I hate making New Year's resolutions, so I just don't. My goal, every year, is for it to be better than the year before. I try to be a better wife, better mother, and a better friend. Sometimes, I make it happen. Sometimes, I fail miserably. But, I try.
2007 was an awesome year, for us. We bought a business and had another GIVEN to us. Maddie started pre-school. We found a new church, that suits our entire family. We started a budget and got closer and closer to being debt free.
2008 is going to be even better. I can feel it. This is going to be the year we buy a house. This is going to be the year that the business takes off. This is going to be the year that we laugh, more with people, than at them. Maybe. This is going to be the year that we are grateful for every single thing.
What will 2008 bring you? I hope it brings you everything you hope for. And more than you ever dreamed. Happy New Year!!!
Monday, December 31, 2007
I hate making New Year's resolutions, so I just don't. My goal, every year, is for it to be better than the year before. I try to be a better wife, better mother, and a better friend. Sometimes, I make it happen. Sometimes, I fail miserably. But, I try.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 11:01 PM
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Cinderella (host): "Seriously, Snow- did you think I meant one of your animal friends? Get with the program"
Thursday, December 27, 2007
There is a man at my gym that looks just like Santa. Long, white beard. Big belly. Always wears red or green sweat pants. Drives a green Element, with a stocking hanging on the mirror.
He plays Santa year round and really gets into it. He gives all the kids candy canes, even in the middle of summer. If a child goes up to him, he pulls out a little black book and finds their name, then checks it. And we see him everywhere- Wal-Mart, dining out, the gym swimming pool (not pretty, by the way).
So, when Maddie and I walked into the gym and saw him drinking coffee, Maddie really wanted to go talk to him. She walked right over, and tugged on his pants.
Maddie: "Thanks, Santa."
Sweet Santa:"Oh, hello there. Did you have a good Christmas? Did you get everything you wanted?"
Maddie: "Thank you for everything."
Stupid Santa:"What did you get?" I could see the wheels turning. What do you mean? You are Santa. You know what I got.
Maddie: "The Princess Bike"
Senile Santa: "The Princess Bride? I'm glad you like it."
I grab her hand, and pull her to the nursery. Seriously, what 3 year old gets The Princess Bride for Christmas? And why, oh why, would Santa admit that he didn't know what he got her? Just play along, you moron. That's what all good Santa's do.
I think we will be avoiding this Santa, for a while. Unless he's around and Maddie won't eat her dinner, of course.
I just hope he doesn't slip up and tell her that he's not really Santa. And that he doesn't really care if she eats or not. I'd hate to have to kick Santa's butt, all the way to the North Pole. But, I will.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Over the river and through the woods, to Gram and Pop's house we went. . . If I actually knew more of that song, it might be pretty fun to write an entire post, set to that tune. But, I don't. So, you'll just have to settle for some random observations from this Christmas.
Not so great expectations: On the way to my Mom's house, I got 3 different phone calls. The first one was from my little sister. Her youngest daughter had RSV and had to be hospitalized. The second was from my mom. My grandmother was sick and she was taking her to the doctor. My older sister was also sick and probably wouldn't be able to come celebrate with us. The last one was from my dad. He hadn't done any shopping and wanted me to help him out. I was starting to worry that this would not be a great Christmas, for anyone. Well, they released my niece that afternoon. No fever, not contagious. My grandmother and sister were given medicine. My sister was the only one who wasn't able to go to my mom's house Christmas morning. And shopping with my dad was actually lots of fun. For some reason, I always expect the worse. I think it's because it always makes me so happy when it doesn't actually happen.
Visit from Santa: The highlight of the trip was Christmas Eve night. At bedtime, my brother in law went to Maddie's bedroom window and shook jingle bells, and shone a red light at her window. We had told her earlier that if she wasn't asleep, Santa would leave and come back later. Her little eyes got as wide as I have ever seen them, when he said Merry Christmas, and HoHoHo. She started saying, "I'm asleep, I'm asleep." Then, she went straight to bed. No arguments. I hope he doesn't have plans for the next 7 or 8 Christmas Eves.
