Dec 31, 2010

20 Easy New Years Resolution Ideas

Here's to 2011 being as great as 2010...

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water a day, only have one other liquid drink per day.
  2. Learn something new. A beautiful language like Italian, vocab word a day, how to sew... things like that.
  3. Do something fun. Fly a  kite. Paint a chair, feed a giraffe, buy a bird feeder. 
  4. Do a random act of kindness every week
  5. Develop a skill that you already have
  6. Cook one new meal a month
  7. Plan a weekend getaway. Or plan a weekend stay-cation
  8. Organize your files. Buy yourself some fantastic filing system.
  9. Dust under furniture. Imagine what you'll find!
  10. Read a book to help you grow into the person you wish you were. (Or 2 or 3...however many it takes to get the job done.)
  11. Grow some type of food. A Garden or basil in a pot is fun. Pot in a pot does not count.
  12. Keep a journal.
  13. Write a letter to a friend you lost touch with.
  14. Get a head start on those Christmas cards…especially if you have never sent any out ever. Ever.
  15. Get an amazing new hairstyle
  16. Loose [your favorite number] lbs.
  17. Go on vacation again.
  18. Fill up 2 garbage bags of stuff to donate from your home…Maybe everyday for 2 weeks. 
  19.  Volunteering is sexy. Soup kitchens, nursing homes, big sister and big brother programs, free babysitting for moms...
  20.  Run or walk a race 

Dec 27, 2010

The Horror of Kids and Grocery Shopping: 10 Approaches for Survival

Every week I tell myself the same thing.

"Never ever again will I grocery shop with these children."

You've probably seen "my kids." You know the screaming ones? The ones that throw tantrums on the floor for a certain cereal. Or cry from sheer exhaustion from the whole hunting and gathering experience.

 And I've tried everything to make it an enjoyable experience.

These are my 10 tested approaches to grocery shopping when you have little children:

1. Bribing with candy. -Can last until it's gone...or I eat it.

2. The carts with the car attached in the front.-Davy once tried to steal some lighters in her mini car attachment and thankfully I caught her before she burned Kroger to a crisp.

3. Tandem grocery cart shopping- Davy with her cart, and me with mine. She loves those tiny carts, but insists we fill her cart with all the food and then it gets too heavy for her and she gets distracted and wants to run. Or she runs into displays and old people. This leaves me with the baby, the runaway toddler and our two carts to push. Not fun.

She has that look of sheer determination in her eyes. It scares me.

4. Bribing with food-again, all is fine until the food runs out. 

5. Singing songs throughout the store-This is just an embarrassment to mothers everywhere.

6. Letting her help me pick up the food to put in the cart.-Until she puts everything she can get those grubby fingers on and throws them in the cart when my back is turned.

7. Timing naps with the grocery store trip-The nap thing could hypothetically work. If I didn't have two of them. I don't have enough arms or strength. I never anticipated the physical demands of this job. Gianna is helping me get some huge muscles lately with this whole separation anxiety deal. 

8. Bribing with drinks -Doesn't really work. She knows she shouldn't have to work to quench her thirst.

9. Strap in the toddler-This should work. Who cares about the screaming. Only problem is Davy is known for opening food from her strapped in position in the cart then leisurely tossing it back in the cart opened. (The yogurt was the worst.)

 10. Stroller power. This is my favorite way if I have to go. Both kids are strapped in safely. We can walk to the grocery store from our house when the temperature isn't well below freezing. I am only limited by my stroller basket.

Sometimes these diversions work short term, but there is nothing short term about taking two kids to the grocery store. The best way to go with kids is...don't. Just don't do it. Shop super late at night or early in the morning. Do WHATEVER it takes. That's what I think. Mostly I am too lazy and tired to go this wonderful route. Or solicit people to watch your children. Pay people to watch them. Or there's that frozen thing in the freezer in the tupperware... it's probably still edible. It's worth the risk.

But here we are again, Monday morning after a holiday away from home and we need some real food in this house. We already ate the questionable tupperware food.

So, we'll probably go to the grocery store and use a combination of these tactics which fail me week after week.

Then we can count how many old people tell me I have my hands full.

Dec 26, 2010

A is for Alphabet








Dec 24, 2010

B is for Blogging

Tonight I was at my parent's house eating dinner for Christmas Eve and someone I had just met asked me why I blogged.

