Friday, December 31, 2004

Late night calls

The phone rang early on Dec 29, 2001.

Me: Hello?

Mom: I think we're going to lose her.

Me: I'll be there as soon as I can.

Her voice was soft. Like a whisper. It seemed like she feared that if she spoke any louder that she might falter. I knew that since she called that I had to hurry.

Me: Honey, I'm going to have to go.

Hubby: I know. Do you want to start checking flights now?

I was able to get a 10am flight the next morning. Since my hubby had to work, I brought the Princess with me. She was 15 months old. Because I was in a rush, I picked the first flight that had a seat. Unfortunately, it was at prime morning naptime.

As we waited for the flight, I gave the Princess a snack. I sang to her. I chatted with her. I walked her around the terminal while she sat in the umbrella stroller. She was in good spirits. But that quickly changed once we boarded the plane. It was only an hour flying time but it felt like an eternity. She cried as we taxi'd down the runway. She wanted to be in her crib. She wanted to sleep. But no! I had her sitting confined on my lap. She couldn't roam. She couldn't get comfortable. Her crying only got more intense as we took off. I held her close. I made soothing noises to her. I rocked her back and forth.

"You're okay. You're okay. Sh-sh-sh. You're okay. Sh-sh-sh."

As she cried in my arms, I was crying inside.

"I can't believe this is happening. I can't believe this is happening."

30 minutes later she was asleep. The exhaustion took over. She lay peacefully in my arms. I can still remember the tear marks down her face as she lay there. Once she fell asleep, I didn't want to move. I didn't want to disturb her sleep. I couldn't brush those angry tears off her face. How she looked was how I felt inside.

My younger sister picked us up from the airport. She drove us straight there.

I couldn't believe it when I saw her. She looked so frail. So tiny. I couldn't believe how much she'd changed in a month. We'd just seen her at Thanksgiving. She was fine then. Now? She lay there unconscious on the bed. I felt so numb. This couldn't be her! But I knew it was. My family seemed to all be in the room and outside in the hallway.

I walked to her bedside. The Princess was still in my arms. She was busily checking out everyone in the room. I sat on the edge of the bed. I stroked her arm. I told her we were right there. I told her that she was a wonderful woman. That we loved her. No matter what. The Princess sensed my sadness and looked at me. I gave the Princess a weak smile. I took one of the Princess' hands and put it on her shoulder. I wanted her to feel the Princess' touch too. I told her that no matter what we'd have her in our hearts. If she was in pain, then she could let it go. We would understand. I didn't cry either. I don't know how long we sat there.

The next thing I recall was that my oldest sister arrived with her family. It was probably about 6pm. They had driven non-stop down from Wyoming. My oldest sister went to her favorite. Everyone knew that. Ever since my oldest sister was born. The day was my sister's birthday. My sister went to her bedside and talked to her. Held her hand.

We all took turns sitting next to her. If we weren't in the room, we were out in the hallway. My younger sister would take walks with me and the Princess around the place. What gave me some joy was how the Princess would smile and wave and say "HI" to everyone we saw. I think it gave those folks some joy to see this little 15-month-old waltzing happily through the halls. I don't think many of the residents had regular visitors. I think it surprised the staff at how many people were in her room (at all times of the day).

We (me, the Princess, & my younger sister) spent the night at my 2nd sister's house. My oldest sister and her family stayed at my parents' house. We all planned to converge the next morning. My younger sister and I decided to go to Dunkin Donuts drive-thru to grab some breakfast for everyone. We finally got to the place and circled the parking lot trying to find a spot. My sister got a call.

Sister: Hello?

[pausing for a moment]

Sister: What?

She had just passed away. It was December 31st about 9am.

She had hung on until we were all there. She had hung on until we were all able to hold her hand. She hung on until we were all able to tell her that we loved her. She hung on until AFTER my sister's birthday.

My Grandma. My Nana. She was a wonderful woman. So selfless. So strong. Such a peaceful woman. So content in the person that she was. So loving to everyone she met. She had this knowing look. This twinkle in her eye. A hug from her could make me cry because I felt so much joy. Love in her touch.

I still miss her.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Resolutions anyone?

I haven't done resolutions in YEARS! I've been contemplating a couple things in my mind. I think it's high time that I write a couple down and stick to them. If I keep the list small then there's a higher likelihood I'll stick to them. Right? Right! I'm enthusiastic about it now but we'll see as 2005 rolls along.

1. Lose 10 pounds by the end of the year

This sounds like an easy one. But it's difficult. I don't eat much per day. This resolution will encompass a commitment to eating more healthfully and working out. I need to drink more water each day. I need to limit my caffeine intake. I need to eat more veggies/fruit. I need to increase my calcium intake (yogurt/cheese/milk) per day. For me, this one is about getting my health in gear. Getting back to a body that FEELS good. It's funny how some of the Moms at preschool have commented on how thin I am. Okay. I might look fine with clothes on but when I'm oh-naturel it's a big ole mess. I want to be strong and more energetic for the kiddos. They deserve more.

2. Limit my internet time to 2 hours per day

I'm fighting this urge to get totally sucked into the internet. I feel so drawn to it. But it takes time away from my kids. Like I said previously, they deserve more. I need to prioritize. I need to put them up higher on my list of daily needs. What I can do to limit my internet time is type out my entries on the laptop while I'm in the family room with the kids. Then I can just copy/paste it in here. Then all the time on the internet would be reading my favorite blogs. I wouldn't be checking on folks multiple times a day in the hopes that they've updated.

3. Write/email one friend per week

This is going to be commitment that should be easy to keep once I get on a roll. As I was writing out the envelopes to my holiday cards, I realized that I didn't know what was going on in the lives of many people in my address book. I think that writing to at least one person per week will get me more involved with my long-distance friends. I'll feel more in touch. I'll be a better friend.

Short list, eh? What's YOUR list look like?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Couldn't you be more supportive?

I know I need to blog about something when I'm still thinking/fuming about it 4 hours later.

Wouldn't you know that after the kids watched "Atlantis - The Lost City" again this morning, the television was on FOX. It had a show I'd never seen before (I never watching regular tv in the morning). It was called Life & Style. Interesting, so I thought.

It's the beginning of the show and there's the usual co-host banter regarding the topics they'd be going over during the show. What was the one topic that got my attention? Breastfeeding in public.

The show was going to have a couple Illinois representatives on the show. Why? Because just several months ago, Illinois became the 25th state to adopt Breastfeeding legislation. Breastfeeding legistation you say? Yes! Apparently, only half the states in our good ole nation have established breastfeeding legislation. Legislation that states that breastfeeding is not indecent.

Anyway, Jules Asner is now on my "not so favorite" entertainment reporter list. Her general comment was that when she sees women breastfeeding it makes her squeemish. Squeemish? Well, this gal doesn't have any children. Yes, she's married. Yes, she's interviewed a TON of famous people. So you'd think she'd be open minded to most things. Come on! She's in the entertainment business! But why does she HAVE to say that about breastfeeding? I thought all women and men that were born in the 60's and later were on board with this "breast is best" business?

Now SHE might chose not to breastfeed when and if she has children. But shouldn't she support women who do? Shouldn't we women be supporting each other? Shouldn't we be giving each other positivity rather than negativity? Because of her shallow (yes! shallow!) opinion on a topic that is already divisive for women....I am no longer going to watch programs that she hosts (so no Life&Style for me!).

