Monday, December 22, 2008
Old lady clue 1: When I looked at the hotel confirmation, I noticed it was for Friday and Saturday night. My response? Well why did you get 2 nights?! The show is Saturday, so we'll just go up Sat. and spend that night, then come home! Duh. Fun getaway.
He convinced me to go up for the whole weekend, so we wouldn't be rushed trying to get up there Sat and get ready for the show. So we head out after his Friday meetings are over. I cannot remember the last time it was just the two of us. Probably our honeymoon, but he ate some Mexican sushi, so he spent more time hanging out with the porcelain goddess than me. Every other time we've gone away, it's been with friends.
Anyway, I spend the car trip trying to change the radio to talk radio (old lady clue 2) while hubs can sing along to almost every song on 20 on 20 (old lady clue 3). Even to the point where I dispute a lyric that I swear he has made up, so I googled it on my phone to prove him wrong (old lady clue 4) but nope, he was right, I was wrong.
We get to the windy city, check in to the hotel where they have us down as celebrating our anniversary (ok, we'll roll with it) and I am guessing they slurred the notes, because hubs has a rewards thing and is a silver member, but they squished silver and anniversary, leading the sweet little check-in gal to say, "Oh! You are celebrating your silver anniversary. Is that 20 or 25 years?" Yup. We got married at 2 and 7. Our parents were cool with it (and that would be old lady clue 5 because I don't think she really got the fact that there was NO way we could have been married that long).
We head out to explore the city and look for something to eat. We stop in a wine bar to warm up, and would have eaten there, but we just had Italian the night before, so we keep moving, slushing through snow, and sludge. H spots a "cool bar" so we run across the street to see what they have to eat. I'm hungry so we put our name on the list and head to the bar. Good grief it's dark in here. And loud. Ah! I've turned into my father.
We had really good intentions of eating and heading to a piano bar, but after sitting at our table, I said I thought I was too tired to enjoy it and maybe we should just head back to the hotel after we eat. Oh, well, look at the time! It's 9:15. (Old lady 6). After a really yummy dinner, we shivered back to the hotel. I turned on the news (old lady 7) and hopped into bed, but in my old-lady defense, the old man was snoring before I could set the sleep timer.
It's Saturday, and we are in a hotel room without kids which means I can sleep in until... 6:30. Seriously?!?! Ugh. I have to laugh because as we were getting ready to leave, H looked out the window and said, "There is NO ONE on the streets today." They were all probably sleeping in. We have breakfast and start walking around ready to shop and do nothing and not be held down by potty breaks and snack time. So where do we go? The Disney Store. Nothing but kids' stuff and I just ended a 2+ year with the Mouse AND we have a Disney Store about 7 miles away from our house. But we go in anyway (old lady, ugh I've lost count. I guess that makes a double old lady). We did have a really fun day, and I didn't have to cut any one's meat. It was fun.
We go back and start getting ready for the big night. I was able to find an AH-mazing dress, but because I've had two kids, I can't just throw it on and go, so I have this little black girdle to wear under my little black dress. It holds in everything below your collar bone and above your knee in what can only be described as a bra meets biker shorts. Delightful. And because it's cold, I bought my first pair of hose in I don't know how long. At some point, my thoughtful husband asks, "How are you going to pee tonight?" and my response is, "I'm just not." I had already decided I wouldn't have a lot of water and would just wait. That plan went out the window sometime during "One Short Day."
I debated slipping out early and going to the bathroom while no one was in there because obviously, the only way to go would be to take off everything in a bathroom stall and I knew there would be a line...and that little crack where the door meets the wall part that locks. And no one needs to see that. BUT, I was too into the show, so as soon as Elphaba took off, so did I. And I was right, there was a line. But, there was also an attendant showing people where to go. Literally. And where is my lucky stall? Right where the line is waiting for open stalls. Ugh.