He was like, "Oh, are you getting paid?" I felt kind of lame and said, "No." Then I sat there for about 10 minutes in silence looking at my meat pie. (It's a pie made of meat and potatoes, in case you were wondering.) He looked confused and it made me seriously consider why the heck I am blogging.

Then I answered him.
  • I blog because some days people poop on me, throw up on me, and cry all day. I need someone to hear about it and feel sorry for me.
  •  I like to sit down and revisit my day with a laugh and clear my head to get ready for tomorrow.
  • It helps my sanity. 
  • When I get a chance to reconnect with other moms or people I don't get a chance to visit with regularly because they hear about the glamorous life of a stay at home mom, it makes it worth it.
  • I do it to solicit advice and help from those around me. I have one crazy two year old. And one crazy baby. And one crazy husband. And I think it goes without saying that I'm crazy too.
  • Most importantly, I am blogging to make money to put padded walls in our basement and invent toddler straight jackets.

Even on Christmas Eve.

[The stockings are hung, the children are in bed, and thank you Walgreens for staying open until midnight tonight and for having a Davy-size Santa Snoopy to sit at the table and chairs. For the last week, she has told us every few hours that Santa is bringing her a Snoofy. I couldn't find a Snoofy anywhere, so I hope Snoopy will do.]

Merry Christmas Eve!

Dec 23, 2010

C is for Christmas Card

Sample A

Merry Christmas!

What a year this has been! Our newest addition, Gianna, arrived on April 5th and is a rolly polly ball of love. Davy turned two this year and has brought more joy and laughs to our home than we ever thought possible.  They are starting to play together now and spend their days giggling and chasing each other around the house. We love our growing family!

Christopher has been biking long distances at lightening speed and participated in two criterium races! Maureen and Christopher completed their first triathlon together and both finished with all smiles. Maureen has started running again after a 3 year hiatus and has been blogging about the fun of being a stay at home mom.

Davy enjoys tea parties, Godzilla, going on walks with Daddy, Kroger-ing with Mommy and taking naps on the couch. Gianna loves smiling, getting tickled by Mommy, finding treasures on the floor, taking baths, waving to Daddy, and her bear. 

Hope your new year is filled with love and joy.

<3 your favorite "glass half-full family"

Sample B

Dear Friends,

Christmas is upon us already. What a year this has been. And although we are all still alive, we have had quite our share of doctor's visits and hospital trips. The only one to escape visiting the hospital for a medical emergency in our family was Christopher. He was too busy working long hours to get seriously injured or sick like the rest of us. Maureen was diagnosed with a chronic colon disease and will be on medication for the rest of her life. Davy has had a stomach virus for what seems to be about 3 months on and off. And our sweet baby Gianna just finished up her second urinary tract infection.

We have tried potty training Davy in many failed attempts. And now can unhappily report we still have the expense and unfortunate chore of changing two small persons' diapers daily.

Oh and little Gianna is still not sleeping through the night. That means no one else is either.

There are no exciting pictures this year of family vacations. The reason being we haven't gone on any.

Well, here's to hoping next year is twice as nice.

<3 your favorite "glass half-empty family"

Dec 22, 2010

D is for Dad

Dads. Little girls need their Daddies. And there are statistics to prove it. They need good daddies. Lucky for me, I have a great dad.

I have this book called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters that I bought Christoper to read. I highly recommend it. I ended up reading it and I realized how much I have taken my dad for granted.

Dads sometimes miss out on all the glory that moms get. They are in the background, often making the big bucks and bringing home the bacon. Supporting the family. I was particularly blessed because my dad always had an office out of our home. He was home a lot. We had meals as a family, he went to all my soccer games and coached my basketball team (even though I told him to shut up one time on the court--eeek so sorry), he has been such a humble good example to me. It was the little things that made such a big difference and gave me the security to grow into the woman I am today. Love you Dad.

So I have often read that girls look for someone like their dad to marry. (Gross.) I certainly was not thinking for one second that I wanted to marry a clone version of "my dad." We found a picture of my dad when he was around Christopher's age and the resemblance was uncanny. Same hair. And since I've been alive my dad's hair has been straight. Weird. So I at least married someone looks like my dad.

