas and I feel bad that he didn't get his holiday treat.

Tabitha went with her grandparents last night to see a Christmas play at a dinner theatre. It's a tradition for the three of them. Chris and I took advantage of it and went out to a movie. We saw Closer which was a waste of time and money for us but at least we got to go out together. We're expecting Tabitha to be picked up again today by my mil which means I can get more wrapping done and then once Chris gets home from work we'll have more alone time. I think it will be spent shopping, but that's my idea of a good time, lol. Depending on what time we pick up Tabitha tonight, I'm thinking we'll do family movie night with one of our Christmas movies. If not tonight, then tomorrow for sure. Monday we'll attempt Disneyland again. I definitely won't be cold this time!

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 11:24 AM PST

Thursday, December 9, 2004

I wrapped 4 gifts last night and Tabitha just now saw them under the tree. She is thanking me already, lol. Now she's really jazzed, as if she wasn't excited enough already.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:44 AM PST

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Well, we didn't manage to get our hair cuts, but since we won't be taking our family picture until after Christmas, we still have time. Of course, by then, Chris will need another hair cut as well so we'll just make it a family event. Other than that though, Tabitha and I accomplished all we set out to do. We bought gifts for the people on her list and bought another gingerbread village piece. And we had a tire replaced on the car while we were shopping. Chris called us around noon and we went to meet him for lunch and then he took Tabs home while I continued on to Downtown Disney. Now I just have two things left to buy Tabitha, a hula hoop and a bear from Ikea. Here's a list of what she's getting from us this year and anything that sounds odd, I assure you, she has asked for.

Christmas Eve:
penguin pajamas

Whoopie Cushion
8 Hello Kitty pencils
Koosh ball
Pin Pad (it has pins and you make an impression with your hand or whatever)
Fuzzy color-in pictures

Dollhouse and doll family

From us:
Snow White "Before Once Upon a Time" doll
Monopoly Jr.
Scooby-Doo van playset
Barbie cd-rom
Scooby-Doo Bop Bag (the kind you hit and it always stands back up)
Hopper Ball
Esmeralda costume with accessories
Stuffed monkey with velcro hands
Tinkerbell journal
hula hoop and Ikea bear to be bought

As always I keep the option open to pick up something else if I see something I like, but that's all I have planned. I think she'll be very pleased, a few of those items she wants very badly. The one she wants the most is probably the Jack-in-the-Box believe it or not. She really wants a couple other things too, but those gifts have been farmed out to the grandmothers. Oh, and she has a stocking for her two Build-a-Bears so they will have a couple things too; roller skates for Christyana and clothes for Jon. They are both currently decked out in their Christmas outfits and sitting in our book basket on the fireplace. I have to admit they look adorable. Next year I'll get an elf outfit for my Build-a-Bear to join them.

As soon as we got home, Tabitha demanded lessons so she could do the next cursive writing lesson. Later on I noticed she had practiced what she learned today on her Magna Doodle. She wanted to write a paper on what Christmas is all about and I wanted to share what she has written (any misspellings are hers, not typos on my part).

Christmas is all about:
Family and giving. Geting is good, but if you want to make someone happy, give.

Is that not totally sweet? She says she's not done, though she drew squiggles all over the rest of the paper, so I don't know if she'll actually write any more or not. Now, if she'd just go to sleep, I could wrap some of that stuff so I can make her happy by giving :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:59 PM PST

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Tabitha's handwriting program arrived today and she demanded we start it immediately. I read through the manual to get the concept of how the method should be taught and we went ahead and did the pre-lesson. She doesn't like how short the lessons are, but I've convinced her it's the best way for her to learn it. She's just so impatient, but she's very happy to finally get started.

I made great headway in our Christmas cards today. I'm waiting for a few addresses from people and I also need to put our return address on all of them. Plus I'm enclosing a pic of Tabitha for people who I think might care to receive one so I need to get those printed tomorrow while Tabs and I are out and about. We'll be doing her Christmas shopping tomorrow, meaning gifts to family from her. I think we'll both also get our hair cut. I'm just getting her's styled around the front, but mine will probably lose a bit of length in order to get it nice and healthy looking again. It's finally long enough where I'm ready to get it layered without it having to be what I consider short. Right now it goes past my waist, but my ends are a mess and I don't actually look that great with all one length hair. We're going to the kids' salon, but they do parents too. Hopefully it will turn out well, though I'll admit to being nervous as always when I let someone near my hair with scissors.