I get in, hang up my cute red dress jacket and start channeling my inner Nugget. Surely a kid who can pull off a diaper while wearing overalls had to inherit that talent from someone, and I've changed from school clothes to ballet tights and a leotard in a car, so I could do this. And I did. Unfortunately, I couldn't get back in to everything. Fearing that if I actually unzipped my dress, I wouldn't be able to get it zipped back up, I hoisted my girdle up under my skirt as best I could and put my jacket back on. I then did the "my old lady girdle bra is somewhere around my belly button" shuffle back to my seat where my sweet spouse was anxious to hear how I pulled it off which of course I hadn't been able to, so I had to share my all time favorite story about getting stuck in my sports bra in the locker room of health central. That was a classic. I enjoy the second act with my muffin top supported by underwire and we catch a cab back to the hotel.
We are ready to go back home the next day, but not after stopping by Land of Nod to look at big boy room stuff for Nugget. You can take the kids away from the parents, but you just can't take the parents out of the parents, I guess.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Also, Nugget is one foot away from being able to climb out of his crib, can remove his diaper while wearing overalls and can strip down when wearing overalls. My kids are amazing.
So because it's Christmas, and I get these lovely forwards, but refuse to forward them on, here's the Christmas addition of getting to know your friends!
Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper, with big, pretty hand-made bows. Mom rocks at these. I have been slack and only have three presents under the tree, so my bows will be stick-ons this year.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real, all the way. Nothing beats the smell of a real tree!
3. When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving. We respect the bird.
4. When do you take the tree down? After the New Year but I would totally leave it up until July if I could. I hate undecorating from Christmas.
5. Do you like eggnog? Ugh, no, I don't even like to look at it. Gross.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? oooh, we got lots of good stuff, but probably when my brother and I got hamsters. That totally convinced me that there HAD to be a Santa Clause, because there was no way my parents would actually buy those little rats!
7. Hardest person to buy for? Dad
8. Easiest person to buy for? Nugget and Strip
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes! I bought a beautiful one last year that has candles all around it and is just lovely, and the kiddos got the little people one this year, and they LOVE it.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Yeah, mom, I'll say it. A job application. Nothing says "I love you," like a piece of paper saying, "Get to work!" In the parents defense, mom says she did it so I could ice skate whenever I wanted to.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Of all time? Christmas Vacation, but I love Elf and Love Actually (does that count as a Christmas movie?), too
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? February. I shop all year long. But I still buy like a mad woman this time of year. But it works out. I just pull stuff and give it to the kids for their birthdays in a few months!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Yummy cookies and fudge. MIL's recipe, and hubs is a fantastic baker!
16. Lights on the tree? White and the giant colored bulbs.
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night. But I don't think I have a least favorite Christmas song! Oh, take that back. I HATE Bruce Springstien's drunk version of "Santa Clause is coming to town." Ugh.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Now that we have kids, stay home. m
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen (Fixin' as Strip calls him) Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, and I recall, the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star, and this year, we actually have one! Thanks mom and dad!
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open one present Christmas eve, and it's new pj's and an ornament for the tree. Everything else on Christmas.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Mean shoppers, and crazy parking lot drivers.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Our tree is very eclectic.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Potatoes. Hashbrown casserole, or mashed.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I'm already getting it! We're going to see Wicked this weekend!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"Mom. What's your problem?"
Uh, what did you just say?
"I said what's your PROBLEM?!?"
I stood there a little stunned at the rudeness spewing from my three year olds's mouth when she elaborated.
I'm the reindeer, Fixin' (Blitzen). I fix things. So what's you're problem?"
We worked on saying, "How can I help you?" but based on a lot of the customer service I've dealt with this Christmas, she is so ready to work in retail!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
You hear these horrible stories of single parents dying in apartments, and the cops finding the kid three days later in the apartment, and they've survived against all odds. I do not worry about my kids. If I died while the hubs was out of town, I think they would be ok, and they wouldn't be living off of toilet water and dry noodles!