Maddie's nose: On Christmas morning, Maddie told everyone about Santa visiting her window. She told them about Rudolph's nose. Then she said "It went just like this." And then her eyes kinda glazed over and she stared into space. And, she kept doing it. She really thought she was making her nose glow red, like Rudolph's. Is she going to be the weird kid in class? She is, isn't she?
Big Gifts vs. Small Gifts: This was the first year, that Justin and I were really excited about what we, I mean Santa, got Maddie this year. Two words: Princess Bike. We just knew that as soon as she saw it, she would jump up and down, squeal in that high pitch she perfected, give us big hugs, and declare: "I know there is no Santa, and that you and Daddy gave this to me! Thank you soooooo much." Didn't happen. She briefly looked at all of her Santa gifts, and said: "Look, Mommy- I got Candy Land." Barely looked at her bike. It wasn't quite the reaction I had hoped for. I pointed out every cool thing about her bike. She really liked her puzzles. I had her put on her new princess helmet, with matching knee and elbow pads. They didn't feel right, and she wanted to do the paint by numbers thing. After lunch, it was warm enough to let her ride her bike, outside. In the end, the bike won.
Lesson Learned: While Maddie and her cousins were playing Candy Land, my dad told me that my grandmother needed me to go to her house to get things situated before lunch.
"Your Mawmaw is trying to thaw out corn, and Aunt Mary is peeling sweet potatoes."
"Aunt Mary is peeling potatoes? With a knife? But, isn't she. . . "
"Yeah." So I hurried over there. And there stood Aunt Mary. With an 8 inch carving knife, peeling potatoes. When she heard me, she turned, knife in hand, and almost stabbed me. Aunt Mary is blind. Don't sneak up on a blind woman, peeling potatoes. Or, better yet, don't let a blind woman peel potatoes, with an 8 inch carving knife.
Food: I ate the entire time I was at my Mom's house. There was an insane amount of food. My child, however, would only eat peanut butter. Again. Her loss. Oh, and by the way, if my sister says she doesn't like my broccoli and cauliflower salad, I'm gonna retaliate and say that I don't like her red velvet cake. Without even trying it. Sorry, Kim.
I love Christmas and the entire time leading up to it. I love the decorations, the music, the family time.
I really, really love that it only comes once a year.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The clothes are packed, the stockings are stuffed in a random box, and the presents are tucked in a duffel bag. We are as ready as we will ever be.
Rather, we will be as soon as Maddie goes to sleep. That's when we can start loading up the car. The real question is how we are going to hide her princess bike- all the way to Memphis. Fun times.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.
Friday, December 21, 2007
We have a very hard time getting Maddie to eat. Anything. Especially when we go out to dinner. She tells us that she wants one thing, when it arrives, she won't touch it. It drives me crazy. So when I read Amy's post, about what she did with her daughter, I knew it was worth a try. Fear. I'll just scare her into eating.
We went to our favorite local restaurant and Maddie said she wanted spaghetti. Guess what? It came and she didn't want it. Hhhmmm. Imagine that.
"Maddie, if you don't eat, your tummy will start hurting and we will have to take you to the doctor. You may have to get a shot." Ha! No 3 year would ever choose a shot over spaghetti.
"Well. . . I've had a cough. I think I need to go to the doctor." Did she just call my bluff? She's done this so many times, she knows that not eating does not warrant a visit to the doctor. Think, think, think. Got it. Get your fork ready, darling, I'm about to bring out the big guns.
"Oh, well- maybe we should just take you to the hospital. They will put a tube in your nose and feed you that way. It will probably hurt really bad. You should eat, so that doesn't happen" Just eat the stinkin' spaghetti.
"Ok, I'll go to the hospital." Seriously, what is wrong with my child?
"Mommy, did you see that man?!? He's so funny. He has a Santa Claus hat on."
"Yep, I see him. Do you know why he's wearing that hat? Because he is one of Santa's helpers. His job is to walk around the restaurant and tell Santa who is being good and who is bad. Do you want him to tell Santa that you aren't eating your food?" Take that!!!