You know what's interesting? The spark for the law was when a Mom who was at a gymnasium started to breastfeed her baby in the children's area. A gym employee told her to stop. The Mom stormed out of the gym and began writing her state representatives. Link to details

The representative who spearheaded the drive for the legislation in Illinois? A man! The other representative that appeared on the show was a woman. And she voted NO on the legislation. Why did she vote no? Because she'd never heard any of HER constituents complain about being treated negatively while breastfeeding. She said that there was no need for legislation regarding breastfeeding. She said one complaint shouldn't foster a law being made. But apparently there was a loud outcry once it was found out she'd voted against the legislation.

I support whatever method a Mom decides to feed her baby. Breast or bottle. I don't care. Just as long as that baby gets the nourishment it needs. Why can't other people, especially other women think that way too? It's not like these breastfeeding mothers are harming anyone. I breastfed both my babies. When I had to breastfeed in public, I did so discretely. I made sure to cover myself up. I'm sure other breastfeeding Moms do just the same. It's not like we let our breasts hang out there for everyone to see. It's about nourishment. It's not sexual.

Can you just feel the steam rising from my head as I'm typing this? I do hope that you (dear reader) treat all breastfeeding women with respect. It's a big decision to breastfeed. Don't make women feel bad about giving their babies nourishment. See where YOUR state stands on this issue soap box...

Monday, December 27, 2004

What I'll remember this year

The kidlings had a BLAST this Christmas.

What was a great joy was watching the Bear open his first gift on Christmas Eve. It was from his 2nd cousins (SS & AS) - the two daughters of my hubby's first cousin. Let me tell you that the Bear adores these two girls. We don't see them that often, but he totally remembers them. When they walked in, he ran over to them. He immediately started positioning himself to go in for hugs. It was too funny.

Anyway, I digress. They were going to have to leave for the evening as it was already 8:30pm. We went into the livingroom of my MILs house. They gave the Bear a small wrapped item. He carefully tore it up. He took little 1x1 inch squares off the item and took each torn piece off his fingers. So meticulous. It reminded me of the Princess when she first learned about opening gifts. She still is very meticulous about getting every piece of wrap off the gift.

So there was the Bear slowly opening the gift. Then he sees that all the wrap is off the small box. What does he do? He says "WOW!" and then begins to jump up and down continuing to say "Wow!" He didn't even KNOW what it was! He was just so excited that he'd gotten the thing unwrapped! Everyone was smiling and laughing at the scene. It was a small ornament that said "Godchild" on it. The girls' father is my son's godfather.

The Princess opened her gift from her 2nd cousins a bit more quickly. It was a baby doll. She ended up getting it out of the box (can you believe how secure these toys are in their boxes nowadays?) and began taking care of her baby. She has christened the baby "Sunshine".

The Bear then opened up his actual gift. You should have seen him once they got it out of the box. He immediately put the helmet on his head. He wore it rest of the night. Then he tried to sit in the dump side of the truck. That's right folks! He backed his bottom into that little truck. It was so funny! The hat on his head. The shovel in one hand. The trowel in the other hand. Sitting there in the back of the truck.

It was THIS Tonka Truck.

It was such a joy to watch the two of them. It was not the overload scene of the next day that I'm going to cherish about this Christmas. It's going to be this Christmas Eve scene. My son in the dump truck and my daughter craddling a baby doll.

Heard at the dinner table...

Princess: Daddy!

Hubby: Yes, honey?

Prin: Put my stuff away.

Hub: Excuse me?

Prin: Put my stuff away. I'm too busy.

I guess her handwashing was a priority to her over putting her glass & her plate away.

Hub: Is that how you ask Daddy? I'll compromise. Why don't you put your glass away and I'll get your plate.

Prin: Alrighty! [Then she skips away to wash her hands. For 5 minutes.]

Snarky holiday moments

I had to put all these moments together. I didn't want them muddled with anything else. They tend to lose their impact when buried in other posts. Here are all the weird moments I had to witness and deal with over the weekend.

Did you have any odd family moments this weekend? Share them!


On Friday when we drove up, I had my daughter dressed in a black turtleneck, black leggings, and a black long-sleeve holiday t-shirt with penguins on it. I had her hair all pulled up in a single ponytail so it wouldn't be all over the place. Later on that evening this is what I heard.

MIL: "She looks good in black."

Me: "Yes, she does. I think she looks good in a lot of different colors."

MIL: "I never thought children should be dressed in black.....but she looks good in it."

I think I dress her appropriately. Long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts. Leggings (because she can't fit in regular pants because she's so slender). Sweatshirts. Turtlenecks. I don't put her in fancy things. Fancy things aren't appropriate for preschool. My girl is always in the sandbox and running around so dresses aren't practical there. I don't buy things with a bunch of bows and flowers on them. I like simple. I put her in a wide range of colors though. I've never dressed her in only pinks (which I know is exactly what my MIL did with my SIL). I've never and will never paint her room pink (which is another thing my MIL did with my SIL).

So keep the clothing comments to yourself lady! She's MY child. The stuff she's got in her closet and dresser can all mix and match easily because it's all simple stuff. My girl knows that no particular color is off limits. Right now? My girl is in a soft blue colored sweatshirt with pink & white snowflakes on it with a pair of burnt orange shorts. It might sound weird, but it matches. She picked it out. It's fine. She's discovering HER sense of style.


Nope! The highchair was still in the backroom when we got there. An hour before my BIL was to arrive, I went & retrieved it & put it in the nook area.

MIL: "Oh, is the Bear going to have a snack?"

Me: "No...I'm putting it there so when we're ready to eat it's already in place."

You should have seen the confused look on her face. Stupid woman! The kid needs to sit in a highchair to eat. He needs to be contained. He can't be allowed to just take bites (like a dog) from people's plates and run around with food in his mouth. Umm...isn't that why you BOUGHT the darn highchair? So the child could eat?


Now remember my previous post on how we had two towels between four individuals the last time we slept over my MILs house? Well, that was the case again. She had set out two towels on top the guest bath vanity on Friday night.

What's the craziest thing about this? Is that on Saturday night when we were about to get the kids ready for bed, she gave us back the two towels. She had taken the time to WASH those TWO towels. Yes, she washed the two towels and was giving them back to us so we could use them.

And...yes! I was so happy that I brought my own shampoo/conditioner/shower gel this time around. The same old barely any left containers of shampoo and conditioner were in the guest bath. Along with the same old hard as a rock piece of soap. Ugh! I went to town with my Dove shampoo/conditioner. "I'm gonna wash that @#%#% right out of my hair..." Then I scrubbed away with my Sweetpea shower gel on my sponge. Ahhh...the comforts of home!


Friday night we were getting the kids ready for their bath.

Hubby: "Honey, are you going to put the Bear on the toilet for potty time?"

MIL: "Oh, do you need the little seat?"

Hubby: "Do you have one?"

MIL: "Yes, we got one when the Princess was first learning."

Hubby: "That would be great. Where is it?"

My MIL then proceeds to go through the door that leads to the garage. The garage! She was going to get the baby toilet seat from the garage. Umm...don't you have to clean it first before my child sits on it? My child is already naked and ready to be put into the bathtub.

