Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Because we don't have children, we are those people - you know the ones you make fun of behind closed doors, the ones you think are crazy, the ones you laugh at when they pull out the rolls of film. And before I tell you what type of people we are, let me first tell you, I'm proud to be one of those people.

Every year we dress up our pups for Halloween. It started as a joke. We got a costume one year for Roxie and she loved it. She wore it all day proudly, saying with her tail and smile "Look at me! Look how cute I look!" Then, when Harley came into our lives a few years ago, we got a Dracula costume and continued the tradition. This year, we got three costumes. Oh yes, we wanted our pups to have options. So, Jake ended up Frankenstein, Harley ended up a hot dog, and mommy and daddy ended up costumeless but with several adorable (and creepy, depending on what type of person you are) pictures.

Maybe when we have children to torture and force into ridiculous looking costumes, we won't feel the need to dress the pups up, but until then I'll relish (pardon the Harley pun) being one of those people. :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Girls Weekend...Well Almost

On Friday evening, my mom and I attended a dinner for the Kidney Foundation and were able to sit with Matthew Polly who recently wrote a book called American Shaolin, which you seriously have to read. The book chronicles Matt's journey to the Shaolin temple in China to be a monk (an idea he got from watching the TV show Kung Fu). Check him out at

Then the next morning my mom, sister, and I went to the Author's Luncheon and sat with Mariel Hemingway who is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, a Golden Globe Winner, the recent author of Healthy Living from the Inside Out, and an Oscar Nominee. It was a complete surprise to have her sitting at our 10 person table and I have to admit I was completely star-struck.

We ended the evening with the boys at my parents' with an amazing dinner. I feel slightly bad because we didn't attend our neighbor's halloween party, but you have to be in the mood to put all that work into halloween costumes and we just weren't. Today is all about cleaning, taking care of the filing I've been putting off for weeks, and then when Mr. Howard gets home we're going to go shopping to spend the $200 I have for books for the classroom. What a fabulous weekend!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who would want to leave this angel?

Considering my October theme has been all about babies, moms, and new moms, I thought I'd make a little dedication. :-) This one goes out to Kirsten, Steve, and Jack.

Today, Luke's cousin (Kirsten), and my friend, who is a new mommy went back to work for the first time after having her little one. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to leave and go back to a job where ooohing, ahhing, and giggling aren't the major forms of communication! :-)

There is no more difficult job than staying at home and I applaud her for surviving for, I think, 2 1/2 months. I'm sure, however, that the next few weeks are going to be rough leaving Jack behind (what woman in the world would want to separate from that little stud?). So, on behalf of all the mommys and mommys to be, we wish you good luck!!
PS - Look at me, miss blogging queen. Really, it's just my excuse for not doing the housework or the scrapbook I've been putting off for months. My poor husband!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Congratulations New Mommy

It's only fitting that right after I wrote my blog below (titled "isn't that supposed to cure us?), I found out that my fabulous friend is expecting! I truly couldn't be MORE excited for her!! As I've told her, I'm selfishly excited because I can live vicariously through her for the next year. Perhaps that will cure me. ;-)

Diana, I know that when people are expecting, it's common to hear people say "You're going to be such a wonderful mommy!" but that couldn't be more true for you! Honestly, with as much care and thought you put into your students at school, your family, and your marriage, I know that your new little one is going to be so lucky to have you! Congratulations!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where the magic happens!

We have been talking for a while now about what we are going to ask for Christmas from my parents. Every year it's such a hard we go for a few smaller items (like clothes, movies, books) or do we ask for one big item for the two of us? Mr. Howard's birthday also falls right around Christmas time, so it's doubly hard to think of things. This year we came up with a brilliant plan: Let's ask for a bed. We've been wanting a nice bed ever since we moved in together about 4 years ago. We bought an IKEA bed when we very first moved in together and have been using that one since, but it's straight out of the 70's. I seriously think we only paid $100 for it (in the good old "as is" section). We've hated it ever since we brought it into the home, but beggars can't be choosers. So, we lovingly ignored it every time we passed by the bed.