I wasn't sure how Christopher was going to handle fatherhood. Not that I thought he would do a bad job. I just couldn't picture him as a dad. He didn't spend the majority of his life with sisters at home. There was a lot of boy activity going on at his house. Although he's always been close to his sister Marisa she's lived away for most of his life.

And to date, he has two little daughters and he is an amazing dad. As soon as he gets home from work every day, Davy is incredibly excited to see him. "Daddy!!!" She immediately stops whatever she is doing and runs toward the door, leaps into his arms for hugs and kisses him on the cheek. Every. Day. And he is just as excited to see her and Gianna. Gianna also is such a Daddy's girl. Her first word was "Dada" and throughout the day sometimes she crawls around saying his name looking for him.

I hope Davy and Gianna look for someone like their dad without realizing it, like I did.  

Dec 21, 2010

E is for Excitement

Tucked in your bed. Awake. Listening with every cell in your body for some kind of Santa sound, reindeer hooves on the roof or crinkling of presents arriving under the Christmas tree. Maybe you were even looking out the window hoping that the red lights of a plane were indeed Ruldolph and the gang heading to your house.

That was me when I was little. For sure. Until I found out the horrible truth that I guilted my mother into telling me. "Don't lie to me mom. Don't lie." It worked and then I sobbed for hours after my innocence was lost.

After that discovery,  Christmas was still fun, but a little bit of the excitement was gone. And I was busy exerting my energy trying not to ruin my sisters' Christmas by letting them in on the secret.

Now that I am a mom, I wasn't sure if we were going to do Santa at our house. Especially because of my personal heartbreak- I didn't want to lie.

But we so are. Davy loves Santa. Well, at least from a distance and in stories. She's not about to sit on the man's lap or anything. Maybe what I mean is Davy loves Santa's presents. She is beyond excited to receive them.

For some reason she has associated the terms good listener and presents in that little mind of hers. And you know what? That is alright with me. All I have to say sometimes is,  "Please be a good listener."  And then she's mildly obedient and says, "I'm a good girl! I'm getting big presents." Hey whatever works.
my little Christmas fairy

She loves Christmas. The Nativity, baby Jesus, gingerbread paraphernalia, Santa and his reindeer, Charlie Brown and Christmas trees, ornaments, snowmen, presents, presents, and presents.

I'm not trying to go all Mother Theresa over here or anything, but I honestly cannot think of anything I want for Christmas this year for myself. (This is coming from a girl who bought herself a Cabbage Patch doll at her school's Christmas Shop with half the money her parents gave her to buy her family presents.)

I guess hope those days are behind me. Now all I want is a wonderful Christmas with our family and to see Davy's face Christmas morning and Gianna in her new bunny boots (thank you in advance Grandma and Grandpa C). We are very blessed. Side note:  I read this awesome article today about random people helping others this Christmas and it made me extremely grateful. And of course it made me ball.

In all honesty I have not been this excited for Christmas Day in 20 years. I cannot wait for Christmas morning. I feel like a little kid again. The last few years were exciting with Davy. But this year she really gets it. Now I have that same excited nervous ohmygoshwhatissantagoingtobringme feeling.

And as I am finishing up this post I hear her in her room getting tucked in and telling Daddy, "I am so excited for baby Jesus' birthday." That about sums it up.

Dec 20, 2010

F is for Fashion

My earliest fashion memory was in 2nd grade in the bathroom at St. Joseph Catholic School in Enfield, Connecticut. It was the same bathroom where I sounded out another F word in the stall. I repeated it to myself loudly while some junior high girls laughed hysterically and kept asking me what it said. So I kept telling them. I digress. Anyway I remember I was wearing my black choker with a silver peace sign talking to my friends Shawna and Tasia. "Hey, you know those boots every girl has been dying to get? My grandma bought me them."
Found them.

First of all. What a brat. Second of all. What 2nd grader is dying to get a pair of black ankle boots? One that watched a lot of Saved by the Bell. That's what 2nd grader.

Davy watches some youtube videos of singing vegetables and lately all things princess. These "so called" princess are doing to her just what Saved by the Bell did to me. She wants to be a princess and dress like they do. Every. Single. Day.

barelegged tutu girl
the sock changer
When it's time to get dressed. She begs me to let her wear a princess dress. And we don't have any princess dresses around here. So generally I try to convince her that what I want her to wear is indeed a princess dress. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes not so much. Or she goes the tutu route. It's cute but she likes it barelegged. [see above picture]

After the princess dressing, she changes her shoes and her socks numerous times throughout the day. Whenever she walks by her closet, it's like she can't resist.