Me: "Uh, that's okay MIL. No hurry. We can skip it tonight."

So I proceed to put the Bear into the tub and wash him. So I'm thinking that the seat will be available for the next day, right? She's got one. She knows we're trying to get the boy oriented to the toilet. Does she get it out of the garage and ready for the next night? Uh...NO!


One of the things I can't stand about the holidays with my ILs is how they try to take "credit" for buying the kids gifts. When the kids were opening gifts, I was having my hubby do the holiday list. You know. What the gift was and who it was from?

I was supervising the Princess. When she'd open a gift, I'd hold it up for my hubby to see and then say what it was and then say the first few letters of person's name who it was from.

Now my SIL was supervising the Bear (her Godchild). She was saying "Oh, these are from BIL" or "Oh, I bought these." Umm... doesn't she realize that she'll ruin the Santa illusion with those kind of statements? I wanted to bitch slap her. She has one of those loud whiney voices (with a faint Chicago accent). I was shocked that the Princess' didn't hear her.

Come on people! Keep Santa alive! Don't try to take credit! If you want to be sure to get credit then write down what you bought the kids and hand it to us. This way you don't have to SHOUT across the room about who bought what.


Most of the time, my son has really smelly poopy diapers. Hey, he's a good eater! What do you expect? When he has a toot-toot they can also be very stinky. On Saturday, as we're hanging around my MILs house my son has a toot-toot. He hasn't been changed in a couple hours.

Hubby: "Okay sister! Why don't you change him?"

SIL: "I'm not going to change him if he's got a poopy diaper."
Hubby: "Why not? You're his godmother. If you're ever going to babysit him, then you're going to have to be able to change a poopy diaper."

SIL: "He's almost TWO years old. Shouldn't he almost be potty trained?"

Can you say HOLD ME BACK? Yes. My son is almost two. And no. He's not potty trained. He's just getting started to get oriented to the toilet and what it's used for. Can you believe my SIL said this? She's not married. She's never even had a long-term relationship (meaning more than THREE months) in the 11 years that I've known her. She's never been pregnant (as far as I know). Therefore, she's never had a BABY! She has the nerve to say that about MY son? Her godchild? She's not willing to change a poopy diaper? SHEEE-IT! She's never going to babysit my child!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

We're back!

But alas I have no time to compose a REAL post. Nothing that would make sense. So give me a day to get my thoughts down. I'll be back. I'm busy reading how everyone ELSE's holiday weekend turned out!

Friday, December 24, 2004

More cheerful send-off

Hey, I couldn't leave without putting in a more cheerful entry. The one I posted yesterday was so snarky. Phooey! I hate it when I get so nasty (but's my MIL!).

I've packed some of the kids Christmas gifts into the back of my hubby's truck. I put the festively wrapped boxes into a HUGE U-Haul moving box. So it's all under cover and safe. I took the rest of the gifts down from the top shelf of our closet while my hubs took the kiddos to the bagel shop this morning. Those gifts are currently in the hall closet. I'll be setting out those gifts next to our baby tree while my hubs straps the kids into their carseats. It'll be a nice surprise for them to see another stash of gifts in the townhome when we get home on Sunday.Remember? I told the Princess that I "emailed" Santa to let him know that we'd be up at my ILs house for Christmas Day. That way he'd be able to leave some gifts there at my ILs house and leave some here at our townhouse. Ingenious? That's what I keep trying to tell my husband! Also, this allows us more flexibility. We don't have to haul the entire stash of gifts up to my ILs and haul it all back home.

No matter how we're (or should I say "I") am received, I'll be sure to have a good time. I won't be snippety. I won't be short. I MAY be on the quiet side at times. But I'll still make sure the kids have a festive time. I'll be sure to give them loads of hugs and kisses (like always). I'll be sure to snuggle with my husband (most importantly).

I do hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! Be gentle. Be kind. Be generous. Love those around you.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Signing off for a couple days

It's almost the BIG day!!!

Tomorrow morning we drive up to my ILs house. Thankfully, my hubs has the day off so we can do a leisurely morning drive. Versus an afternoon hurried drive (which would most likely meet up with TONS of traffic). Needless to say, I'll be missing from the blogworld for a couple of days.


If you're having guests sleep over at your home this weekend: Please leave some towels out (at least one per person). Please get some shampoo/conditioner/body gel/soap out for them. Please be welcoming. Bring out that high chair that you bought for the kids. Please be generous. Please be kind.

Now as for the treatment I'll be receiving tomorrow? Two towels will be left in the bathroom for the FOUR of us. No wash cloths in sight. There will be leftover shampoo & conditioner from who knows how long ago. There will be measly little used up bar of soap. I'm sure I'll be hearing some lame comments & underhanded talk.

My solution? Bring my own wash cloths. Bring my own shampoo & conditioner (for me AND for the kiddos). Bring my own shower gel. Bring extra big towels for myself & hubs. Then I'll just try to keep my mouth shut & take photos. It's safer that way.

I wonder if this lady realizes that if when she gets old that she's never going to live with us? Not after her behavior ALL these years? Now if she ever asks me why not, then I'll let her have it. I might be silent when she's being snippety & two-faced but I have a mind like an elephant. I remember all the nasty stuff that's happened. So don't take my silence as acceptance.

Can you just feel the LOVE I have for my MIL?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ya Big Baby!!

That's what I wanted to shout at the television this morning when I watched my Amazing Race 6 tape from last night.

That Jonathan! I know I've rambled on about this man in another post. But each episode he continues to make himself look like an extreme idiot. He yells at his wife - no doubt. Last night he was screaming at people working at an airline counter. It wasn't even anything THEY did. It's just that Jonathan got outmaneuvered by another team -- who stopped at a travel agency to get their tickets versus going directly to the airline counter. Then Jonathan goes and yells at the other team when he sees them. Ya big baby! Grow up! You got out-smarted! Serves you right!

Gus & Hera? Rock on! I was so happy these two out-witted J&V. They didn't respond when Jonathan was yelling at them. They just continued on their way. Gus just mumbled under his breath. Such control on their emotions. It was great. I think that's what irritated Jonathan the most too. Their non-response to his outburst. These two aren't flashy, but they get the job done at a steady pace.

As for Kendra. She is acting so snobby. Bleah. I am not enjoying her at all. Same thing with Hayden. She's a freak. Running around with her head chopped off. She gets upset with her man, but he treats her so calmly. I mean, she should just shut her mouth and TRY to read the map. You'd think she would have brushed up on that skill before the game started - since she's such a control freak. You know?

Kris & Jon continue to endear themselves to my heart. I really want them to do well. They enjoyed the scenery of the country. They didn't yell back at the locals who yelled no-so-nice things to them. They handled the "broken Herbie car" situation with class. For such young adults, these two are handling themselves really well.

I LOVE this show!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Que hora es?

There were three in the bed & the little one said "Roll over, roll over"...And they all rolled over and one fell out!

You know that song? Well, one of us didn't FALL out of bed last night. It was more of a bolting out of bed.

And did you read three of us in bed? Yeah! After I get my daughter in bed, I lay down next to her for a little while. I don't touch her. I don't cuddle with her. She is just comforted with someone next to her as she falls asleep.