I've never seen her eat that fast or that much. Apparently, her fear of Santa not bringing her presents is much greater than her fear of shots or feeding tubes.
And that's great, because, for today, she actually ate her lunch. I just really wish Santa was around all year long.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Mid 1980's- Joke started in my family about my grandmother, on my mom's side, cleaning out my mom's Tupperware cabinet ever time she came to visit.
10:30 a.m. Talked to my mom. She's coming to visit in January.
12:30 p.m. Started Christmas cooking.
12:55 p.m. Opened my own Tupperware cabinet and a collander fell on my head, while I was searching for a long lost top to the square container.
12:58 p.m. Began cleaning cabinet out.
12:59 p.m. Remembered that my mom is coming in January. Stopped cleaning cabinet out.
I think it's high time we started joking about Gram cleaning out my cabinets, every time she comes to visit.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Have you ever given your child a gift, sure it was the perfect toy, only to despise it within days? It didn't work as well as you expected it to. There were so many pieces, it was impossible to keep it all together. You invited other children over, just so you didn't have to play with the stupid thing.
Last year, it was all Maddie wanted. Every time we went to any store, her eyes would search for this toy. If they were out, she would just explain that it was okay, because Santa's elves would make more.
The Dora cash register. Need I say more? The Dora dollars, the Swiper credit card, the microphone. Ugh. Every time we would try to ring up a pretend toy (compliments of Dora, of course) it would say the wrong thing. In English and in Spanish. For example, if the tag said bicycle, it would say bracelet. If we would tried to scan the actual bracelet, it would say tennis shoes. It. Drove. Me. Crazy.
One day, Maddie was playing with this devil toy and when she was done, she wouldn't pick up the pieces.
"If you don't put it away, I'm giving it to the girl that lives upstairs."
I really didn't want to have to give away a $40 toy, but come on. Any time you refer to a toy as the devil, you don't need it around anymore. So, I gave it away, and haven't regretted it a single minute.
This year, she wants a freakin' Princess Royal Cash Register. It's basically the same toy, only pink and purple instead of orange and blue. I'm sure the horns and tail will grow on it, as quickly as they did on the Devil Dora Register.
I told her that it might be the only toy that the elves don't know how to build.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
For the last 3 years, every time Maddie has woken up during the night, she has only wanted me to tend to her. If Justin goes in her room, she pitches a fit and cries until I go to see what the problem is. She rarely wakes up, and if she does, it is only if she needs to go potty or her covers fell off the bed.
Last night, she woke up after midnight and started calling for me. I went to her room, took the covers off the floor and covered her back up.
"I want Daddy."
"What? Do you need to go potty?"
"NO. I want to sleep with Daddy."
"Honey, you know you can't sleep with Daddy."
"Please get Daddy for me."
So, I did what she asked. I got her Daddy out of bed. While he was in her room, my heart was kinda breaking. I'm the only one she has ever wanted at night. Who's next? The post office employees? The nice man at the grocery store that always gives her stickers? Did the last 3, almost 4, years mean nothing to her? I've. Been. Replaced.
I'm eavesdropping, hoping that she calls me back, because Justin isn't tucking her in just right. Why does she keep asking for her daddy. He's standing right there, talking to her.
And then it hits me. She has a cold. She wants her Teddy. Not her Daddy.
I found her teddy and she went right back to sleep. Yep, I'm still number one. And I wasn't replaced. Yet.
Monday, December 17, 2007
When Justin and I argue, it usually goes something like this:
Me: "Whatever. You're an idiot."
Him:"Well, you blahblahblahblah."
Me:"You're crazy. You don't know what the crap you're talking about."
And this could go on forever. Neither of us meaning any harm, just arguing for the sake of it.I can count on one hand how many real fights Justin and I have ever had. I can probably tell you about each and every one of them and who won. Over the span of seven years, that's not too bad. But there are 2 arguments that have yet to be resolved.