For some reason, when you get pregnant, you suddenly open yourself up to verbal abuse. I'm not really sure why these two things go hand in hand, but they just do. And I'm not sure when it stops. Honestly, it's like people have no filter. I know (first hand) that pregnancy brain makes you a total idiot, but it must be contagious, because everyone around you becomes idiotic, too. I had one girlfriend who had just given birth to her second son, we're talking feet still in the stirrups, when the nurse looked at her and said, "So are you going to try for a girl?" Umm right now, I think I'll put my feet down and see how long it takes for me to be able to sneeze without wetting my pants.
So, here are some little gems that I've received over the years that have been burned into my brain. If you have some, please leave them for me. I don't want to think I'm alone in this!
After announcing your pregnancy:
Oh! We're you trying? Why do people need to know this? Will it make them feel better about an oops baby they had? I mean obviously you were trying because you have the bloat to show for it. I only know one person who wasn't "trying" to get pregnant, and we'll celebrate her son's birthday in a couple of weeks.
When you're pregnant (this one might get long): How much weight have you gained? Really? Did you really just ask me that? How much weight have YOU gained in the past 6 months? And what's your excuse, because I'm growing a person, so I think a 7 lb gain is ok.
Are you sure it's not twins?!? Ha, ha ha. I did have my BOSS ask me this when I was super-dee-dooper pg with #2, and yeah, he's a Pastor (waves hello to PJ if your reading this!) I'm not sure why people thing a giant ball of hormones can take fat jokes. I really don't.
Are you wearing that pink shirt because secretly hope the baby's a girl? I don't put a lot of thought into my wardrobe to begin with, so no, this is just the only tarp that would fit my "twin sized" belly today. What do you think I secretly want when I wear a black shirt? A goth baby?
Are you delivering vaginally? Again, why do you need to know?
Are you going to breastfeed? Do you use tampons? While yes, I did, it is a personal decision that strange people really don't need to know. Because I would get either "Well, I formula fed my babies and they turned out JUST fine" or "good for you, you are doing the right thing." I'm not judging you, why are you judging me?
When are you due? This isn't rude. It was the follow-up I got when I responded with "23 weeks!" Ohhh That's how far along my neighbor's daughter was when she lost the baby. Well, thank you. That gives me something to stress about for the next 4 weeks until I can hear the heartbeat again.
You're about to have a baby?! I couldn't even tell you were pregnant. I am sure this sweet little 17 year-old Harris Teeter bag boy meant that in a sweet way, but I was 3 days pre first child's birth and had gained WELL over 50 lbs. You so just called me fat, kid.
After the baby is out:
Wow. You new moms these days bring your kids out so early. Why, back in my day... I am sorry. My child was born smack in the middle of wedding season. My husband works 15 hour days. I do not have any family around to babysit, so yes, I had to bring her with me to get wedding presents, and then we are going to the grocery store. She is in her car seat bucket, covered up. I am not passing her around the store asking people to lick her, so I think she'll be ok. Other options are leave her at home with the dog watching her or leave her in the car. What did you want me to do?
He's cute! He's a she. See the bow in the hair? The DRESS. With Strip, I actually got her a onesie that said, "I am not a boy" on it. Still, people called her a boy. I had one lady argue with me in a hallmark store. She said, "What a BIG BOY! I can't believe he's just a week old." I said, "No, she really a small girl. (moved the blanket so you could see her tiny little body), SHE just has a giant head!" "No, that is a really big boy." You're totally right, lady she is a boy, and she is giant. I guess it evens out because people were still calling Nugget a girl two months ago (what can I say, he's a pretty boy!). And I know people are just trying to be nice, but if you are not 100%, don't guess a gender. Say, "What a sweet baby! What's your name?" if you need a hint.
That baby is so uncomfortable. I don't think it's breathing. I was a baby wearer. I had a sling, and if my giant babies would still fit in it, I would probably still use it. Mine was a very thin piece of material that went across my shoulder and the kids would just curl up in a little ball. They loved it. My inside-my-head thought was always, "Yes, she is so uncomfortable, she fell asleep" but I would normally say, "Oh, well. This is a lot more spacious than the place she was 3 weeks ago!"