Stolen Jewelry+classy Great Grandma
Then of course we have the jewelery. Unfortunately Davy is lacking in the jewelery scene, but she knows a good place to find some. My jewelery box. It's jam packed with tons of things for her to get her grubby little fingers on. So she does. Almost daily.

With a step stool and a mission she has access to most anything she can dream of in our home.

Some days she is all about the floral print. She wants flower shirts and socks and pants. And when you put those all together. It equals a horror scene from Willy Wonka's Factory.

"Please don't arrest me Oompa Loompa fashion police."

Dec 19, 2010

G is for Godzilla

As a child my husband had a man boy crush on Godzilla. Yes, the Japanese monster dinosaur thing. Heck I think he still does. While we were dating he made me watch a few of the different versions.

And now we have another Godzilla lover in the house. 

I released Godzilla from captivity during a spring cleaning frenzy. After finding him in a box in the basement, as a joke I put it on my husband's bedside table to remind him of his monster-ish youth. He was slightly amused at my joke; Davy was ecstatic about it.

"OOOOO that's Daddy's, he was little?" 
 "Yes Davy that was Daddy's when he was little."

"Can I play with the dinosaur?"
"Yes, but his name is Godzilla."

And that's when their friendship began. Slowly at first, (he kept biting her) but soon she whipped him into shape. His days of terrorizing lego villages and destroying buildings are long over. He has a new life now. A pretty more civilized life. His days are filled with...well I'll show you...

Bubble Bath (in the hallway)

spit moisturizer is best

his first manicure. precious.

He takes baths. 
He's pet very awkwardly on his spikes. 
He holds hands and gets dragged around. 
He gets his nails done. 
He drinks tea at the tiny table. 
He still bites, but it's more of a love nibble that necessitates endless giggles.
 He sits in the high chair and is fed with a spoon.

"I love you Godzilla."
He naps in cradles with his eyes open. 
He reluctantly rides in strollers. 
He snuggles with a two year old. 
He dances to Cinderella's So This is Love song...

Hiding from Davy because she was being monster-ish
I know that she has been the single most positive influence in his life to date.  I'm just not sure he is the best influence on her.

Dec 18, 2010

H is for Hug

In the beginning there was a family hug.
And Davy called the hug, Gianna.

Sometimes her hugs were sweet.
Sometimes they bugged people.
Here is  a person who is bugged by the hug.
Light hugging is right hugging.
Hugging cousins.
Hugs that make us cry.

Love hug.

Brown baby nap hug.
Tree huggers

Will work for hugs.

Dec 17, 2010

I is for Imagination

Delicious snowman food
When I was in college there was this girl that used to walk around apparently living in another world along side the rest of us. She sang to herself and was always smiling and looking off into the distance. I used to see her frolicking among the blossoming trees in the spring. She was in la la land. And it looked fun, but I never had a conversation with that girl because she was in her own world.

It's a little like that at our house sometimes. Davy's imagination takes over and I cannot reach the child. I can handle tea parties with snowmen, flamingos, elmo, and babies. Making dinner for Gianna and her in her play kitchen. But lately she's gone too far for my liking.

She tells me she can't get off the kitchen chair because she is taking care of her infant spoon. She nurses it back to health by giving it a bath with a cup or water on the table. She can't get shoes on because she is playing house with some kitchen cups that have turned into her sisters.

And it's not like she doesn't have tons of toys that would serve her purposes fine. She just likes to play with other things and I have no idea what she's turned them into.

Sometimes you gotta draw the line though. Like when she tries to play with a full can of beer she got out of the refrigerator and pretends it's Daddy.

Cute oven mitts Davy. Wait, are those our Christmas stockings?
[As she attempts to get refrigerator water for the Daddy beer.] "Daddy's going up the waterfall because he wants to get in the water and go swimming."

"Davy give mommy that beer can right now."

Spaceship journey with Elmo
The only way I can reach her is if I temporarily join her world and can creatively convince her to stop her reckless behavior. "Daddy can't go swimming, he needs to go back to sleep in his bed (the refrigerator)."

