Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trying to keep it together

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It definitely is. My kids are healthy and growing like weeds. My husband has a steady job. I've got my part-time gig that lets me work from home.

But the holidays does bring on some stress.

It just does.

There are my expectations. What I think are my kids expectations. The traveling to visit family. Getting all the 'to do' items completed. There's always a lot to do in December.

Last night I was able to wrap all the kids' gifts. Whew! I was busy wrapping the kids' gifts at the end of our bedroom, while the Hubs was on his side wrapping MY gift. No. I didn't look. But I even was able to get the kids' stocking stuffers organized and easy to reach.

Right now I'm in the midst of washing the dirty clothes that filled the baskets in our laundry room. The kids hit the library and got more books so they can keep busy this winter break. We also hit the DVD store to rent some new movies for the drive out to see my folks. I was able to get my oil changed at my regular place - got in and out of there in less than 20 minutes.

What's funny is that the guys at JiffyLube figured I was in a fabulous mood since I (and the kids) greeted them with a smile and a cheerful hello.

JiffyLube Guy: Ms. C? 

Me: Hiya! 

JiffyLube Guy: Well you're in a good mood.

Me: Oh..just trying to keep it together. The kids are home from school and I'm WAY behind in what I need to get done.

JiffyLube Guy: It's good to see people smile even when they're stressed.

Me: Oh yeah? Well, my Mom always told me that just because I'm cranky inside doesn't mean I should take it out on folks who are helping me out. 

JiffyLube Guy: I wish other people felt that way. [looking in the direction of the guy sitting in the waiting room]
At least I made SOMEONE smile today!

I'm also in the midst of downloading all the photos off my digital camera so I've got SPACE to take tons of photos. I have to be sure to charge my batteries for my camera as well. Oh yeah...I need to get that darn external drive out too so I can backup my hard-drive. Definitely have to get all the electronic stuff in order. Oh no! Our iPods! Gotta charge those too! Ay-yay-yay!

I still have a bunch of family gifts that I need to wrap this afternoon. I'm going to finish packing the kids and my bags for our trip. Trip? Yes. As always, we'll be heading out to see family for Christmas. Since we spent Thanksgiving with the Hubs' side of the family, we'll be headed out to see my side of the clan for Christmas. Can I hear a big WOOHOO! We've got one day for traveling to my family and one for getting back home. We'll be spending FOUR glorious days with my family in the town where I grew up. [sigh]

I must say that I've missed seeing my family terribly these past few months. I haven't seen them since this summer so I've been having pangs of withdrawal. But I'll be so happy to have them near me. I get tons of hugs and kisses from the kids and the Hubs, but getting them from my parents and my sisters & their families is something extra special. You know?

Now how are YOU doing with Christmas Eve just 2 days away?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Browsing here and there

I recently went to Kohl's to spend my Bonus Cash. I went without the kids or the Hubs. Yeah!

I had time to browse. I had time to really check things out. And I had time to try things on!

I haven't bought anything for myself in ages. Oh wait! I did buy a few dresses for myself in August. But pants are a totally different kind of thing. Pants actually have to fit on my waist and my hips and be the right length. The length. The LENGTH! This is something that KILLS me. I am only 5' 2-1/2" feet tall. Yes. I'm a shorty. And petite pants are usually too short for me. And regular pants end up being too long. Ah-yay-yay!

Because I hadn't bought anything in a long time I wasn't sure what size to get. I started in the petite section and picked up my normal size. Then I went to the fitting room and put the pants on. It was a mess. The pants were huge. SCORE! But I had to go out again and pick up pants in a smaller size. I am now a solid size smaller than I used to be. The size I used to be? I was actually on the far end of that size. Barely fitting. So it feels nice to have to get smaller clothes.

But people? Since dropping the weight, I've lost my butt. I didn't have much of one to start with. I've never possessed a round hiney. It's always been kinda flat. Now? It's even more flat.

I ended up not buying any pants. But I did purchase a beautiful shirt. A long-sleeve gauzy black shirt with tiny polka dots on it. I want to wear it for Christmas day at my sister's house. I'll be covered and yet showing my new figure. Yippee!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lights on... Lights off...

According to my daughter, my son is afraid of the dark.

One day he went running to my desk. He was about to start rummaging through the papers I've got in my organizer.

Me: What are you looking for Bud?
Bear: My list to Santa.
Me: Why? Are you going to change something?
Bear: I want to add a flashlight.