Back to the Christmas cards though, Tabitha was very intent on sending her own cards this year. I explained to her that we send cards from our family to other families and not individual people within each family. She wasn't pleased to learn that. So we came up with a compromise. For people on her list, she drew a picture with a saying on the inside left side of the card. She also signed her own name to quite a few of the cards, though not all of them. I didn't bother having her sign her name for cards that are going to my friends or people she doesn't really know. I also got her Christmas postcards to give out to friends in Daisies and hula class. She was happy to be a part of it all and worked on all of them last night and today.

I'm anxious to start wrapping. Last year I did a little every night after Tabitha was asleep because Chris worked all nights. This year he's home every night and I don't think to do any wrapping. Actually, he won't be home Thursday due to school, so I'll definitely get some done then. I don't have tons for Tabitha this year, unlike last year, but what I did get her I know she wants and will love. I won't wrap the gifts from her though, she wants to do that herself.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:55 PM PST

Well yesterday didn't go quite as planned. My doctor's appt. was fine, very quick and uneventful. We then stopped for an early lunch and went to Disneyland. It was so freaking cold. It wasn't raining, but unless the clouds moved away from the sun, the cold was just unbearable for me. My two big warm coats don't zip or button up over my belly, so I have to wear my sweater, which is warm, but does not have pockets. My jeans don't have front pockets either. I do have gloves, but they are big and bulky and not comfortable. So I wasn't in a very good mood when we got there and try as I might to get in the holiday spirit, I felt it would all just be an act. So we decided to forego the holiday activities until next Monday. We did a little shopping and visited with some characters, including meeting Mr. and Mrs. Incredible at California Adventure, and had a snack before heading out. We were there all of two hours. We did go to Build-a-Bear to get Tabitha's bear a Santa Claus outfit, though. I didn't get any of my own shopping done, so I think I'll be going back tomorrow after Chris gets home from work. I'll just go by myself and may be able to get it all done in Downtown Disney and not even need to go in the parks.
Today will be uneventful at best. I have a bit of housework to do, Tabs and I will do lessons and perhaps start on the paper chain she wants to make. I have a whole pack of red and green construction paper for the activity :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:31 AM PST

Monday, December 6, 2004

Friday we were determined to decorate the house even though I still wasn't feeling 100%. All the boxes were already in the house it was just a matter of cleaning the house and then getting everything up. It took us the better part of the morning to get the house in order and then we finally started on the boxes. We finished early afternoon. I must say I am very pleased with how everything looks. We don't always put everything in the same place every year so it's never the same ol' same ol'. After dinner we set up both Christmas trees and started decorating them. Chris and I did one and Tabitha took care of hers by herself, except the lights, of course. This year we put our second tree in the front window so it can be seen by the street which means both trees are in the living room. The dining room still has plenty of festivity as does the kitchen and the hall bathroom. Again, I must say how nice everything looks. I'm sorry I was as into it as I would have liked, but the results put a smile on my face. The only thing lacking are the outside lights because it's either been far too cold or it's been raining. We'll get to them though, I'm sure.

Saturday morning we dropped Tabitha off at gardening class and then Chris and I ran a couple errands. We hit Whole Foods since we were out there and I got Tabitha a couple snacks she's been wanting for awhile. She child loves vegetarian jerky. I like it too, but I think it's odd that she does. We didn't really do much once we were all home again, until after dinner, that is. Then Tabitha wanted to know the verses to "Twelve Days of Christmas" so I wrote them out for her. She asked if I would sing it with her, which I did, and then we put on our 3 Disney Christmas tapes. We had a pretty good time singing all the songs and Chris joined us as well for the last tape. Just sitting on the couch surrounded by all our Christmas decorations and singing carols; we were like a catalog ad, lol.