Recently we were at our church coming back from Communion and she screams in the solemn silence as she tries to fling herself out of Daddy's arms.


Many times I've tried to reason with her. I just tell her she is wrong.

Those are not children, they are spoons!
That's not your dad it's a beer can!
Those are not your sisters, they are plastic cups!
You are not a dinosaur, you are a very wild 2 year old human.

It doesn't work. She continues to live in her other world. And she often gets nasty in her little world.
So what I should of said was-"The dinosaur mud is in the lobby Dino Davy." [It's incidentally where all other wild toddlers are as well.]

Dec 16, 2010

J is for Jesus

Today was like many days at our home; Davy was in a particularly defiant mood. She wouldn't let me get her dressed for the day.

"Davy it's time to put clothes on sweetie."
"LIONS don't wear CLOTHES!"
alrighty then.

She didn't want to take a nap. Eventually, I cajoled her into sitting on the couch so I tell her a story to give me a break and stop trashing our house.

It was a story she's heard before. I didn't think it would really keep her engaged. But it did. It had what all the best stories have: tiny baby Jesus, animals, angels singing, and shepherds in the fields abiding.

She was enthralled by it and I could tell she wanted to discuss it further.

 "Yes, sweet girl."

"The cow did NOT eat baby Jesus."
"Oh ok. Good to know."

"He didn't smell baby Jesus."

"The COW licked baby Jesus!" [Ensued by toddler peals of laughter.]

Dec 15, 2010

K is for Kill

In our house things die frequently. Not only things like herbs I forgot to water or cell phone batteries.

Other things.

Davy has pointed this fact out to us. For some reason she got the idea that items die when they fall on the floor. So logically if she is the one doing the majority of the dropping, she is killing them.

It started one day with a banana slice. She dropped it on the ground. Then announced in a morose voice, "Oh! It's dead." Of course I started laughing. And it never stopped.

chocolate on my mind
Then today after we made a giant gingerbread man, she dropped one (entire container of) chocolate covered craisin(s).  "Oh shoot!" she exclaimed they're dead." An hour later, Gianna, in her adorable rolly-polly happy glory, crawled over and found a dead chocolate covered craisin and shoved it in her mouth faster than I could let out a disapproving no sound. So I watched the chocolate dribble down her chubby chin and the largest gummy grin appear on her face. About 30 seconds later, she spit out the fruit-like center onto the floor. Dead for the second time.

I have no idea where this idea entered her tiny mind, but I can only imagine that it could have been from watching me irreverently squash a bug (probably a repulsive earwig) on the floor.

Then she threw me for a major loop, I was putting on some eyeliner and she was severely in need of some. Asking, pleading, nothing would work. So she looked at me with her big brown lively eyes and told me,

"Mom my brown eyes are dead. So I...." Then she trailed off.

It freaked me out. And it worked. Just like Toddlers and Tiara's I applied some nude eyeshadow to my two year old's dead brown eyes hoping to bring them back to life.

Dec 14, 2010

L is for Lying

My very first memory of lying wasn't that serious.

I was three years old and Katie was trying to get my pillow. And it was mine so I threw her off it. Then she was hysterical and my mom ran in and asked what the heck happened. So, I told her a different version of reality. "Mother, little Katie smacked her arm on the coffee table as she was trying to walk. That klutz." I'm pretty sure she didn't believe me and I still feel kinda guilty. I yanked my sister's arm out of the socket and she had to go to the hospital to, you know, pop it back in.

so. guilty.
My first memories of Davy lying are right now. She lies all the time. Just today she lied about opening presents reserved for our family Christmas party. I have them all packed away in a discrete location in my bedroom. And today I heard that troubling silence. It's pretty rare at our house because Davy is in a constant state of verbal exploration. So silence means either:
a) she is in immediate danger or
b) she is deciding whether or not to listen to her tiny excuse of a conscience (which in most instances leads to immediate danger.)
So I sprinted to my bedroom and found her surrounded by ripped up puzzle box cardboard and a princess puzzle in her hands.

"What are you doing Davy?"

"Ummm I was just putting this back in the bag for the kids."

Like h-e-double hockeysticks you were.

A few hours later I found her in there again, back at it. So I asked her for the second time.
"What are you doing Davy?"