After coming up with our BRILLIANT Christmas plan, we decided to make sure we would even be able to find a bed in a reasonable price range (there's no sense in asking Mom and Dad for a $1200 Christmas present). We looked high and low and, in our quest, stumbled across a beautiful sleigh bed in a Macy's catalogue. We were thrilled: it was gorgeous, it matches a lot of our other furniture, AND it was affordable. The only problem: it was on a ONE DAY SALE. Of course! So, what were The Howards to do? Pass up the perfect pricing to wait for a more expensive, less beautiful bed?

Oh've figured it out! We bought it! We bought our Christmas present in the middle of October!

Now, we have another month to think of something else we can ask my parents for.....GREAT! But in the mean time, we can sleep on the beautiful bed above!! :-) And can put our old one (seen below) on Craigslist!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Isn't that supposed to cure us?

On Sunday evening, we attended an impromptu barbeque at my sister's and we had the pleasure of playing with an absolutely precious and adorable eight month old. And by "we," I really mean "I" and by "playing," I mean crawling around on the floor like a silly person oohing and ahhing over her. I have friends who tell me..."Oh just spend a few hours with a little one and then you'll be happy you get to go home to an empty house!" But let me tell you, I am not one of those girls. I fully understand the enormous amount of responsibility it is (well, as much as a non-mommy can understand). Having been a nanny for a few years to Emma and William (both under the age of 5) and spent several weekends by myself with the two of them (while mom and dad were out of the country), I am not one of those women who want a baby so I can play "dress up" (I have pups for that) or to have someone to love unconditionally (I have Mr. Howard for that) or need attention or company in my life (I have a phenomenal family for that). I am, instead, one of those women who was just born to be a mommy. I'm not saying that I'll be the most amazing mom in the whole world or that I'm not going to be scared when that day comes. What I'm saying is that I truly believe that I was put on this earth to be a mommy and that there is no more difficult and rewarding experience in the whole world. And until the day comes when I can experience it for myself, my job allows me to play mommy from 9am to 3:30pm - Lucky me!

All in all, I left happy that I got to ignore the world (and by world, I mean my husband, sister and Adeline's parents) to pretend she was mine, devastated that I haven't yet entered the world of mommy-hood, and excited that someday soon I will get to. And until that day, I will have to settle to being mommy to Harley and Jake.

((I wish I could say that Mr. Howard too had some epiphany about daddy-hood, but the truth is I didn't give him 2 seconds to play with her. I didn't mean to, but I kinda hogged her. Sorry, babe!))

Friday, October 12, 2007

Have fun Mom and Dad!!

My parents are in Boston for the week. Why, you may ask (or you may not be interested at all...but will read this blog because you love us!)? They are in Boston to see the leaves change, or at least that's the answer they gave me when I looked incredibly puzzled at them! In all their years (55 to be precise), they've never been able to see the Fall on the East Coast. I wanted to see what I was missing and what they're going to get to experience on their FIRST vacation across the country sans children, so I googled it. The picture above is, I'm sure, only a fraction of what they'll get to see!

So, think good thoughts for their trip and I wish them well!
Love you!!
Mrs. Howard

Monday, October 8, 2007

The family vacation debate is on!

Decisions are never terribly easy when it comes to appeasing the Kirkpatrick (and now Howard) families. We desperately want to go to Australia and New Zealand. We know that when we enter into baby-land, those two countries will be completely out of the question (14-16 hour flights with little ones are not on my top list of situations to experience). Dad is against it because of the weather (our summer is their winter). This, however, is not a problem for me! In fact, the idea of taking a winter vacatation to escape the Sacramento heat, sounds like a phenomenal plan.

Dad's vote originally was for Switzerland. Then, somehow he switched to Machu Picchu. And tonight, my mom informed me that he's now voting for Egypt. In the past four weeks, he's voted for three out of the seven continents: Europe, South America, and Africa. Before our debates are over, he will have come up with countries located on the three remaining continents: Antartica, Asia, and North America - all in a desperate attempt to avoid having to go to Australia.

Come on! Who doesn't want to see one of the most famous buildings in the world: the Sydney Opera House?!? Anyone have any "two cents" to add to the debate, feel free to join in!

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