Last night (for some reason), my husband decides to be helpful. He starts to finish up the washing of pans - that he didn't finish earlier in the evening. Mind you. The kitchen is 10 feet away from the Princess' bedroom. The bedroom with the open door (since she doesn't like it to be closed). So as she's almost falling asleep, we hear the water running. Pans being clanked together. Dishes being clanked together. Oy!

After 10 minutes of trying to pretend I'm asleep, I get up. I whisper to her "It's been 5 minutes. I'll check on you after my shower." [This is usually the excuse I give her if she hasn't yet fallen asleep. She normally falls asleep within a few minutes. Well, with Mr. Helpful banging away in the kitchen she doesn't.

I get out of the shower and see him walking into our room. Then I see her jump into our bed.

We were both tired from last night's "cricket event". Because of this we decided to get to bed early (about 9pm). No hanky-panky was going to happen. We just wanted to sleep. So seeing the Princess get into our bed at 8:45pm was NOT a happy sight. She's a LOUD sleeper. She snores something awful. Not just on the intake of air but also on the exhale. Plus she moves around a bit. I knew that I wouldn't get as fitful a night's sleep with her in bed as I'd hoped.

Since she was in our bed already, we hopped in after her. What's 15 minutes, right?

We lay there in the dark. She's doing her usually chatting to herself business. All's quiet.

Suddenly, there's a loud knock on our front door. "FED-EX!"

I'm already in a haze of almost sleep.

Then 10 seconds later. Another loud knock on our front door. "FED-EX!"

Me: "Hubby, are you going to get that?"

Hubs: "Nope." [seemingly laying there as still as a stone trying to ignore what's happening]

I contemplate his answer. The guy knocked twice. And it's Fed-Ex. DAMN! They require a signature! If I don't get it now then I'll have to pick the package up (with my two kidlings in tow). Or else possibly have another late night delivery attempt.

I haul my dazed body out of bed and open the front door (it's 5 feet from our bedroom door). Thankfully, I wore a big t-shirt and an old pair of huge sweat shorts to bed. I've got my glasses and my still damp hair from my shower. I gaze up to the guy.

Guy: "Oh, were you sleeping?"

Hmmm...what makes you say that? Could it be that the entire house is dark? Could it that I'm squinting my eyes from the harsh reality of our front porch light?

Guy: "I need a signature." [Note: He hasn't lowered his volume]

I sign the little machine.

Guy: "What's the first initial on your first name?"

I answer correctly. But in my head I'm thinking "T" as in "Do you know what TIME it is?"

So be prepared people! If you've got little ones. If you've got family from other parts of the country. If people are planning on sending gifts via Fed-Ex...

Be prepared for deliveries past 9 p.m.!


Monday, December 20, 2004

You better have you found the carcass

Don't know what time it was. But my husband woke me up as he bolted out of bed. Why'd he get up in the middle of the night. The middle of the night where it's pitch black and not a soul is awake. In the middle of the night where it's too late or too early to even check the time.

The reason? He heard a cricket. And the cricket was keeping him up.

What did he do to resolve this? He sprayed some bug spray. The sound stopped. He got back into bed.

He heard the cricket again. Chirping happily. He got up. He sprayed. The sound stopped. He got back into bed.

He heard the [damn] cricket again. He got up. He sprayed. The sound stopped. He got back into bed.


He did this about 7 or 8 times. You read that correctly. SEVEN or EIGHT times! Each time he got up, he woke me up. ARGH!


I just called him to find out the details. The details regarding his stand-off against the cricket. Did he finally kill the thing?

Yes! Halleluia! How? Since he sprayed so many times. He went outside and sprayed outside our kitchen window. The darn cricket was hanging out OUTSIDE the window the entire time. Sheee-it!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

It's a wrap!

My hubs took the Princess to his office yesterday for the couple of hours that the Bear was taking his nap.

What did I do? I wrapped. wrapped. WRAPPED!

I was a maniac. I put on "I, Robot" for some entertainment and got all but 4 items festive looking. What kind of wrapping paper did I use? I made sure to wrap the gifts that are toys to my kids (which'll be from Santa) all with one kind of wrapping paper. All the gifts that we are giving to family members are all wrapped in a totally different wrapping paper. This is how I keep the illusion of Santa. Also, I know that if we keep to only two kinds of paper, photos of the tree look so much nicer. Our tree (the one that's in storage and is too big for the townhouse) only has three colors: soft gold, cream, and burgundy. So I tend to buy paper that doesn't clash with those colors. Anal? Yeah...that's me!

Anyway, I also was able to hide all the gifts safely away. On the topmost shelf in our master closet, I stacked my kids gifts. I threw a couple beach towels on top of them. My kids never look up THAT high, so I know they're safely hidden. In a moving box on the floor of our room, I put all the other gifts (family gifts). That box had been sitting there on our bedroom floor empty for a couple weeks. The kids never messed with it, so I'm sure the gifts are safe in there.

Whew! It was a marathon, but I'm glad it's done. How is your wrapping situation going?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Staying at home

I read a thread on a message board recently regarding the "best" and the "worst" things about being a stay-at-home Mom.

Here are a couple quotes as to the worst things about being a SAHM:

"...feeling like a mad-woman trying to manage monkeys. feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and burned out. wondering some days..."WHY? WHY did I have kids"? feeling trapped, isolated, lonely. 24/7 mommy is the hardest job in the whole wide world. no "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it. "

"I have no patience, I cannot play Barbies or legos seven hundred times over again, I lose my temper when I shouldn't, I feel guilty for wanting time to myself, I feel bad that I have no desire for another child, so she is an only, and she has no one to play with, wracked with guilt about whether I'm doing anything or everything right, too tired to be an adequate romantic partner to my spouse, have no money of my own, feel like most of society treats me like I can't form a sentence because all I am is "a mom," even though I have a PhD and used to be a college professor and archaeologist......oh, I could go on and on."

"...general day-to-day plodding thru of stuff. Some days are GREAT, but some days are pure drudgery! Some days you could just walk away (metaphorically of course!!!) from the whole deal. Sometimes I do wonder whether this is my only purpose in life, LOL - to wipe bums and snot and vomit up..."

"The worst thing is the lack of respect from others who think I sit on my a** all day and watch tv. I wish! Being away from other adults all day, every day, is very exhausting and sometimes stressful. After being home for awhile I began to feel that I wasn't "me" anymore."

"Worst is the total lack of control over ANYTHING. I am pretty tightly-wound - an absolute control freak - and even after 6-1/2 years, I still cannot get used to the fact that I just don't know what's going to happen today. I might have plans, priorities, whatever - but they might all be ditched by breakfast time, based on what the monkeys are doing."

"...when people just assume you lack education or any type of experience? What is that anyway? I've had more people be rude to me just because I'm standing there holding a baby. I constantly feel like I have to justify myself. People on the street think they can mess w/ me because I sometimes wear pink and drive a minivan! When is the world going to dump the stereotyping?"


It helped me realize that. I. AM. NOT. THE. ONLY. ONE. STRUGGLING.