"Oh, just trying to take this away from Gianna. No Gianna! Don't take this."

What a little liar. She isn't culpable right? She hasn't hit the age of reason. She sure seems to know what she is doing, though.

Then after dinner, we found a little Santa Clause lying on the kitchen floor missing his tiny foot and his green mittened hand. He was an adorable handless footless Santa. So Daddy asked the obvious perpetrator.

"Davy, do you know what happened to dear Santa Clause?"
"Ummm. I don't know." Then looked down at her guilty hands.
So Daddy asked, "Did you break Santa Clause?"
"Yeah, I did. I dropped him."

Sweet honesty. Music to our ears.

Dec 13, 2010

M is for Mom

I've been hard on my mom a lot throughout my life. Why does she have to worry so much? Why is she always giving me advice? Why is she so momish? And other things along those lines.

Mom of the Year
I feel like I appreciated my mom approximately one million times more the day I had my Davy.  I never knew that I could intensely love someone so tiny that I hardly knew. It's weird, because, when they are tiny you think you love them so much. And you do, but then the love keeps growing and growing and growing with every kissed boo boo and dirty diaper. I am only 2 and half years into the game and I already am worrying about her schooling and her future friends and how many sports should she play and crazy things like that.

I would say about 90%+ of the irritating things about moms are because they love so much. And when you love someone so much you just worry sometimes.

smiling on the outside: worrying on the inside
True story:Soon after I found out I was pregnant with Davy,  I was sitting under a tree at a park in San Francisco with my hand resting on my belly thinking about little baby within. And do you know what I was thinking? She cannot go on a date. She can't go. Those boys only want one thing. That. is. what. I. was. thinking. Right now, Davy thinks that Cinderella's dad is the prince, so at least she isn't too boy crazy. That buys me a little bit of worry free time.

Back to my mom. I think she did a pretty good job raising me. Especially considering I wasn't the easiest child and definitely was a difficult teenager a lot of the time.

So if someone annoys you and worries about you all the time. Maybe they are crazy or they might just love you. Just throwing that out there.

Thanks mom I love you and I hope that I grow up to be just like you (worrying included).

Dec 12, 2010

N is for Nativity

Jesus' friend, St. Nick
In case you have somehow missed this fact. Christmas has something to do with a baby born in a stable. Apparently the tradition of fashioning one for admiration and remembrance started with St. Francis about 600 years ago .

At our house, we have one. We actually have more than one. I had an extra one from my old first grade classroom I didn't put out because it was breakable. It was made of ceramic and I wasn't that attached to it. In a poor parenting moment this week when my loving husband was working late, I gave it to the very person who would break it, Davy. She looooves to play with anything baby Jesus related (who wouldn't?) and so it gave me some time to make dinner. Don't judge.

She played hard with the nativity players. Joseph, Mary, the three wisemen, and baby Jesus. She played a little too hard with them. She had them jumping on and off the ottoman. She had Jesus nursing on Mary. I'm pretty sure it was sacrilegious, but Davy kept playing that Mary was biting her finger and giggling. Then some even crazier things started happening. Heads were rolling. Hands were flying. And they were no longer attached to their little bodies.

I felt bad. The reasons for the season became so broken that fixing them would require more glue than our ceramic friends themselves. So we had to put them away in the circular file later that evening, aka the garbage.

Her playing with the plastic ones...what adventures they have!
I gave her some plastic ones to play with for the future. Sorry baby Jesus. Davy is still really excited for your Birthday party and the presents and your friend St. Nick.

Dec 11, 2010

O is for Odor

Did you know that you have a special odor? Well you might be like me and have one and not even know it.
smelly people
Last Sunday, St. Nicholas was riding on a horse drawn carriage through our neighborhood and since we weren't paying attention to the recent mailings letting us know the exact details, we chased him. Literally. We drove around until we found the parade of horses and singing people and people playing intstuments and the big man himself. Then Davy and I got out and chased them on foot.

Anyway I lost my supermom cape somehow in the chaos. AKA: my nursing cover. If you don't know what it is, it looks like a cape that you wear on the front to cover your goods. Anyway I didn't even know I lost it until a little phone call today. Our friends Ben and Joanna were on a walk about a mile from our house and saw a balled up piece of fabric that resembled something familiar. Joanna thought it might be my nursing cover so they tried to call. I didn't pick up. So Joanna did what any mom who has lost her sense of proper sanitation protocol does, she picked it up and smelled it. And then she knew. She knew it was mine because it smelled like me.