The first one is a recurring one. And it flares up almost any time chocolate pie is involved. You see, Justin loves chocolate pie. And he never learned how to share. Not even one little bite. The first time this argument happened, we were only dating. It was one of the first times I had ever been around his parents and we were at lunch. He ordered a slice of pie. I asked him for a bite. He. Wouldn't. Give. Me. One.
His theory is that I could just order my own slice. I only wanted a bite. It would be wasteful for me to order a whole piece of pie, if I didn't want the whole thing. He claims he would have finished both of them. Whatever. My mom now cooks him his very own chocolate pie, almost every time we visit. Spoiled much?
The other argument, that neither will concede, happened recently. I needed a new work shirt. I usually get a cheap men's white button up, size small. Wal-Mart was out, so I decided to go to the boys section. Later that night:
"I got a new work shirt. They didn't have any in the men's section, so I got it in the little boys' section."
"Oh, did you have to get portly?"
That's something you just don't say to a woman. No matter what size they may be. His explanation for his choice of words was that a portly boy was the same size as a small adult.
No. Just. No. Please add portly, husky, and juicy to your list of forbidden words, when talking to or about me. Thanks.
I tried to share both sides of the arguments with you. What do you think? Am I right? yes Or is he? not a chance Please be honest in your comments. I promise I won't hold it against you, if you think I'm wrong. I'm not, by the way
So, come on. Help us out. We really need to know who the bigger idiot is.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I'm always looking for fun, inexpensive things to do with Maddie. Last year, we went to a Christmas play, designed for children and I was so impressed with it, I planned on making it a yearly event. So, this past Friday, Justin, Maddie, and I met my friend and her twin granddaughters at the same place, hoping it would be as good as it was last year.
I honestly can't tell you what the whole thing was about. Santa, some elves, and Frosty melting- I think. The acting was worse than last year, and the storyline was ridiculous. At one time, I thought Al Gore was going to pop out of the Frosty costume and blame all the 3 and 4 year olds for global warming and causing Frosty to melt. But the kids loved it.
We suffered, I mean, sat through the play, sang the songs, and laughed with the kids at all the right times. And looking back on it, there were some really fun moments that made it all worth it.
The first great moment was when Maddie actually sat in Santa's lap. She didn't think twice about it, once she saw her friends do it. And even smiled her real smile. She usually has this crazy "I need to be on the toilet" smile, any time a camera is near.
But, the real highlight to this outing was when my friend told Frosty his mouth looked like a giant sperm.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sometimes, it happens and there is no stopping it. It can get pretty ugly. But, sometimes, it's just plain funny.
Man at table: "We're ready for the bread. Right now.
Me: "Well, sir- if I lived in a bottle and my name was Jeannie, you'd have your bread. Right. Now."
Thankfully, his daughter recognized the humor in what I said and laughed. She took care of the tip.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Last night, I was telling Justin about the elderly man at the grocery store and how I was wondering what we would do, if we were in that position. I've already promised my mom that I will sew her name in all of her clothes, so no one will steal them. You know- after I put her in a home. That's about all the plans we have.
And then, I started thinking about what would happen to us.
"Maddie, you'll take care of us when we get really old, won't you?"
"What!? Well, who will make sure we're okay?"
"I'll just get a policeman."
You know what that tells me? The nursing home she puts us in will have security. Yea.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
After feeding Maddie goldfish and yogurt for breakfast, I knew a trip to the grocery store was not only necessary, but dire. I try to be as fast as I can, each time I have to go to the grocery store. Which is why I try to go without Maddie, as often as possible. My goal is always: Get in, get the stuff and get the heck outta there.
Today was no different. I knew what I needed and I knew that if I made it home by 11, I would have enough time to catch up on my recorded shows, before I had to pick Maddie up from school.
As I was racing through the aisles, I saw a man in his 50's walking with his father. His father was obviously having a difficult time keeping up, but his son was being extremely patient. The older man was probably in his 80's and had to hold on to the shelves, just to walk. His son shuffled along beside him, not rushing him and always there to help him along. The father would often push his arm away and tell him that he could do it himself. Not in a mean way, just prideful.