Not all of us transition into stay-at-home Moms easily. I know that for me, it's been a long journey. When I was in school, I didn't have boyfriends. Let me correct that. In the 8th grade, I had one very amazing boyfriend. I had a lot of friends who were boys, but no boyfriends. No romance. So I had it in my head that I was going to have a career. I didn't sit and learn much about cooking. I tried to keep supervising my younger sister (12 years younger than me) to a minimum. I didn't develop my nurturing side. Not in the least. I studied hard. I graduated from college (first one of the daughters to do so). I started my career.

I was successful at what I did. I was driven. I enjoyed the challenge. I was on process improvement teams. I helped install new accounting software. I took on tasks above and beyond my job description. I loved being in the midst of the chaos. My hard edge personality worked well with what I did. I kept the troops in order. I made sure folks turned things in a timely manner. I was a friend to everyone, but if they didn't do their work? I was very pointed and direct with them to get THE. JOB. DONE.

Actually, I turned out very much like my father. He came from a military background. Everything was either black or white in his eyes. No grey matter. Things are either right or wrong. Moral or immoral. I had my opinions on how things should be done and that was that.

Then I got married. I continued my career path. Four years after we were married, I became pregnant with the Princess. My husband and I both agreed that a family member should be at home with our child. Both of us came from situations where even if both parents worked, someone from our family watched us. We wanted to have that for our child. The decision? I would quit my job. I went from working full-time one week to being a SAHM the next.

What's funny is that when I told my family that I was going to stay at home with the Princess, they didn't believe me. They couldn't picture ME at home alone with a baby. They knew me too well. They secretly felt that I wouldn't be at home long. They figured I'd get to the end of my rope and go back to work. But I haven't. I'm still sticking to the task of being at home. At least until the kids are both in school. That's exactly what MY Mom did. That's the kind of thing we both want for our children.

You know what drove me crazy when I first was home with the Princess? Aside from the colic that lasted for 6 weeks? Was that I had NO ONE to talk to all day long. I ended up being one of crazy looking Moms who'd talk endlessly to her baby. In the grocery store, I'd pick up items and show the Princess as she lay there in the baby carrier. I'd ask her questions like "Do you think we should buy some tomatoes for salad this week?"

Yeah. I know I looked like a MAD woman. But at least I was talking. I just about pounce on my hubby jabbering up a storm when he'd come home from work. I had this tremendous NEED to talk to people. Sure, I could call my sisters. But it wasn't like they were right there. Thankfully, the Princess and I started attending a Gymboree Play & Music class and we clicked with a few Moms there. I do recall a time when one mom and I were walking down to the Starbucks after class. I was telling her how difficult it was for me to be a SAHM. A man was walking into the Starbucks behind us. He heard what I was saying and had this "Yeah right. It's SO hard being at home" look on his face. I tell you, I almost turned around and smacked him upside the head.

For a person like me who thought in terms of black and white. Clear cut delineations. Dealing with a baby was the hardest to deal with. Life is all about GREY when interacting with a baby. You might have a plan for the day, but your baby has its own agenda. Learning to live life in the "grey" has been quite a challenge.

What' s the worst part for me? Not having any private time. Sure, I have alone time. When? When I'm in the shower and when I'm asleep. But I can't really RELISH in that time alone, you know? I really get no break. I've not had more than one day apart from both my kids since they've been born. We don't live near family** that would otherwise allow me some time off. I know that if my family lived near us, I'd be able to take a couple hours for myself each week. Time to get my hair cut & colored (which I haven't done in 3 months). Time to go to the library & browse. Time to sit still and not have anyone climbing on top of me. Time to breath.

My biggest wish right now? To take an entire WEEK off. An entire week away from everyone and everything. But is it practical? No. That's why it's a wish.

It's been 4 years now since I began my career as a SAHM. I still struggle with my role. I have to say that I can't wait until both kids are in school - even half a day. That would at least give me time alone. So that's the point that I'm striving to get to. To have both kids in school. Oh yeah...but before then I'll just work on trying to bring up a couple of loving & grounded kids. I know. I know. That's the MOST important thing.

** When we lived near my hubby's family, we didn't get any help. Everyone worked (or so the excuse goes).

Carseat antics

I know I've mentioned it before. How the Princess loves to sing. To sing her own songs?

Well, this afternoon after lunch she decided to start belting out the tunes. I had just turned around and asked the Bear if the sun was in his eyes. The Princess looks at me with a twinkle in her eye. Suddenly, our car is filled with song.

"Oh....the Bear has sun in his eyes...Cover your face... So the sun doesn't shine in your eyes... Poor Bear... He's got the sun in his eyes..."

What's the funniest is that there's no real tune to this song. It's pretty much monotone.But at least it's got a beat to it.

What's even funnier? Is that she was using her left hand to keep the beat. She was doing a variety of movements. Twisting her wrist. Opening and closing her fingers. So funny.

It was immensely amusing for me.Once she stopped singing. Basically...pausing...I started to clap.

[I'm laughing in my head as I'm typing this]

What did she do? She did a bow. A bow in her carseat! She did the hand movements that she learned in her hula class (months ago). She touched her fingertips on both hands to her lips. She extended her arms in front of her with her palms facing out with her middle & index fingertips touching. She also lowered her head.

I couldn't help but crack up hysterically. Then she looked up at me and smiled.

THEN she belted out another song! This time she had both arms going to the beat. What's the funniest thing about this? Is that the Bear started to copy her arm movements. He had both arms moving as he's peering to his left at her. Watching her movements and trying SO hard to copy her.

It was such a great ride home.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Odd sight

The Bear and I were headed home after a quick trip to the mall to get the Princess' teachers' gifts.

I saw up ahead that there were about 4 Sheriff squad cars in a parking lot to my right.


As I drove past, I took a quick glance. It was the parking lot of a funeral home.

There were about 10 Sheriff deputies standing at the entrance of the parking lot.

There were about 50 people all dressed in black further into the parking lot.

I wonder who died? I wonder WHY there were Sheriff deputies posted?

It was definitely an odd sight.

Will the pushing ever stop?

Yes! There's a lot of pushing going on between the kiddos.

The Bear wants to push his sister in fun. The Princess gets tired of him pushing her.

My role? I'm the referee. I actually think I could qualify to work for the WWF or the U.S. Boxing Association!

They oftentimes do the chasing business. The rules? No pushing in the back (this is a guaranteed SPLAT situation). No running towards the glass french door (in case their "brakes" malfunction). No hitting each other as they go opposite directions (one day there's going to be a broken arm).

Once the Princess wants to take a break, the Bear will end up crawling up on her. Thus, a wrestling match inevitably erupts. My main objective when they're in their sparing match is to ensure "fair play". No biting. No choking. No pulling hair. No kicking. I also try to ensure "safe" play. No wrestling on the couch -- lest they fall off. No wrestling next to the tv cabinet -- lest they bump into it and knock the tv down.

I try to stay out of it. Be gentle. Be nice.

But does the pushing & the shoving ever stop?


On another note: There's nothing funnier than accidentally putting on a child's bottoms on backwards. And then not correcting it. He never noticed that his shorts were on backwards either. Even when I changed his diaper during the day, I kept them on backwards. Ha!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Making Mommy Laugh

There I was standing in the kitchen putting some pens in the holder.

You open your bedroom door and look at me standing there.

At 2:30AM.

