Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Purple Crayon, A Purple Train and his Uncle

The day after Thanksgiving, I sat down with #1 mini and we drafted a letter to Santa.

He asked for the following things:
One purple crayon.  
One purple train  #Charlie

Family: aka his uncle

A purple crayon, a purple train, and his uncle (who lives across country.)  Fair enough little man. 

 I went to his hallway play space and found his purple crayon that he already owns.  I hid it until it made an appearance in the tree Christmas Day.  Done! 

A couple of weeks before Christmas we received a huuuuuuuge train table and buckets of trains and tracks from friends whose oldest mini-human is more a trash truck kinda guy.  These hand me downs did not include a purple train.  So I called Target and asked for the specific purple train.  On Sodor the purple train is called "Charlie" and of course Charlie the train talks (#kidcrack).  $10 for Charlie the purple talking train.  Done!

Luckily for us, his uncle had chosen to fly in for the holiday to meet #2 mini and spend the holiday week with the east coast family.  We told mini-human #1 that as long as he was playing nice and that his uncle was playing nice that there would be a chance that Santa would pick him up in his sleigh.

I love the leverage that we have when Santa has not yet come to town.

Christmas day arrived and we pulled up the driveway to my in-laws house. #1 mini-human burst out of the car and into their house to look for his uncle.  He ran through the front door furiously pumping his arms and calling for him.  He was there!  Then the moment he saw him, like any normally gregarious two year old, he suddenly became Mr. Shy Guy.  He buried his head into my husband's neck for a few minutes and whined in indecipherable mumbles.

As the day progressed, #1 mini talked to his uncle and opened presents with him and even ate his homemade pumpkin pie.  It was such a gift in itself to watch them interact and I felt happy just thinking about the memories that would be generated from this week of visits.

I think the only way the day could have been better (in #1 minis eyes) would have been if his uncle had dyed his hair purple. No pressure uncle.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Postage Due.

So, I was slow to send out Christmas cards this year.  After much procrastination, I finally got my act together I got them done in about one day.  In the era of cell phone photos and then one hour returns on cards it wasn't difficult .  Wally world and I worked together and they were done in about 1.5 hours.  I then sat up bleary eyed after the kids went to bed and addressed them all.  I found stamps and return labels and things were moving along quite nicely.

Then I ran out of stamps.

Side note.....(So the hubs is technically on staff at our church and he and I have been hired/nominated to bring the fun bus to the middle school program there.  So I send out postcards to the kids if they miss 4 consecutive weeks of church.  They say something like, "We miss you, come back, we are doing really fun things, etc etc." So I have stamps to send out the post cards for CHURCH.)

I looked at these CHURCH stamps with hesitation.  I just wanted to get this done.  I wondered if it was technically a sin to use these stamps provided by the CHURCH for my Christmas cards and then replace them the following week.

I decided that God would be ok with it.  'Tis the season, right?!  I slapped those CHURCH stamps on about half of our Christmas cards.  The next day Mini #2 and I drove to the post office and mailed them.

I exhaled, feeling a-mom-mazing that the cards were mailed before Christmas.  I drove about half a block away and then a massive wave of panic came over me.  I started to sweat. panic.  I had made a huge holiday blunder.

A forever stamp is 46 cents.  The CHURCH stamps were 33 cent postcard stamps!  This leaves 13 cents of postage due!  Merry Christmas friends and family.  You owe the post office 13 unlucky cents just to view our cheeseball family santa picture card.... ugh. Happy New Year?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Jesus!

BEFORE - The Waiting Game. 

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crazy on You.

Happy Birthdays are in order.
Happy Birthday to my sister, aka the Lil'Dudah and my crazy dog, Karma.

 Growing up my sister and I used to dance around our living room listening to the Dreamboat Annie Album. (Yes, I did say record.) I was brunette and she was blond.  It all made sense.