Sunday proved to be dreary and very wet. I was in a rather blah mood so we headed out to breakfast in the hopes of shaking it off. We also went to Best Buy so Chris could use part of a birthday gift certificate, in addition to Target for massive amounts of batteries for all the singing Christmas decorations, and Staples for construction paper. By the time we got home, Chris wanted to play his new game and Tabitha wanted to play computer games. I still wasn't perked up, so I called my mom and went to visit. Actually she had errands to run so I tagged along, but spending time with her was apparently just what I needed because I went home in my usual good spirits. By then I didn't feel like cooking dinner, so we loaded back up into the car and went to Baja Fresh. I ran into Barnes and Noble on the way home and picked up a book with a built in piano. Tabtiha has one for nursery rhymes and has fun with it, but this one is Christmas Carols and I knew she would love it; I was right :) She played it for quite a while when we got home.

Today is not cloudy so far and the forecast for Anaheim in mostly sunny so after my doctor's appt. we'll be heading to Disneyland to enjoy holiday activities. We'll decorate cookies, drink hot chocolate, ride Small World Holiday, take our pic in front of the giant tree, listen to carolers and just take it all in. Nothing beats the holidays at Disneyland. We won't be staying for the parade and snow this evening though, we'll go back after dinner another night this week or next. We will be stopping at Build-a-Bear so Tabitha can get a Christmas outfit for her boy bear. Her girl one got an outfit last year. I also need to get away by myself for some shopping time for a couple of last items.

Saturday afternoon I took loads of pics of Tabitha in her Christmas dress so I can include on in our Christmas cards. We found the perfect one, which I'll get printed later this week and get my cards out. Right now you can see some of my favorites from our little photo session here. The one we're sending out is not shown on that page, though. Enjoy!

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:44 AM PST

Sunday, December 5, 2004

For anyone that attempted to visit my site yesterday and found it down:

A month ago I had a fraudulent charge on my bank card. I caught it immediately and the charge was reversed just as quickly, but I had to get a new bank card with a new number. My domain is an automatic payment every month drawn off my bank card. Well it got declined because I never updated my credit card info with them and therefore, they cut off my website and email *sigh* All is well now, obviously.

Despite me feeling lousy, we've had a lovely last few days and I do plan to sit down and write a very lengthy post, but now is not the time. I think we'll go out to breakfast this morning because I need something to get me going. I have zero energy and I can't even really blame it on being sick because I am so much better now. I'm just dragging for some reason. But I bet we have a nice family day anyway, just because we usually do.

Two side notes on my children. One had hiccups at 6:30 this morning and that is not something Tabitha ever did in-utero. It was odd to feel that. The other is currently sitting in the living room telling Joe on Blue's Clues what an idiot he is for not knowing simple things. "It's the bathroom for gawd's sakes!" was just heard and I'm cracking up :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:45 AM PST

Thursday, December 2, 2004

My eyes are finally not watering quite so much, so I feel I can sit at the computer for awhile and do some typing.

So Monday morning, we decided to do some things for Chris as it was his birthday Eve. Tabitha and I first took him to Krispy Kreme for breakfast. He loves that place and I knew he'd enjoy going there. We bought two dozen donuts so we could enjoy them the next morning as well. Then we did a stop at Radio Shack because Chris lost a piece that makes it possible for him to hook his MP3 player to the car stereo. After that was replaced we went to the good guys so we could get something for the new Tivo then headed to Best Buy where I had him pick out a CD. There was one specific one he wanted, but I only knew the band and not the name of the CD so I couldn't buy it myself and wrap it up. I didn't want to ask him, because then he'd know I was getting it, so this way there was some element of surprise. I led him to the right section and just told him to get the one he wanted.

The rest of the day was spent at home, for the most part. He and I played a lot of Roller Coaster Tycoon. In the afternoon we went ahead and hit a library that I remembered as having a decent children's section. We loaded up on 14 books for the child (5 of which she's read since then, three of them twice). Hopefully I'll get them returned in time and not incur any late fees, I'm not very good at that. Dinner that night was Chris's favorite meal that he only gets twice a year, his birthday and Father's Day, lol. I made him veggie "meat"loaf with tomato gravy, boiled potatoes and creamed corn. The child and I had our own dinner of baked potatoes and broccoli. She had a bit of veggie loaf, but I don't think she cared for it. I tried it with my mushroom gravy that I love, but I still couldn't eat it. But my husband loves it, and that's why I made it for him.