I know there are more, so I will have to update later when I think of them. Nugget is climbing up on the desk and trying to sit on the keyboard.
Friday, December 12, 2008
So we head back to the wallflower refill section and I'm looking for what I need when an older lady comes up next to me and reaches up to the top shelf to pull down 3 wall flowers. She reaches up to get the 4th, but can't reach it. She calls her friend over to see if she can reach it, but she can't. With all of the holiday shoppers, the employees are swamped at the register, and I hated to see these ladies have to wait, so I stepped in.
Now, I am not a jolly blond giant, but I do have a part monkey three-year-old (last night she discovered the fun of hanging from the support beam in the basement. All those toys and the things they play with). So I said, "If you'd like, I can toss her up there to see if she can reach it." The ladies were elated. I showed Strip the box she was going for and told her what color the stripe on the box was so she would get the right one. I boost her up, she grabs it and saves the day.
Me: Hand it to the nice lady
Strip: Here you go!
Nice lady: digging in her purse Thank you so much sweetie! And here's a little something for you! hands Strip a dollar
Me: Oh, no, you don't need to do that!
Nice Lady: Nonsense! She deserves a little something for doing that for me!
Me: Oh really, getting to climb the shelf was a treat!
Nice Lady: Looks past me to Strip Merry Christmas Sweetie! Thank you for your help.
Strip: THANK YOU!
Strip was blown away.
Strip: Oh Mommy! It's a whole dollar just for me!
Me: I know! Isn't that special! You did something nice for someone, and they wanted to thank you.
Strip: You know what I'm gonna do with this dollar? I'm gonna save it (Dave Ramsey would be so proud). I'm gonna save it and buy something super special like a cookie at Fresh Market.
She stares at her dollar for another minute, and zips it up in her coat pocket. Then she looks around the store and says:
Hmmmm. I wonder who else needs something "nice" done for them....
My little entrepreneur.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When she moved to a big girl bed, she would come in early in the morning to check on us.
Strip: Time to get up?!
Strip: .... now?
Because my 20 month old couldn't tell time, I told her, she had to stay in her room until the sun was awake. That has worked really well.
Now, she gets up at the CRACK of dawn. And I swear the child falls asleep mid-sentence and wakes up completing it. She is super chipper which is super hard to love before 6:30 am.
So yesterday, she comes in and says, "Hey mom. Would it be alright with you if I used your bathroom? You see, mine didn't have any toilet paper, but I put some in the little holder thingy, so now there is some toilet paper...." And she rattles on, and on, and on (I have no idea where she gets that from). After mumbling something that sounded like yes, she proceeds to turn on EVERY light in our room/bathroom/closet. At this point, Nugget has heard her talking and wants to get up. I stumble in to his room and am changing a diaper when Strip walks in to his room, looks at me and says,
Strip: Well, what are you doing up?!
Me: Well, someone turned on every light in my room and woke me up, and then someone was talking with an outside voice and woke her little brother up, so I thought I'd get about my day.
Strip: Oh. Well, I need a few minutes, so I'm just going to be in my room reading. If you need anything, just let me know.
Me: Will do.
So this morning, I am in a haze, but hear her come in and chat with the hubs and turn on every light in our room, again. Oh, and just as a visual, when our house was built, apparently overhead lighting wasn't cool, so the light that we have in our room comes from lamps on the bedside tables, and because we were trying to save the earth and all, we purchased those energy-saving light bulbs which really, I think, do nothing more than hurt your eyes they are so bright and make you want to turn them off, hence, saving energy (how do you like this run-on sentence?) so not only are lights coming on when you are dead to the world, they are super intense right in your face.
So, I'm chatting with the hubs later today and we were giggling about what a nut Strip is. Turns out, she busted up in the bathroom this morning and heard him in the shower.