Also "Happy Birthday" to my insane dog Karma.  We adopted her in April of 2010, but supposedly she was born on Christmas Eve as well! I think it was simply a ploy to tug on the heart strings of potential adoptive puppy parents.  Sometimes she is "Good Karma" Sometimes she is "Bad Karma" but we love her either way. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Love.... is Actually....All Around.

Here are my top picks for a well rounded Christmas movie watching experience.  Please note these are not classics, but very well could be...someday. All are fairly current.  So no shooting your eye out or anything.

Elf:  Funny. Who couldn't love Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart and James Caan working out paternity issues between uptight business man, Santa Claus and gargantuan elf.  Besides, the bathroom singing by Zoey Deschanel is so killer.  Is it really her? ahh who cares.

Love Actually: Amazing.  Hands down..The.Best.Christmas.Movie.EVER. Excellent cast, great intertwining story lines.  Girls love it and guys secretly/and or not so secretly love it as well.  A true win! 

Holiday in Handcuffs: While a smidge Unconventional, Melissa Joan Hart explains it all, and well Mario Lopez, I love his dimples.  # TeamSlater.

Cooper's Christmas: A family tapes their Christmas holiday with a camcorder and shit gets craaaaaazy.  Recommended by my sister (aka Lil'Dudah).  Never have I ever watched a "Christmas" movie that is sooooo wrong/raunchy/dysfunctional/80s in my entire life.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paradigm Shift

When I was in graduate school, I learned the word paradigm.  Mostly in the context of "paradigm shift."  This (for those who did not spend hours of studying pointless educational philosophy)...means a massive change in the way we do things or feel.

I feel that this concept should be applied to the ominous To Do List.

Especially as the holiday approaches there are a lot of things I need to get done, (especially before I return to work on January 2. Eeeek)  Staying home with mini #2 has allowed me to take care of business and let's be honest, it's been pretty sweet.  However, there are about ten thousand gazillion million things that I should do every day...and I don't......and then I feel bad.

For example, today I SHOULD have done the following.

1.)  Laundry - wash, fold, put-away (haha)
2.)  Swept the floors with extra attention to the random raisins that have been smushed in semi-hidden places.
3.)  Sew Christmas Blankets/Toys
4.)  Clean out the refrigerator and remove leftovers which have been leftover for over a week.
Well you get the point.  I am sure your TO DO LIST is very similar.  Notice all the cleaning and/or lack there of.  Keeping house is not one of my strengths.

I propose that we stage a coupe and initiate a paradigm shift.  Instead of the TO DO LIST, how about we create a HAVE DONE LIST.

If this is the case, then my HAVE DONE LIST would read as follows:

1.) Woke up with Mini #2. Early.
2.) Made coffee. ate a sensible kale smoothie, SHOWERED!
3.) Fed mini-humans, watched the same episode of Thomas the Train.  Twice.
4.) Went to the store and bought red apples and trash bags.
5.)  Put gas in my car.
6.) Played outside in the snow with Mini #1 and my crazy dog ( her name is Karma)
7.) Ate some cheese sticks.
8.)  Wrote this blog post.

Wow!  That felt a lot more satisfying...and it's only a little after noon.  Go me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Serenity Now: Confessions of Sleep Regression

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (like the sleep habits of my #2 mini.)

                                                                      *   *   *   *   *

If time travel were possible, I would hop into a badass delaurian and return to 2011 and high five Mini-human #1 who started sleeping through the night (consistently) at 3.5 months.

I remember this fun fact because I read his baby journal last night at 2:30 am when I was awake with mini-human #2.  Now mini #2 is/was the "happiest baby on the block."  Like she watched those suggested DVDs with the S's while she was in utero. (Truth statement: never watched them.)

However, this week girlfriend went from the happiest baby I have ever seen... to girlfriend wants to cut a b*tch every 2-2.5 hours.  Curiously, I consulted google and as soon as I typed in 4 predicted "sleep regression."  Shit.

Google tells me that mini #2 is growing, developing, about to do something a-baby-mazing. I am curious to see what she is using this "wakeful" period to achieve.  Balancing the budget?  Learning Mandarin?  At this point frankly, I would even settle for cutting teeth or rolling over.