I kept seeing them the entire time I was shopping. I couldn't help but be impressed. It was amazing to me, to see such patience and caring.
They were leaving at the same time I was. By the time I had loaded my groceries and pushed the buggy to the corral, they had barely made it out the door. The son was having to hold his dad's arm, every step they took. I walked as fast as I could to them- there was no way he would make it to the car.
"Can I stand here with him, while you go get the car?"
"Are you sure? Thanks. He can hold onto this. If you could just stand with him, I would really appreciate it."
He ran to his car, while turning around a few times to check on his father. In the meantime, two other men offered their help, and we all kept him company, while waiting for the car. He told us he had just gotten out of the hospital, after 1 month. His soon came back and explained that it was really 4 months.
I wished them both a Merry Christmas and went back to my car. As I drove off, I wondered if I had it in me, to be that patient and loving if I was ever put in that position.
I'd like to think so. But I'd also like to think that my mom or dad would just let me go by myself.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Have you ever been around someone that knows absolutely everything? There is no doubt in that person's mind, that he or she is right and everyone else is basically an idiot. And what they are saying is so ludicrous, you want to laugh. But, on the other hand, you don't want anyone else to hear it, so you try to correct them.
You can argue until you are blue in the face, but there is no giving in. Until, you basically want to yank every strand of your hair out and run around like a fool, just to get your mind off of whatever it is you are arguing about.
Have you ever had a 3 year old? Girl? That thinks she has all the answers? I do.
On Tom and Jerry: Maddie thinks Tom is the mouse and Jerry is the cat. We've tried everything to convice her otherwise- even called her Gram. To no avail. My mom was afraid that she had been demoted in Maddie's eyes. I told her, "No, now you're just as stupid as the rest of us."
On being bi-lingual: "I know what the Spanish word for carnival is. . . FAIR!" "The Spanish word for exercise is work-out." "Angel and star mean tree-topper in Spanish." Hey Dora- Gracias.
On her imagination: Telling the lady at the cookie store:"I went to my barn to feed my cow and I couldn't find it. I looked and looked. And then I saw it. A bear had killed it dead. I cried and cried, but then I was okay because then I saw a deer, and decided it could be my friend. . . " I don't know at what point the lady stopped believing/listening to her. The nice lady said,"Wow, you really have a great imagination." "NO. It really happened. Just ask my mommy." Only in that sweet, weird head of yours, my dear.
On patriotism: Her version of the Pledge of Allegiance goes something like this- "I pledge allegiance to the flag of America. And to public stands. Dalmations under God, m and m zible. . . and just a frog." Cute, huh? Until you try to teach her the real pledge, then it turns ugly.
As hard as it may be for me and Justin, it really is easier on us to just let her think what she wants to think. She has enough of her Granny in her, that we know she will never admit that she's wrong.
So, really, what's the point?
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Milk and Cookies with Santa. Arts and crafts. $5 That's the sign I saw at the gym this week. We went to this last year, and Maddie had a blast. She made reindeer food (oats and glitter, so Rudolph can see it from the sky), ate loads of cookies and drank chocolate milk.
After last week's fiasco, I asked her repeatedly if she wanted to go and if she would sit in his lap. She promised me she would, and was really excited about it.
This morning, Maddie did the unthinkable. She slept until 9. I knew we had to hurry because last year there was a huge line and when Santa is done, he's done. But, I was pretty sure that last year he stayed until 11, so as long as we were there by 10, we'd be golden.
We rushed around getting ready and left in plenty of time. Of course, I forgot the camera, so we had to turn around to get it. I went ahead and fixed another cup of coffee because I knew I would need it.
I had planned on stopping at McDonald's to get Maddie a biscuit, but when I saw the line, I knew we would be pushing it to get to Santa in time. I decided that cookies had the same nutritional value as a golden arches biscuit, so we bypassed that and headed straight there. The only problem was that we had to go the long way, because McDonald's (thankfully) is not exactly on the way to the gym.