Strip: Hey! What are you doing?!?
Hubs: AH! Geeze! I'm getting ready for work, what are you doing?
Strip: I'm just going to the bathroom.
Strip: flush I'll be in my room playing with my princesses and reading, ok dad?
He gets out of the shower and these are the lights that are on: Bathroom, closet, bathroom where the toilet is, our two bedside table lamps, the hall light, the kids' bathroom light, the guest room (which the door was closed, so she opened the door to turn the light on), her room, the stairway light, the Christmas tree (don't worry, it's a remote control, not a plug), the downstairs hall light, the dining room, the kitchen, breakfast nook and family room light. Take that energy saving bulbs.
So little miss smarty pants has now figured out that if she wakes up, and the sun's not out, she'll just make her own.
I need a nap.
Monday, December 8, 2008
And for those of you who don't have 2 kids and a dog, let me walk you through the process.
- Find matching, cute Christmas outfits. Make sure they are neatly pressed. This is really pointless because in about two minutes the kids will be rolling around on the floor getting every dog hair and tree needle on their now wrinkled duds (and if one of the kids is getting a new tooth, you can add drool to that).
- Find a place to take the picture. I went with in front of the tree. Line up 2 kid size chairs and put the dog next to them. Take a picture of the dog to check the lighting.
- Get the two kids ready, in position and drag the dog over to the chairs. Instruct the older kid to hold the dog. This translates into big kid with one arm around the dog and one arm around little bro. Awe. So sweet. Get ready to snap the picture. Snap it just as Big Sis leans too far into the dog, falls off the chair, drags little brother out of the frame with her and causes the dog to roll her eyes with an I'm-way-too-old-for-this look and wanders into the other room as you position the kids back on the chairs with the promise of a candy cane if we can just do this.
- Repeat #3 about 8 times and realize this isn't working.
- Scrap the chair and get everyone to just stand by the tree. Cute, except Baby Bro loves to say, "Whoa!" while walking backwards, so he starts leaning on the tree, almost tipping it over.
- Start bringing in the props and Smarties. Give everyone (including the dog) a smartie as you hand the kids a Rudolph. Hear your older child scream, "BUT I WANT TO HOLD IT!" and grab another Christmas toy. Try a book. Try another Smartie. Try for kids in a totem pole pose with dog, on the ground, sis standing behind and little bro on a step stool. Remember that your son thinks he is part lion after you take 4 pictures of him roaring, and 2 pictures where the dog has wandered off and one of your older child "lovingly" pushing your baby off the stool because she wants to be tall.
- Look out at the snow. Get all artistic and take a picture of them with a snowy backdrop. See that your kids keep turning around to look out of the window and get super artistic. Go outside in the snow in the most accessible shoes (crocs) and take a picture of the children looking out at the snow. Get an awesome picture of the screen and a reflection of you in your pjs. Have the great idea to toss the kids outside in the winter wonder land. Take one picture of both children looking down at their shoes (the dog is now hiding in the basement and no amount of Smarties is getting her to come outside).
- Decided it's nap time for everyone.
- During nap time, suck it up and tell Hubs that this year the whole family will be in the picture. Either that or get the carseats out and 5 point harness those babies in front of the tree. Take a shower and dig out that bag of make up. Remember that you needed to get new make up. Remember that you also need a hair cut and an eyebrow wax. Kick yourself for eating all that food last week. Pick something festive.
- Think it will be fun to take the picture outside in the new fallen snow. Grab the camera, coffee can, three bowls. Assemble a platform for the digital camera and test out the timer. Realize that your outfit is not as cute as you thought it was and put on that super cute new coat you got yesterday. Test the camera again, at a different angle. Love the shot, but also notice that you look too marshmallow-y. Change again. Perfect shot, but the three bowls keep slipping, knocking your camera into the snow. Look up to see your husband playing playstation and taking a picture of you with his phone.