Confession:  All I want for Christmas is sleep.  Perhaps 3 days in a row, 6 hour stretches.  Ok, I'll get greedy and qualify that this sleep should occur the three days before I return to work.  Hopefully, Santa will listen and grant me my Christmas wish because I have been mostly good this year.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

#Stop Competing with Gisele

Oh Gisele.

A simple hashtag and instagram pic and mothers everywhere are picking up their iPhones and taking vicious selfies to try to demonstrate how their multi-tasking is better than yours.

Ladies..repeat after me:  I will not compete with Gisele-international supermodel.  She is a SUPER model, it is her job to keep a maintained exterior.  If genetically I was predisposed to become an international super model, I would humbly accept my destiny and move on.

Her life entails traveling across the world, modeling, maintaining a family, supporting super-stud quarterback husband and oh yeah btw feeding another human with her own body!  (I think breastfeeding any mini-human with teeth is just plain old risky.)  My life entails a 40 minute commute to and from work, teaching the youth of America, telling computer nerd husband that he is sexy and putting vegetables on a Thomas the Train dinner plate.  If we were to make a Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting our lives, in the middle compare column would be the following:

(Working) Mother

    In my opinion these similarities are pretty significant.  At our core, we are on the same team!  Let's support each other and stop competing! Stop competing, it's not worth it.  Use that energy to celebrate your own fabulousness (and the fact that you don't have to shave your legs if you don't want to).  So while Gisele shares her "multi-tasking" selfies on instagram, I will keep my selfies limited to snap chat and go on about my day.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Entropy or Apathy?

Entropy is the natural condition of the universe to move from order to chaos.  The gradual decline into disorder.  Apathy is lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.  Both terms apply to how I feel about the presence of socks in my life.

Kid sock bucket

Adult sock bucket

Mini-human #2 needs socks on because we are going to 4 month check up today.
Oh, look at me! I'm so fancy.   I have on two blue socks (not mates)
Livin la vida baby.

Then weird toddler things like this happen. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

24 Chocolate Days Until Christmas?

....More like 9 days of shameful binge eating and 15 days without chocolate.....

Do Dictators Wear Mittens?

We arrived at church yesterday morning relatively on time.  I exited the car with a well stocked diaper bag, Mini-human #1 on foot and mini-human #2 in bucket car seat on my arm.  I was feeling pretty a-mom-mazing.  It's "winter" and I use the quotations to mean it is a little below 40 degrees, it's not snowing and we don't really need parkas and snow pants, because we are real New Englanders.

There is a SUPER nice volunteer church parking guy who I chat with every week.  He knows our family, our cars and our regular parking spots.  He looks at Mini-human #1 and asks HIM, "aren't your hands cold buddy?"

Woah woah woah, back it up super nice volunteer church parking guy.  Seriously?  I am killing it right now.  No one has BM in their pantaloons.  Everyone ate breakfast.  I even took a SHOWER.

Time travel back 40 minutes prior:
The wheels started to come off the bus this morning right before we were ready to leave.  I casually started the dialogue: Hey bud, it's time to go to church, please put your jacket on.  Please put your jacket on. Put your jacket on...He finally flipped on his own jacket (#thankyoudaycare.) Then I offered him his moose hat which set him off into an angry tirade.  PUT DOWN MY SIPPY!  I WANT MY SUPERMAN HAT!  I WANT MY RACCOON HAT! I WANT HOT CHEESE! GET APPLES AT STORE!

So no, super nice volunteer church parking guy, he does not have mittens on.  I don't think his hand are cold.  If they were then he would shout, I WANT MY MOOSE MITTENS! and I would casually take them out of our well stocked diaper bag.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I have very few vices at this point. I gave up smoking American spirits the day I found out I was preggo with mini human #1.  I have reduced my consumption of vodka tonics, I even take a vitamin, but the one vice which I feel is still allowable is my extreme passion for reading Star Magazine.