I get the closest parking spot I can. Whew! We made it at 10:05. Plenty of time. I sign her in and Oh. Crap. It ended at 10. Santa was walking out the freakin' door as we were walking in.
She looked up at me and her lip started to quiver. I started crying. I couldn't help it. I'm sure I looked like a crazy woman, but when you disappoint your child that badly, tears are likely. Dangit, if I hadn't forgotten the camera, in the first place, I wouldn't have gotten that cup of coffee. If I had just given her a pop tart, instead of going the long way to McDonald's, which we never even went to, we would have made it in time. I'm. A. Terrible. Mommy.
I grabbed the last cookie on the table, poured her a glass of milk and found a seat. I tried to explain that we would see him another time. She asked about the reindeer food. I saw the station that was set up to make it. The people were starting to clean it up, so I jacked a premade bag of it. I was already the wacko who cried because her daughter didn't see Santa, might as well be the thief, as well. What else could I do?
Oh yeah, this:
"Maddie, you wanna go to Target? I'll get you some princess lip gloss."
That's my girl.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 9:18 PM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Do you remember, not so very long ago, when the commercials during the morning hours were for sugary cereal, McDonald's Happy meals, and dental hygiene nightmares? It's only the first week of December, and I wish they would come back. Really. I miss them.
Now, every time I turn on a children's program, there is a different toy that Maddie just has to have. And none of the commercials are for the toys I already got her. Oh nooooo, those are so last month.
"Mommy, mommy, did you see that?!? I really, really want that! Maybe you can get it for me, for Christmas."
"I've already got your present. It's wrapped and under the tree."
"Is it that toy (doll, train, princess, dog, movie)? Oh. Well, this is what I really want. I'll ask Gram or Pop or Granny or somebody else. They would LOVE to get it for me. I know they would."
"Honey. . . That's not quite how it works."
"Okay, I'll just ask Santa. I've been really good. And he knows it. He and God see everything."
I get this all day long.
Super sugary cereal with marshmallows of every color and a free toy in every box doesn't sound so bad now, does it?
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In ice. Awesome. Let's go.
"Mommy what's the Grinch?"
"It was my all time favorite Christmas book when I was a little girl."
"What's it about?"
"Well, there's this green thing, called the Grinch. He, um, didn't like Christmas and stole everyone's presents. I think he had a dog that he dressed like a reindeer. Um, some kid stopped him or something like that, and everyone got their presents back. You'll love it."
Okay- so it's been a long time since I've read the book, or watched the movie. But, I knew the basic premise of it. Give me a break.
We went with our friends and their little boy. We bundled into our (mandatory for liability reasons) parkas and walked into the wonderful world of Dr. Suess. Frozen.
9 degrees at all times frozen. Freakin' cold frozen. Can't feel your fingers, toes, or ears frozen. 2 million pounds of ice, carved for your viewing pleasure or torture, depending on how long you stay and how many pictures you force your child to pose for, knowing that she's freezing her little tush off, frozen. After 30 minutes, we were all frozen.
It really was very cool (pun intended), and I'll probably go back. Someday. As soon as I thaw out.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember Lucy being such a brat. You know who I'm talking about. Lucy, from Charlie Brown's Christmas. Maybe she was always a brat, but now that I have a very impressionable 3 year old, I tend to notice these things more.
Within the first few minutes, Lucy had told poor Charlie Brown that he was stupid 3 times and threatened to "clobber him on the head." Not exactly the warm, fuzzy Christmas movie feeling I was looking for when I started watching it with Maddie this year.
I thought we would be sitting down, watching a cute cartoon, eating popcorn, and she would be so enthralled with it, it would become our thing that we do every year. Nope. Not gonna happen. Here's why:
"Mommy, why is that girl acting ugly to Charlie Brown?"
I came up with several answers, all of which she could and would use as an excuse for being mean in the future. So, I pretended not to hear her.
"Mommy, she just called him stupid. Why? That's ugly to say that.Why is Charlie driving her nuts? I think that means crazy."
"I heard her, and I'm glad that you know it's mean. Let's just watch the show. I'm sure it will get better and she will be nicer."