A flashlight! For Christmas!

I let him know that we'd just pick him up a flashlight while we were out doing errands this weekend.

So today being Saturday? We did family errands.

We just so happened to be in a store that we RARELY go in. We picked up a couple items and then let the Bear select a tiny flashlight.

When we got home, the Hubs put batteries into the little flashlight.

Hubs: #%!%!^!^

My son came running up to me a bit later.

Bear: Mommy... [a sad look on his face]
Me: What's wrong?
Bear: Daddy said that the flashlight doesn't work. He said he's not going to spend anymore money on a flashlight. [on the verge of crying]
Me: Don't you worry. We'll try to pick one up when you're on vacation this coming week. Okay?
Bear: Okay Mommy... [gives me a giant hug]

You know what's crazy? When the kids were upstairs getting cleaned up for the day, I went over and looked at the little flashlight. I picked it up and opened it and placed hte batteries into it. And then turned it on.

You got it folks! The darn thing worked just fine.

For some reason the Hubs thought the flashlight twisted on. Like a Maglite. The one the Bear selected had an actual button at the tail end. So I can just imagine the Hubs twisting and twisting the top section. He didn't even both checking for a switch.

In the end? The Hubs now knows to look a little better at things (like THAT is gonna stick) and the Bear has a flashlight next to his bed.

Win-win today, eh?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First time outing

In another hour we'll be headed out for a first time event for our little family.

We're going to see a Christmas musical downtown.

First? I don't like downtown.

Second? I don't like the long drive to downtown.

We'll be attending the matinee program so it'll at least be daylight. AND we'll be seeing the musical along with some Girl Scouts from the Princess' troop. One of the Mom's got a block of tickets so we (the Princess and I) will know some people there.

But yes. We've NEVER been to a musical together as a family. So it'll be a neat experience. The kids are older. They've got the attention span needed for a 2-hour program. But I think? I'm going to need a couple snacks packed in my purse --- just in case. You know?

How are you spending your Sunday?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Making Mommy Laugh

We ate out for dinner tonight. The kids ordered the same thing. Unfortunately, the kitchen got the order wrong and made an adult portion of something. We got that on the house but it was something that the kids wouldn't eat. So we had to wait for their order to come up.

When their food finally came, it was straight off the stovetop. Why am I sure of this? Because once the kids got the kitchen on their forks and dipped it into their sauce, they immediately popped the food into their mouth.


No. That's not laughing. That's the open mouth panting they both did when they realized that the food was hot. PIPING hot.

What's funny is that even after that first taste? They kept on eating their chicken.

Each time they popped a piece into their mouth they'd do that "ha-ha-ha" panting.


When we're at dinner we chat about anything and everything. Of course since it's December we tend to talk about toys. 

Bear: Daddy, it's a regular toy.
Hubs: It is?
Bear: Yeah. It's Made in China.

Y'all it's a response I should expect since he can read now.


We actually had dessert after dinner. An amazing event for us. We rarely eat dessert. At a restaurant.

Our waiter (who was AWESOME) brought the plastic samples for us to see. The desserts? They were in shot glasses.

As the kids were each eating the chocolatey confection, I thought about when I was young.

Me: When I was young I didn't have a lot of shots.
Hubs: No?
Bear: I had a shot before and I cried a lot?
Me: Oh yeah? [confusion sets in my mind because I had no idea what he was saying]
Bear: Remember? I got a shot right here. [pointing to his shoulder]

I was talking about adult beverages and the kid was talking about immunizations. The Bear still doesn't know what I was talking about.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Who's playing & talking with who?

On the drive to school the Princess was explaining how she was chatting with a couple girls at school.

Princess: I was talking with Alice and Carmen about.... 

Me: Carmen is Mr. C's daughter right? 

Princess: Yes. 

Me: Who's Alice? 

Princess: She's older too. I think she's an 8th grader. 

Bear: Alice? She's in 7th grade. 

Me: Bear, you know Alice? 

Bear: Yeah. Alice knows me. She's nice. She plays football with us. [non-challantly] 

Me: Oh yeah?

I know my kids' school is small. I mean, there are maybe 110 kids there from kindergarten to 8th grade. But people? My son is in 1st grade. He knows and plays with a 7th grader. A 7th grade girl. GIRL!