- Come to the realization that it's too cold for all of that. Come inside and have your helpful husband remind you that you have three tripods in the garage. Find a tripod. Find the little piece you need to attach your camera to the tripod. Grab the older kid and take a test shot by the window. Look over at the tree. Go back to where the photo shoot started. Get the angle perfect with one kid. Then you and one kid. Then you, one kid, a husband and a dog. Thank God for digital photography.
- Get baby up from nap and re-dress everyone.
- Start the timer picture fun. After 9 shots that aren't going to work, think you'll be funny and say "booty!" right before the flash to make the kids laugh. Remember your chat with God about being "funny" just as the flash goes off and see a really BAD picture of yourself (awesome of everyone else). Thank God again for digital photography. Remind everyone about the candy canes wait in the kitchen. Take 10 more shots. Announce that you are taking three more pictures and that's it. If we don't get it, no candy canes for anyone. Take three more pictures and call it a day.
- Look at the very last picture from the day. Everyone looking at the camera? Check. Cute of the kids? Check. Cute of hubby and dog? Check. Are you in the picture? Check.
- Upload the picture into the card. Realize after looking at it that it's really not a great picture of you. Then remember that you are the mom, and sometimes you just have to suck it up.
So Merry Christmas. And whenever you get a photo card from someone, don't think, "That's cute," and toss it. Put that bad boy somewhere nice. Pack it away and bring it out next year, and for years to come. Or if you do just tear and toss, please don't tell me. My 15 steps can't take it.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
"Lets just hope the basement doesn't flood!"
Ha ha ha. Hop on over to Sunday evening. Our Thanksgiving guests had left, and as I came down the stairs I got a whiff of something not so nice. I was convinced that someone had pooped on the floor, but found nothing. We spent a romantic evening sniffing the entire house. We were convinced something had died in the wall.
Yesterday, I'm down in the basement working on the computer. Because the computer desk and chair are on carpet, we have one of those plastic mats so the chair rolls around easier. I was so excited to find the camera cord to upload pictures from our fun weekend in the snow, but when I bent down to plug it in, I noticed a little puddle -- on the floor -- under the plastic mat. Huh. That's odd. We don't bring drinks down in the basement... Hubby walks in from work about 10 minutes later and I mentioned the odd little wet spot. We go investigating and guess what?! Something was up with one of the pumps in the basement. And where were all of the Christmas presents? You guessed it! Snuggled up in the little room with the water heater and all the standing water.
But wait! There's more! As mentioned before, our Christmas card was looking pretty sweet with the home haircuts, bruises and head injuries.
Today, I'm waiting to pick Strip up from school and am chatting with some other moms. Nugget is walking around, falling all over himself. So I make the "funny" comment,
"Boy, we need to take that Christmas card picture quick before you sustain a MAJOR head injury!"
Ha ha ha. We went out to get a tree tonight (whole other post) and come in feeling festive, so I say we should hang our stockings! The camera is dead, so I have the super long cord plugged into the wall. I take pictures of the kids hanging their stockings, and Strip says, "Let me take one of you hanging your 'socking'!" I hand her the camera and am posing by the fire as Nugget wraps himself up in the long camera cord, falls over and knocks the camera out of Strip's hand. Awesome. He also had a little cup of applesauce he was holding while screaming "EEE! EEE!" which means eat. I'm trying to get the camera to work, now that it's hit the ground, so I tell Nugget to take it to daddy.
Daddy is in the kitchen, standing at my desk getting something out of a drawer, and Nugget walks full speed right in to that super sharp rolly edge thing that makes the drawer roll in and out. I have never seen a goose egg pop up so quickly. So now the poor kid looks like a unicorn. I think I'm just going to stop being "funny." You win, God!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Me: Hey, what do you think of my new pants?
Strip: Your booty looks like two giant mountains.
Thanks kid. And watch out because in 25 years, YOUR kid could be saying the same thing about you.
Heck yeah. Bake my own bread, check.