"Mommy. What does clobber mean? She's gonna do that to Charlie Brown. Can I clobber you?"
It took about two seconds for me to find the remote and turn off Charlie Brown's Christmas. I think we'll just stick with Rudolph.
Wait a minute. Is that the movie where the reindeer mom and dad are so ashamed of their son, they try to cover his nose with coal and the other reindeer laugh at him? Great. I'm doomed, aren't I?
Monday, December 3, 2007
As a child, my all time favorite Christmas tradition was decorating our Christmas tree. With 3 sisters and both parents, it was usually mass chaos. While 2 of us would help Dad with the colored lights and garland, the other 2 and Mom would get the ornaments ready.
And, let me tell you- there were lots of ornaments. Of every type. There were the hand-made, really ugly ones that we insisted on being on the tree. There were the fancy figurines, the silly ones, the ones that were put out of reach of whatever animal we had at the moment. And we can't forget the brass ornaments that we each got every year, with our name engraved on it. And Mom let us put them all on, without much of a fight. And every year, we deemed it the prettiest one we had ever decorated.
When Justin and I got married, I decided I wanted a "real" tree. No, not a live one, but one that was decorated by adults, with clear lights and a theme. I bought only red, green and gold ornaments. I did buy some whimsical ornaments that matched my colors, just so it wouldn't be too boring. And it was pretty. Finally, I'm an adult. With an adult tree.
I took her to Target last week to buy some more decorations. When we walked through the Christmas section, she couldn't contain her excitement. If it had colors, she loved it. If it was tacky and gaudy, she loved it. And she wanted them all, including the gasp colored lights. Have you ever tried to explain a tree color scheme to a 3 year old, when Target has every imaginable, fun ornament on their shelves? Just don't.
And then I started thinking. This could easily turn into a power struggle. And since it's Christmas and all, I let her win. I let her get the colored lights. She picked out several really bright, not red or green, ornaments. And our collection began.
Tonight, before bed, we turned off all the lights in the apartment. Then we laid down under the tree, with the lights on. She turned to me and smiled, with pure joy.
"Mommy, I think this is the prettiest tree I've ever seen."
I think she may be right.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
If you want a good laugh, turn up your volume and click here. Maddie and I have watched it over and over again, and it is still funny. Try it for yourself.
I have made the determination that Dec 1 was the start of the tacky Christmas sweater season. They are everywhere!! Except on me. I will never, ever wear bells, reindeer, wreaths, or a Christmas tree on a sweater. I just can't do it. I'm going to start a daily count on these Christmas sweaters and post it on this blog until Christmas.
Today, when Maddie was asked what she wanted Santa to bring her, her response was typical. "I want everything." I'm afraid she really does.
Why is it that the first year I actually go Christmas shopping early, I look in the paper today and everything I bought is now on sale? It's not fair, I tell ya!
We put up our Christmas tree tonight. We've had the same tree for 5 years. I've struggled with this tree every single year. It has never been straight. I've used paper towels in the stand. I've propped it against the wall. It has been the most frustrating tree. Ever. Until tonight. I realized I had the piece that holds it in the stand attached to the wrong piece. For 5 years. I can't say I miss the toilet paper around the base of it.
Does this stuff happen to anyone else??
Saturday, December 1, 2007
For the last 2 weeks, we've heard all about the breakfast with Santa at Maddie's school. There were fliers almost every day, with random email reminders. It was only $7 a person, and the proceeds went to the varsity cheerleaders, so we decided to take Maddie.
Last year's visit with Santa was a flop, but since it had been an entire year, we thought she would do better. We rehearsed what Santa would say, and what he would be wearing. We told her there would be someone taking pictures. And she was ready. She knew exactly what she was going to ask for.
So, we got in line and waited. And waited. 25 minutes. Then when we got to the front of the line, there was a table set up. "They must be taking up more donations, or maybe if you want additional pictures," I said to Justin. "Just get the smallest amount."
When we stepped up to the table, we told the lady that we just had one child, and asked how much it would be for a picture."