Smelled like me. Isn't that lovely. I have smell. After 6 freaking days in the snow and rain, it still hadn't lost it's me stench. awesome.

I remember as a child that certain families had smells. Not necessarily bad or good, just their family's special gift to all that enter their home and leave with anything from their home.

My dear husband thinks it's hilarious and keeps reminding me that I have a unique
"musk" (apparently he doesn't know that it's the smell that comes from the animal dear's back/ rectal area). Two become one honey. It's our smell now.

Dec 10, 2010

P is for Presents

Santa Clause.
Naughty or nice?

For generations my family has passed down a Christmas tradition that I have been hoping to discontinue. When my mom was a little girl, she used to tip toe to the Christmas tree and admire her presents. Then she would pick them up. Sometimes even shake them to get an idea of what might be inside. Then she would guess what was inside. Then a few times she checked what was inside: by unwrapping them.  Just a few times, right mom? Then she would re-wrap them. Sneaky. Naughty. Genetic.

Her mom told her, "I hope you have a daughter just like you." And she did. I almost had no control over myself as a little girl. I too unwrapped, then re-wrapped my presents. And I never got caught. Until now. Sorry Mom and Dad. My husband just found out about this and told me that he thinks that it is worse than underage drinking...ummm ok. Anyways.

I have a hard time with surprises. For myself and for others. So last Christmas my little, sweet, obedient, one year old found her presents and unwrapped them early. So I let her have them. Not all of them. I went a little overboard so it seemed like she wouldn't miss a few on Christmas Day. So this year I decided. No more. I will buy her one big thing that she "needs" and be done with it.

She "needs" a really cute table and chair set. So Santa sent it to our house early and I'm keeping it for him. I hid it in the dark and dingy basement in a closet, behind the washer and dryer, and since there is no door on it, I placed an enormous box in in front of the doorway. This way it obstructed the view of the unwrapped presents and prohibited anyone tiny from physically accessing them.

Because her DNA necessitates that she see her presents early. She did. And it went a little bit. like. this.

So. I heard a little squeal. "EEEEEEEEE! Mommy! Did you buy these chairs for me and Gianna?!"

I was doing laundry and she started walking down the stairs. There had been a HUGE oversight. I did not consider the view of someone under 3ft. tall from the left side of the third stair.


Normally, I would just give it to her.  But this year, I only have this one big present for her. The cute table and chair set. And I really want her to run in Christmas morning and find it. Icannotgivein. I have no idea what to say to her. "Ummmmm. Uhhhhh." I know! I'll play dumb.
"What are you talking about Davy?"

She bolts down the stairs and using brute 2 1/2 year old force attempts to dislodge the giant box from its semi-permanent location. She is almost successful and before I could stop her, she is touching the chair.

"OOOOOO! Is it for me?"

"Uh. no. Maybe someone left them here. They're not for you. They're for the kids." Ok, what is wrong with me. Lame.

"Ohhhhh. They're for Therese?"

"Ummm. No. Oh my gosh! Where the heck is Gianna! We have to go find her!" Parenting technique of distraction, pleeeease work this time.

And it did. 

My mom also said to me, "I hope you have a daughter just like you." Look whose laughing now, turns out she's just like you, Grandma. And I think Davy is the one laughing.

Dec 9, 2010

Q is for Question

Q & A with Davy (age 2 1/2). A tiny glimpse into her scattered mind.
*These are her real answers. Nothing has been added or changed.  

Momma-What is your favorite color?

Momma-What is your favorite game to play?
Davy-"Play tea party."

Momma-Favorite thing to wear?
 D-"Clothes. Pink. And Elmo clothes.

Momma-Favorite movie?  
D-"Snow White.  I'm a baby!"[She crawls away]

Momma-Can you please come back here? I need to ask you some more questions. 
Davy-"I'm just getting my toy! Can you make this pig noise so it can sing? Can I color?"

Momma-What do you like to do with Daddy?
Davy-"Play tea party."

Momma-What did you get Gianna for Christmas?
Davy-"A tutu." [total lie.]