[You read that correctly. 2:30 fricking in the morning! I had another night of not being able to go back to sleep after I answered the call of nature]

You: Why is my door closed?

I walk over, turn you around, and tuck you back into bed.

You: Mommy, I had a great dream just now.

Me: What about honey?

You: I dreamed that you were ironing. [Uh, okay. Now I know she's delirious & not fully awake.]

Me: That's nice honey. I'll lay down with you a couple minutes. Then I'll see you in the morning.

You fall back asleep under a minute. You snore away as I sneak back to my bed.

I'm silently chuckling in my head as I finally fall back asleep.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Got "My Soldier" package all set

The Bear and I went to Target today to pick up items for our first "My Soldier" package. I finally got an email from the organizers and have a contact name! Instead of just sending a letter, I decided to send a few items along with it. It's a tiny box (9 1/2 x 6 x 3 3/4) but chock full of goodness.

What's in the box? Lifesaver sours (individually wrapped). 3 pair of white socks. Listerine pocketpak strips (cinnamon flavor). A little thingy of Carmex. Murine eyedrops. 2 small packs of Kleenex. A travel sized baby powder. A little keychain light that's supposed to last 10,000 hours.

You think it'll be a nice little package for someone to receive? I wanted to keep it small & lightweight for easier & quicker shipping.

Has anyone else adopted a soldier? What did you send?

Amazing Race...did you see it?

Can someone PLEASE give that Jonathan a valium?

I cannot believe that Victoria is still married to that pompous jerk. Okay. Okay. It might be something to do with the editing that's making him look bad. NO! No! No! He definitely is a jerk. There's no amount of editing that can making someone look THAT horrific if they're not a bad person to begin with. I can't believe how much she was crying last night. He was such a wus that he couldn't RUN to the finish. He had to throw his pack off so that he'd be able to run. Everyone who witnessed them finish looked so embarrassed. SO embarrassed that they witnessed that tirade. ARGH!

I was busting up laughing though with the altercation at the travel agency between Hayden & Bolo. Thankfully the two of them made up quickly. They let it go. They let it pass. Like adults! They knew their tempers were flaring. Good sportsmanship! They made up!

I really don't like that gal Kendra. She really doesn't realize that MOST of the world isn't wealthy. That there are LOTS of places that have poverty. She needs to open her eyes and realize this. Not all the world has $50,000 cars to drive around. Not everyone has access to birth control. Not everyone sees possessions as the most important thing.

So far...I want Kris & Jon to win. They seem to appreciate the entire experience. They always seem upbeat. Not only with each other. But with the other teams. They are the sparks in this year's race compared to the "not so happy" teams. I hope their success in the race continues.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Last Gymboree Class

Today was the day. After almost four years, I attended my last Gymboree Play&Music Class.

It all began when my Princess was 6 months old. I needed some adult interaction. She needed to be around other babies her age. The answer? Gymboree!Andrea was the Pied-Piper of Gymboree (in a positive way). She got the kids into the activities. She captivated them. The Princess continued taking classes until she was about 2 1/2 years old. She developed some great friendships. So did I!

When the Bear was 9 months old, I got him signed up for classes. He ended up having the same instructor as the Princess had. When we moved, I made sure to locate the Gymboree in our new city. So I've been taking the Bear to this new location for about 6 months now.

I decided not to sign him up for the next session. Why? Because the next set of classes requires really good listening skills. He'd rather run around on his own. He's more of a free spirit and wouldn't be a good example for the other kids. I know he'd listen sometimes. Yes, he would. But for as pricey as these classes are...I think our time there has come to an end.

But today was an amazing day. As we were driving there, he wasn't in the best of moods. I think he wanted to stay home and veg and play with his sister. But when we got there? He ran around. There were only FOUR kids total in the class today. I guess some kids were sick. Usually there about 10 kids. He had a blast! He went crazy for the bubbles like normal. The other Moms were amused by his facial expressions. He stayed under the parachute when we moved it above them - he usually runs out. He rode in the parachute as we moved it around like a merry-go-round - he usually holds an edge and walks with me. What was the MOST impressive thing was that he "sang" the songs with us. We usually sing "Twinkle-twinkle" and "The Great Big Cat" along with hand movements. He was saying some of the words to the song AND doing the hand movements! He NEVER does that!

I'm so happy that our last day at class was successful. He had a blast. I had a blast. A good end to a wonderful play experience for us all.

Making Mommy Growl

Place the addresses of people I've been asking about on my bedstand. Put that little non-descript piece of paper on the bedstand that I use as a dumping ground for stuff I don't know where to put. Put it on my bedstand without telling me. Then get annoyed at ME when I ask for the addresses.

Why didn't you put the addresses on the refrigerator? Why didn't you use a big yellow post-it (that I know you have at work) instead of a plain piece of paper that I'd normally just toss?

ARGH! Ho-ho-ho!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Making Mommy Laugh

We head out at 4pm. We get to the freeway on-ramp about 4:40pm.

Princess: Daddy?

Hubby: Yes, honey?

Princess: I'm going to stay awake the entire drive.

Hubby: Okay, honey.

20 minutes later. All is quiet on her side of the truck. I look back. She's passed out!

An hour and a half later. We're exiting the freeway to our destination. A mall for dinner.

Princess: Daddy?

Hub: Yes, honey?

Princess: I stayed awake the entire time!

Hub: That's nice honey.

Princess: I stayed really quiet so I wouldn't disturb Mommy or Bear.

The rest of us were awake the entire time. She was snoring and snorting as she slept. We couldn't help but "play" along with her.

MIL Rants

Let me just say that I can't help but get this crap off my chest.


My MIL was having a discussion with the Princess...

MIL: So, do you have a tree?

Princess: Yes!

MIL: Is it a big tree or a little tree?

Princess: It's a small one. We don't have room for a big one at the townhouse.

MIL: That's not right. You should have a BIG one!

Ummm...She's seen the size of our townhouse. Where the hell would we put a BIG tree? We might have been able to put our big one up if you'd let us store our formal dining room set in your den.

She had a conversation with my hubby regarding what stuff we had in storage. My hubby explained that we had our formal livingroom furniture, china cabinet, & other large pieces in our big storage unit. One of her responses in the conversation was something like..."Yeah, I've had those china cabinet shelves in my house forever! "

Oh my gosh! The glass china cabinet shelves. She has them in her den agains the wall. There are THREE glass shelves about 4 feet wide and 1 foot across. Like these things take up a whole lot of space? How are these three shelves causing you any discomfort? It's not like you hang out in the den! All that you've got in there is your computer!


We were chatting about how cold it's been lately. She explained to me they used to keep a faucet on just a little when it was freezing cold in Chicago. I then mentioned to her that we woke one morning to no water. I told her that our pipes had frozen. I explained that the pipe that leads into our townhouse runs up from the ground outside our exterior wall and then into the townhouse (so it's exposed). I told her that I had to call the maintenance department and that the guy used one of those tiny gas torches to warm the pipe. Her response? "How cheaply do they make those townhomes?"


A little while later she told us about how her car wouldn't start one day. She took about 5 minutes explaining the tale. I nodded & acted interested. I then told her that on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I'd loaded the kids into my car to do an errand & my car wouldn't start. I told her the roadside assitance guy explained that it had been SO cold the last few nights (in the 20's) that my battery had just gotten its power sucked out of it. I took less than 2 minutes to relay my story & she couldn't have looked less interested if she tried. Umm...I listened to your tall tale lady. Couldn't you at least SEEM interested in mine?