Tuesday morning I got up early and set up the dining room. I put up the Happy Birthday banner, set out Tabitha's two bears dressed in their birthday party hats and banners and put his cards and gifts out. When Tabitha woke up, she and I woke up Chris by singing Happy Birthday to him. After that he came to the dining room and donned the birthday hat for the traditional picture and opened his things. We then all had some Krispy Kreme and headed out to Disneyland per Chris's request. It was cold, but not too crowded and we just did whatever Chris wanted to do. That included going on a couple rides by himself. He rode Matterhorn and Splash Mountain, neither of which can I ride at the moment and Tabitha refuses to do so. So she and I had fun watching him and I took a couple pics. After a while we headed over to California Adventure and went throught he tortilla factory where they give you a free bag on your birthday. At this point, my bil joined us as well. Now Chris had someone to join him on Tower of Terror, the roller coaster, and Maliboomer. By the time all that was done, I was really slowing down. I don't like to admit that being pregnant makes some things more difficult, but a whole day of walking at Disneyland really does me in right now. Chris did all he wanted to do anyway, so the four of us headed to dinner at Claim Jumper's. The service wasn't very good, but the food was and we all had a good time together before parting ways.

Yesterday I woke up with a bit of a cold but was feeling pretty good in the morning so Tabitha and I headed out to do some errands since we had the car. We finally found some black shoes that didn't "feel funny" to her. She needed a new pair to wear with dresses, but I don't like shiny shoes because I also like her to wear them with jeans. We basically only go to Payless because they have a large selection of non-leather shoes, unlike most places. Tabitha had also outgrown all but one pair of her shoes so we got her another pair of casuals as well. Actually, she's grown a tremendous amount. One inch in 5 weeks. All those pants my mil so kindly bought her at the beginning of September are too short. I really don't know what to do about that because there is no way I could get the kid into a size 6X for the length. She doesn't fit her sixes yet, heck, she barely fits into fives! She just has a very tiny waist and keeps growing taller without putting on any weight. It's been the same problem for a couple years so I'm used to it, but that doesn't make it easier. I wish she would hit her growth spurt in the spring instead of fall because it is much easier to fit her into shorts and capris.

Anyway, after the shoe store we headed to Target so Tabitha could pick out all the toys for donating. She chose quite the variety; Barbie, My Little Pony, Playdoh, Hot Wheels, a Care Bear and I can't remember what else. She's very excited to take them to the big donation bin so we'll do that sometime next week. By the time we got home, I was starting to feel the effects of my cold and was dragging. Since it was Dec. 1st we had planned on decorating the house. But I couldn't get enough energy to do some cleaning around the house that needed to be done before we decorated. So I settled for just cleaning up the aftereffects of the birthday and also putting away all our Thanksgiving/Harvest/Fall decorations. Tabitha did get some decorations put onto the mantle, as it was stuff we already had in the house. Once Chris got home, he brought in the boxes from the garage and we got out one of our advent calendars for Tabitha.

So today, since Chris is gone all day at work and school, I am trying to get the house in order in between long bouts of resting and tomorrow, Chris is taking the day off of work for personal reasons and therefore we will stay home and get the whole house festive at that time.

There's more to say about various things, but I think this has gone on long enough :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:04 AM PST

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

I want to tell all about our celebration of Chris's birthday and talk about what Tabitha and I did today but I have been hit very hard with a cold. I feel so completely miserable. I've got my hot, herbal tea and my Vicks, but man, I'm still down and out. Chris took Tabitha to hula so I'm just laying around in bed watching tv. I usually have a couple days build up and then one really bad day and then I start to feel better. I'm hoping I had a very mild build up and today is my bad day because I can't imagine feeling worse tomorrow. Chances are, my little weak immune system of a child will probably get it as well.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:15 PM PST

to journal archives
archives before April 2003

We are dorks and buy her every outfit we find that says "Daisy" on it.

Tabitha's Place
(updated 04/29/05)

Daisy's Patch
(updated 8/18/05)

D-Land Friends

Quotable Tabitha

"I swelled with pride"


I love when she uses expressions from books

December 2004

to journal archives
archives before April 2003

zandra AT tarazandra.com

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