Momma-Did you take a nap today?
Davy-"Yeah. I didn't go in my room. [true. She slept on the couch. She begins a song] Baaaabaa Rannnnn, take my haaaaand.  Went to a dance lookin' for a strong man...." (The Beach Boys, Barbara Ann)

Momma-[noticing a strategically placed cup of water.] What is that sippy cup doing in the Christmas tree?! 
Davy-"I put it there."

Davy-"Because. It's an ornament."

Momma-Moving on, what did we cook today?  
Davy-"Bread. And we put cereal in it.....[Pats me on the head] You're my favorite girl I ever seen. [Touches my shirt] There's a lot of buttons your shirt!"
"There's a lot of buttons on your face and you are very comfy. [begins marching] Did you color her eyes? [points to a piece of paper with a drawing on it] I have a nice person named Abby. She's a very big person. You are a nice woman. Can I have my babydoll?"

Momma-What babydoll? Why are princesses beautiful?
Davy-"No. ummmmm yes. No. They are kinda scary." [growls and crawls away]

Momma-So, I guess we're done here?
Davy-[No answer]

Dec 8, 2010

R is for Run

Running. Uggggh it's the worst. Most. Boring. Sport. Ever. Is it even a sport? Running was never something I really enjoyed doing.

I did it to
1) stay in shape for soccer at JCCHS. Word to all my cross country buddies from Sweet Home Alabama.
2) loose some lbs
3) train for a race

 But never for enjoyment. Until now. Or well a few months ago.  A short time after I gave birth to Gianna I ran walked into some neighbors down the street, Erin and Rachel. They asked me if I was a runner (to which I replied "not really") and they told me about a local women's running club. They then led me to believe that they did not run too fast. Which is a total lie. They are speed demons.

I decided that I would like to try to join that little group that meets once a week and then drinks coffee. Truthfully, the most alluring part was the prospect of a weekly coffee outing sans kiddos.
So I made it my goal to start running again. I joined a gym and tried to learn to run after about a 3 year break. Slowly. It was painful at first. I was going turtle speed and it was mentally challenging.

Eventually I made it to the once a week coffee run and it was great. And I still love it. Thanks for everyone who runs with me and puts up with me mainly running my mouth more then my legs.

Run. Like. H-E-double toothpicks. In costume.
Another reason why I stuck it out with running was my new friend Kelley moved to town and had decided to pick up her running shoes and we became running buddies. She went from never running to running 6 miles in a few months! Woah. Go Kelley go!

I started signing up for some races. Just to ensure that I didn't quit my recycled hobby.

The whole fam damily. matchy matchy.

Then one day my husband came home and told me he signed us up for this triathlon thing, called Morgan's Little Miami Triathlon. I thought it was like a fake triathlon. It was a 6 mile canoe, 5 mile run, 18 mile bike ride. I don't remember exactly why that sounded fake to me. I suppose since there is no swimming. Everyone there looked pretty legit. Anyway, it was so fun. I think partly because it was the most time I've spent alone with my husband in months. And partly because I hadn't been on a bicycle in years and years. Which was probably a mistake that I would remedy before attempting that again. (Especially the learning to ride a bike with clip on shoes the night before. Thanks for letting me borrow your bike Ben.)

Liz is really a foot taller than me. She is bending waaay down.
I found out about a half marathon taking place in our city and I convinced my dad (an old guy) and my sister Liz (a fit college senior) to sign up with me. So on October 23 of this year we ran it and my old dad smoked me. It was still fun for me. Then it hit me. I like to run. I like to run with people that I can talk to while I run so that I don't have to think about the actual running that is going on. That must be the secret to good running. 

And as of last week I even ran outside in below freezing weather. It was traumatic, but I ran with my Division 1 runner friend Joanna who just had a baby 8 or so weeks ago (that's the only way I could keep up with her) and my awesome sister Katie who has legs as long as my body. So unfair. And we talked and therefore did not think about the running that was taking place. And the weird thing about running in the cold is that after like 5 minutes you don't really notice the cold anymore.

Anyway, the point of this was supposed to be that I think running or walking is a good hobby for moms for their emotional health. Or really anyone for their emotional health as well as their physical. I feel like less of a crazy person when I run.

What do you do to feel less crazy? 

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