I love it.  It's simple, it's light. It's ridiculous and my mother-in law buys all the females in our family a subscription to it each year, judgement free.

At any rate, the cover story this week is:  STAR Report Card:  Best and Worst Moms. The list of moms includes the ranks of: Jennifer Garner, Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Selma Blair, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc.  Each celebrity mom was assessed upon the following:  Attendance, Public Behavior (theirs), Discipline and Fun Factor.

 I totally agree that "Attendance" is important.  Showing up is half the battle.  Public Behavior, aka acting like the adult, is necessary as well.  Kids mimic and learn.  That is how kids learn to read and that is how kids learn to be a-holes. Discipline is difficult as an educator but even more so with your own spawn, because you really like them.  I would be ok with being graded on the first three categories but, Fun Factor? really?!  If I were being assessed on that, then sometimes I would earn an F- because we have something else to accomplish besides being f-ing a-mom-mazing.

Here is what totally hit me about these report cards.  They are SO judgmental.  Isn't that the sticky web women/mothers are trying to climb out of?!  We judge ourselves, we judge celebrities AND we judge ourselves against celebrities! (ummm they have hired help.)  So not only do women walk around all day judging themselves (and are pissed off at society for doing so) but then we come home and reaffirm snap judgements about whether or not someone is a good mom because they make homemade baby food! (Jessica Simpson).

Break. The. Cycle. Baby steps... let's aim for pass/fail?    Did you hug your mini-human/partner/fury friend today?  Did you use your manners with 50% accuracy? Most importantly, were you kind to yourself?

Unless, you are giving your toddler american spirits and a vodka tonic, or putting your child on the back of a scooter and then cutting off a school bus (Gwyneth Paltrow), then give yourself a pass, judgement free.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Not Sorry, "just sayin'"

I have several high quality girlfriends.  For which I am extremely blessed.  I have to say we work hard at it and at this point in the game, with mini-humans and partners, we do a pretty good job.  We are in contact fairly often and see each other about once a month.

One of my dearest friends had recently lost her father to cancer...#sucktastic.  Since we have been friends for decades, I feel her feelings.  I want to absorb them and take all her grief away.  She is that amazing friend, you know the one you can sit and be quiet with?  They are the best.  Sip tea. Stare at each other.  Just be and not have to fill the air with emotional chow chow because you know each others shit.  Why chatter about it if you are not in the mood.

Well I visited her home recently and much like when others visit mine, you feel the need to I the only one?  At this point it is a habit.  A bad habit.  "Oh, I'm sorry my house is a mess (even if I cleaned furiously beforehand).  Oh come on in, don't mind my smelly dog.  Oh sorry, ignore the dishes." blah blah blah verbal vomit. fake apologies.

When I entered her home, we exchanged loving hellos and then she said, oh geez, I didn't even ____________  (fill in the meaningless house work chore.)  Then she stopped and checked herself and then declared with a sly grin, " No, you know what, I am sorry that I am NOT sorry."

I LOVE a good truth statement.  We hugged even tighter and didn't say anything, just laughed.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Swimming out of the Infinite Abyss

Its true, I’ve lost it, my groove, myself.  Among the binkies and dishes, I have no idea where it went.  In between hostage situations staged by my two year old, I am so tired, I can’t remember if I ever had it.  So, here is my very public attempt to find it, rebuild it, like it, own it and work it. 

And tonight it started with swimming.  I got back into the pool and just started doing laps.  I was almost certain that my ass had become so large with the birth of my mini human #2 that the rear end of my bathing suit was transparent.  At least there wasn’t anyone else in my lap lane (and at least it was impossible for me to look at my own ass without a mirror.)

Swimming was a large part of my life as a young person.  It can be competitive but each time I have gotten into the pool and done laps, it has been more therapeutic.  It’s quiet.  It’s rhythmic.  I can challenge myself.  I have choices.  I have control over my body, my breathing, my distance or my intensity. 

It finally felt like a reset.  Exhale.