She asked the Bear to put something into the room that has the kids' toys. He did exactly what she asked him to do.

MIL: So he can understand! [in a surprised voice]

Hub: Yes.

MIL: Wow! [like she couldn't believe he understood]

Lady, my kid can't say a whole lot of words but he can understand a bunch. Just talk to him. You'll see that he takes direction just as well as his sister when she was his age. Understanding words & speaking don't go hand in hand. Those two skills develop at their own rate. My boy isn't dumb lady!


Some of you might wonder why I don't put her in her place? Because I'm married into the family. It's up to my hubby to put her in her place. I keep my dad in check all the time. I tell my folks how it is. I'm not rude to them. I just let them know where I stand. They know I'm an adult and they need to respect how my family unit functions. Right? So when it comes to my hubby's side of the family he needs to step up to them. Not me. I stay quiet and in the background. I swallow the bitter bile that creeps up my throat whenever I hear rude remarks from my MILs mouth. If I did step up on my own? My hubby's ENTIRE family would hear how I'm such a horrible person. Why would I think that? Because they all talk about each other. I know for a fact that my MIL has an opinion on one of the other married in girls because my MILs sister doesn't care for her. So my MIL is treating this girl a certain way based upon what her sister says. Not what my MIL has experienced with this girl herself.

Which leads me to this last blurb about my MIL. She was explaining how she knows some people who have an opinion on someone based upon a third party. She was saying how odd it was for those people to have any kind of opinion since they didn't know that one person. They just relied upon that third person's relations with that one person. I couldn't believe that story was spouting out of my MILs mouth. I almost visibly gagged that I was so shocked. She does this ALL the time! She's such a hypocrite! This is one of the reasons I don't have the best relationship with her. I stay guarded and only convey generic information to her. I just don't TRUST her with any important information.

Remember...when I told her I was pregnant with the Princess? She said "Was it a mistake?" There was a pause because my hubby and I couldn't believe she asked that question. Then she said "Or were you trying?" Shouldn't the first words out of her mouth be "Congratulations! When are you due?" This was going to be her FIRST grandchild. Shouldn't she have focused on the joy of the event rather than ask if it was a mistake? Now could YOU trust someone who reacted that way?


The joy of spending time with my MIL will continue for Christmas. Yes! We'll be spending Christmas with my ILs. [choke-choke-choke] It's unfortunate but true. So be forewarned that I'll be spouting off more stupid statements she's made in a couple weeks.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Typical afternoon?

What're YOU doing right now?

I should be packing. For where? We're driving up to my ILs this afternoon. Well, whenever my hubs decides to cut out of work. I've got my bag packed. I've got the Princess packed up. I still have to get the Bear's stuff into the two-some bag. But the kid is taking a nap. SO...his stuff still needs to get done. My hubs? He hasn't packed one bit. He'll just throw stuff into a bag once he gets home.

Like I said...the Bear is asleep. We got home from picking up the Princess from preschool. I was going to fix him some lunch but he was being SO edgey. He was doing that leg hover business. He wasn't letting me move about. He was impeding my progress. I picked him up. I looked him straight in the eyes. I asked him if he wanted to take "Me-me's". That's what my hubby called naptime. Me-me's. I don't know where he got it but the Bear understands what that is. The kid gave me the "yes" sign. Okay. Fine.

I read him a story. I put him into his crib. He plays for about 10 minutes. All is silent now. He's out. Thankfully, the kid had some raisins while we were driving out to the preschool. He's got a little something in his tummy, since he decided to forego lunch. Yes! He decided that napping was MORE important than more food. Amazing!

What's my girl doing? She's bouncing on our bed like it's a trampoline. She's doing that spread leg thing as she goes up. A cheerleader in the making? AND she smells like peanut butter.

Just a typical afternoon here on a Friday. What're you doing right now?

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Making Mommy Growl

I get to the preschool for pick-up. I walk 100 feet from the car to the school gate with a squigly Bear. I run into the classroom to grab a jacket, a lunchbox, & artwork. I chase the overly tired Bear down and put back the dinosaurs he's confiscated.

We find you in the play yard. It takes you about 5 minutes to run around to say "Bye" to all your friends. We walk the 100 feet from the school gate to the car. As I'm about to help you into the car, you turn to me and say "Mommy, I''ve got to go pee-pee." Dang it!

I know that you've got a bladder of steel. But I know you won't be able to hold it 20 minutes. When you say you've gotta go, then you've gotta go within 5 minutes of the warning. We have to walk the 100 feet back to the school. As we enter, the Moms that were entering when we left are now exiting. They look at me confused. I say "Pee-pee run!" They NOD in understanding.

So the pick-up from school that was only supposed to be about 10 minutes...lasted about 25 minutes. Grrr...

Best of Blog (aka BoB) Awards!

Hey folks!

Go over to this link to nominate blogs you read and love. Yes, the nominations start tomorrow!

Why are there more awards being put out? It's all about personal blogs! No politics! No tech stuff! Just real people putting their ideas & photos & whatever out there for the entire world to read.

Make sure to visit & nominate your favorite blogs. Then be sure to vote when the time comes.

Best of Blog (aka BoB) Awards!

Hey folks!

Go over to this link to nominate blogs you read and love. Yes, the nominations start tomorrow!

Why are there more awards being put out? It's all about personal blogs! No politics! No tech stuff! Just real people putting their ideas & photos & whatever out there for the entire world to read.

Make sure to visit & nominate your favorite blogs. Then be sure to vote when the time comes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Card distribution

Why is it so hard?

My cards are still on hold. Why? Because we're trying to track down addresses. Yes, in this day and age folks forget to tell you when they move. The TRAVESTY of it all!

Am I being anal? It would be nice if folks would send a card or even an email regarding their new residence. Even when we were time crunched to move here in a 2 week span, I managed to get Change of Address photocards mailed out the first week we got here!

The biggest offenders of this? Family. husband's family. They seem to think that "word of mouth" is the best for of communication. Excuse me? Who can manage to decipher the gossip from the real important stuff? It's hard to tune-in and tune-out of what my MIL is saying people.

I guess a couple of my hubby's cousins moved in together. His father's sister moved to Florida. His other aunt no longer lives with her boyfriend. His Grandma was on a long-term visit out of the country, but where is she now? The list changes every year.

Then there's trying to get my hubby to GET the information from his mother. Oy! The man can't even seem to get the addresses of the people at his office! I've been requesting this stuff since Thanksgiving people!

I've got my handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet updated as far as it can go with the addresses I've got on hand. I've already placed an "X" next to the names for the folks whose cards are ready to go. And yes. I've got a tab for every year since 1999 with the addresses where I sent the cards. And yes. I've got an "X" in a column when I receive a card from people. Keeps me organized!

Now if only the rest of these clods would get into gear and get organized! Ba-hum-bug! Merry Christmas! Ha!

P.S. Happy Chanukah!

Ever changing weather

Monday was a cold & rainy day. It rained ALL day. Not something you'd expect in Arizona, eh?