Just imagine when my son is in 7th grade. You think maybe he'll already be chatting with 11th grade girls? [cringing inside]

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Something soothing

Check out this song that came to my attention thanks to Shera at A Frog In My Soup. Listen to the words....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bright and Cheery and Shopping?

Okay. So I wasn't all THAT cheery. But I was happy to go shopping for a little bit to Target this morning. Had to pick some monthly essentials (you know what I mean). And that allowed me to have time to meander through the aisles and look at stuff.

I felt forced to stop by the Starbucks just inside the store entrance and get a Grande Decaf Gingerbread Latte with whipped. It was chilly out this morning -- 45*!!! So I figured a little warm coffee would get me warmed up and so I could slowly make my way through the aisles. Boy, was that coffee yummy!

I got all my essentials first (and I'm sure you don't want to hear about all that) and then began to meander. I actually was gazing at all the kitchen towels. Yes. Kitchen towels. We're in dire need of getting more of them and this time around I want them all to match. Right now we've got ones with fruit and then some checked ones that really clash. I'm thinking that I'd like to get all white ones -- both the hand towels and dish towels. That way I can bleach them up if they get stained. You know me with the smell of bleach on towels. I'm in heaven!

I then headed over to the seasonal section to take a gander at the wrapping paper. Every year I get new wrapper. I do. I'm just that way. And this year I wasn't going to get the cheapy paper. You know why? The $1.50/roll stuff tears SO easily. You just push one box into another and the paper rips! I had enough of that issue last year. Since we'll be headed out to spend Christmas with my family this year (the 6-hour tour), then I want some sturdy wrap since the packages will need to make it through more than a couple hours of transit. We don't need ANY peeking.

So I'm casually looking at the what they've got out on display. I walk and down the one aisles to get a general idea of the colors. I then look at the prices along with the weight of the paper. Finally I decide on the two types of wrapper for this year.

Two types you say? Yes. TWO. There's the wrap that we use for the gifts to our family. I keep it down to one type so that everyone knows that anything wrapped in that particular paper is from us. The second type of paper I get is for our house. The gifts that the kids will get from Santa. I generally get a butcher paper looking type of thing for what we use for the kids. It's more natural and more old-fashioned. You know?

But I must say that while I was looking at the paper? My mood went from festive to less so. Why? Because the folks that stocking the section were complaining up a storm about their work hours.

This and that. 

Excuse me? Customers shopping here. People spending money here.I can hear all your complaining. And it's making me less happy so I'm not so keen on spending money...

You know what I ended up doing? I actually called the store manager when I got home. I had to tell him how the employees "discussion" just turned me off. Tuned down my holiday spirit.

I remember when I worked in the food industry. Even when you were bone tired, you still had to put on a pleasant smile to the customers to ensure that their experience was a good one. There was one time when I was having some bad cramps. The kind where you want to just lay down in a fetal position with a heating pad? But I was at work. So my manager let me take a 5-minute break every hour or so. I'd go into the back and just sit with my head down and try to drink water. When I came to the front you wouldn't have known anything was wrong because I had a smile on my face and spoke pleasantly with the customers.

[sigh] But at least I got what I needed this morning. What I'm having a hard time doing now? Is getting my mind in the mood to get some work done.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Squeezing everything in

It may only be December 1st, but the holidays are totally in full swing.

Amazingly, the kids' school is already having their Winter Program on Thursday night. Yes. THIS. THURSDAY.

The Bear and the rest of the 1st graders will be wearing reindeer antlers and singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to everyone.

The Princess will be a busy girl. She'll be singing with her class. She'll also be singing with a group of girls from the 4th-8th grades to sing a special song. Then she'll also be doing a Steel Pan performance with her group.

After the regular program, the kids who were able to meet the requirements for the school's Read-Aloud program will stay and take part in a special Star-gazing presentation. They'll have a few telescopes set up so the kids can look at the stars and constellations. And out here in the desert? The stars shine BRIGHT at night.

This coming Saturday morning, the Princess' Girl Scout troop will be singing at a Seniors' Home. The same place that the girls went to last year. So we've got a Christmas CD going at our house almost every afternoon to make sure the Princess knows all the songs.

Thankfully, I'm about 80% finished with all my shopping. Halleluia for the internet! I've still got to get the Hubs' a little something along with my sisters & BIL's. But that's about it. Yeah for me!

How are YOU doing with your holiday shopping? Done? Almost done?