Tuesday was clear & sunny. But COLD! The high for the day was 58 degrees. Brrr.. What was wonderful was that because it was such a clear day, we were able to see all the snow that the previous day had left behind. It came down about halfway down the Catalina mountains (in some parts). For those of you who know my town, then you know that it's an amazingly beautiful sight. I was so bummed that I didn't have my camera in my car as the kids and I did errands.

Today it'll be about 62 degrees. At 10am, it was still only 49 degrees. But it's warm enough for the snow to melt up in the mountains. There is still some hanging in there in the back and at the very tops though. But I'm sure it'll all be gone in the next day or so.

Tomorrow it'll be up in the high 60s. This weekend, they've projected 70s as the high.

But I'm just glad that we're able to relish in the cool weather and NOT have to deal with driving in the snow. We can look at it from afar and just consider how beautiful it looks. We don't have to shovel it. We don't have to deal with freezing cold & wet feet. We don't have to deal with it as it melts. We just see the purity of it as it tries to linger on the mountains up high against the bright blue sky.

Back it up!

In my daily life, I try to determine what things I can let go and what things I need to confront.

I'm sure you're dealing with it too. Do you let your child whine forever (since they're unusually tired) or do you nip it in the bud? Do you let the kids wrestle in anger or do you separate them? Do you go return to the store to get that bottled water you paid for & they forgot to bag or do you let that $0.72 go?

We're all confronted with these decisions every day. Which ones do you face head-on? What makes you decide?

Today, I was faced with one of those situations. One of those situations where I had to decide if I was going to confront it.

The Bear and I had finished our lunch and were on our way to pick up the Princess. We left a parking lot area and got onto the main street. We then headed to the nearest left turn lane. We were the second ones at the light. It's a four lane road (2 going north and 2 going south). I had to make a u-turn, so I made sure to stay to the right on the left turn lane. I sat there about 10 feet behind the guy in front of me. Suddenly there's movement to my left. My left? There's a green Ford Expedition a little ahead of me to the left. What the heck is that guy doing?

Decision time!

Yes, I had to decide if I was going to ignore this man's ignorance that it was a one-lane left turn or not. Hmmm... What would YOU do? La-le-la-la. La-le-la. La-le-la-la-la-la-la-la. La-le-la-la. La-le-la. De-de-de-de-de-de-de. Time's up!

Of course. You can guess what I did. I confronted him head on!

I inch my vehicle forward. I navigate so that my window is parallel to the front passenger window of the Expedition. What do I see? Some big 50-ish man chomping away on a cigar. [Sigh] I look over at him. He notices the movement and looks to his right. He sees me. I open my window. He opens his passenger window.

Me: This is only one lane.

Man: Oh, I couldn't tell that from back there.

Me: [Smile. Close my window. Face ahead.]

I'm done with the conversation. It's his call. What does he do? He pauses for a second. A bit of indecision. Then he backs up and gets behind me.

Maybe next time he'll pay attention when he's driving. It's not like there was heavy traffic and he couldn't see the lane lines. They are EASILY seen on this stretch of road (they just repaved it and repainted a month ago). So he had no excuse. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. for being in that lane incorrectly.

His car may have been twice as big as mine, but he doesn't get to hog the road. Nope! Not on my turf!

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Making Mommy Laugh

Cough-cough-cough like you're dying of thirst in your carseat.

I fish out your sippy from the diaper bag and hand it to you.

[Sounds of drinking]


I turn to check on you.

What do I see?

You putting your sippy into the mouth of your little stuffed dog, the size of your hand.

You're "sharing" your water with it!

Monday, December 6, 2004

Mall Santas

Okay's a question for you.

How do you explain to your kids about the Santas that are in the malls?

Here's what we told the Princess:

The Santas at the malls are "Santa's Helpers".

Santa can't be at each mall at the same time so he has these guys out. Plus, the REAL Santa is a little too busy getting prepared to be at the malls.

The "Santa's Helpers" talk to the kids each day after Thanksgiving. Each night, each helper EMAILs the REAL Santa in the North Pole about the kids he spoke with that day. This way the REAL Santa has an updated list of what each child wants.

PLUS, the "Santa's Helpers" can get notes from the parents indicating if their child has been naughty or nice.

How do you like our explanation?

As for gifts? The toys are all from Santa. Any clothes the kids receive are from family. Santa only gives gifts to kids. Adults have to buy gifts (clothes) for each other -- since we don't really play with toys.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Making Mommy Laugh

Stacking the individually wrapped paper towels. Three across. Three high.

Then using them as a buffer as you do body slams into them.

Yeah...that's what my son was doing this afternnon.

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Anxiously waiting

I ordered my photo holiday cards and am anxiously waiting for them to be delivered.

I made my hubby help me on the photo selection AND the card design this year. This card goes out to our friends and our families, so a FIVE minute conference with me on this was needed. We ended up selecting a design that I hadn't originally been drawn to. Considering the colors we were all wearing for the photo, it was the BEST choice.

Hopefully the cards will show up today. Then I'll have a couple days to address them. Then I can mail them all!

Mail them gradually? NO! I don't do that. I have to send them ALL out on the same day. This way they're all postmarked the same. This way there's no discussion (on hubby's side of the family) of "OH! We got their holiday card today" and the other family member not having a card. You know? I mail it all at once to eliminate any DRAMA. Oy!

Anyway, I'm excited to see the finished product. Now...all I have to do is write up a 2004 summary of our family. EEEkkkk! I don't have any holiday paper for that! Time to head out to the store!

Cold & wet

It's been raining all day!

It started as a soft pit-pat on the skylights about 9am. It's about 10:30pm and it's still coming down.

The photo is a little blurry but you get the idea. The streets were covered with water. On this one stretch called River Road, we saw three accidents (in about 2 miles). It was crazy!

We went out to visit the new house. The framing is going up! They're already working on the second floor.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Gifts for adults

What is your tradition when it comes to gifts for the adults in your family?

Do you get a gift for every sister, brother, parent, and married in spouse? Do you get couple gift for each married couple? Do you do a grab bag gift exchange where you buy gifts for one adult relative (and one adult relative buys for you)?

Now that I'm married with children, I tell my family to focus their efforts on the kiddos. I end up with one gift from my folks (& my younger sister who actually does the shopping) and a couple gift from my older sister & BIL. I buy a couple gift for my folks, a couple gift for my older sister & BIL, and an individual gift for my younger sister (her birthday is 3 days after Xmas so I make it one GOOD gift).

As for my hubby's side? At Thanksgiving we pick names out of a hat. We each buy gifts for one person. This year, I buy for my FIL & my BIL buys for me. My hubby buys for my BILs girfriend & his Mom buys for him. We email our "wish" list to our designated buyer.

I tend to put practical things on my list. I ask for basic clothing items - jeans, sweaters, & tshirts. I also for appliances I really want. One year I put a fancy toaster & blender that I'd never buy for myself. This year I put a Shark Lightweight Bagless Upright Vacuum on my list. Why? Because in the new house I'll have a ton of tile to keep clean. I don't want to have to sweep constantly. A quick swipe around the kitchen & nook with this handy item should do the trick. Some might think the stuff I ask for is boring. But I USE every single one of those practical items.

So what's on YOUR holiday list this year? Do you like to get practical items? or do you like to get one extravagent gift?