"It's $35 to visit Santa and have your picture taken."
And just sitting in his fully padded lap was not an option. You had to pay the money even if you didn 't even want a picture.
"I thought the $7 each took care of the visit and the breakfast. I guess it was just for the 2 pancakes, slice of sausage and carton of milk. Dangit, I wish she had on her Christmas dress. For 35 extra dollars, it better be a good picture..." I whispered to Justin.
And then, I heard it. First, a whimper. Next came the subtle shake of the head. Could it be? Ooh, I think we may have an out.
"I don't wanna sit in his lap." YES!
"Are you sure?" please be sure, please, please, pretty please.
"Yes." and the angels started singing.
Justin and I made eye contact with each other and nodded. Then we each tried to put on a good show of trying to make her to sit in his lap. We didn't even mind a few tears, for effect.
I got my $35 back.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I was pretty convinced that the only people that read my blog were a few of my friends, my family, and well, me. Imagine my surprise when I got a comment from Bradley saying that I had received an award. If you don't believe me, check it out- it's there, I promise. While you're there, take a look at some of the other blogs listed. It's always fun to find some new favorites.
But if anyone tries to take back my award because of this, I'm not going down without a fight.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 11:01 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Like most three year olds that I know, Maddie has way too many toys. That she never plays with. Or hasn't in the last 6 months. So, yesterday I had a great idea.
"You know, Maddie, you've got lots of toys and I think we need to get rid of some of them."
"Well, there are lots of boys and girls that don't have very much, so don't you think it would be a great idea if you shared some of your toys and took them to Goodwill?"
"Um, well, we need the room for all the other toys Santa is going to be bringing you, so we need to pick some out that we don't play with much anymore."
Lesson #1 Don't try socio-economics with a 3 yr old. Greed and the prospect of more toys works better.
So I made her a pile of toys- some that she hardly ever plays with, some she loves, and some I can't stand because they are so freakin' annoying. I wanted her to be able to make the decision on which toys she wanted to keep and which ones she wanted to give away. I told her to pick 15 toys and to call me when she was done.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:19 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Mommy, what's that thing? What're you doing that for?"
I was ironing a shirt. Has it really been that long since I've ironed, that my 3 year old doesn't even know what it is?
I've never claimed to be a domestic goddess, but sheesh. Give me a break. The dryer is sooo much quicker.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:57 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I am the poster child for the parent who is not welcome to the PTA meeting. It's true. I'm afraid I'm simply not cut out for it. And this year has proven it.
When I walk through the halls to take Maddie to her class, I see perfectly coifed hair, high heels, and smirks. I'm usually wearing exercise clothes, with a sloppy ponytail and no makeup. There must be an alarm that goes off when I walk through the door to tell all the other moms that an inadequate parent just walked in and to come see for themselves.
There is a crate to put the folders in at the beginning of each day. For most parents, it just takes a second. For me, a lot longer. I usually have to take out all of the papers I forgot to ooh and ahh over and hide them so no one will know how bad of a parent I am. And then sign the sheet of paper that says Maddie behaved herself, from the last time she went to school. I usually end up holding up the line and dropping the cotton ball masterpiece on my way out.
Did you know some of the moms actually brought baked goods to the teacher. On Halloween. And Thanksgiving. I'm sure it was made with good intentions and with no ulterior motives, but it sounds like bribery to me. Think about it. If it was the norm, and everyone brought banana/pumperknickel/zucchini bread on holidays, don't you think they would have sent out a letter to tell the rest of us?
Today reinforced my belief that I'm just not made for this whole preschool/PTA mom thing. I couldn't find Maddie's jacket, and when I did it was in the bottom of her school bag.
Right on top of a rotting banana. And I'm not sure how long it had been there.
Monday, November 26, 2007
It's been in the works for the last seven years. And Thanksgiving weekend, it happened. It was almost a relief, really. Because, well, I'm not perfect. And now, my mother-in-law knows it, too.
I've maintained a healthy relationship with her. In all honesty, I love her dearly. We talk (okay, she talks and I listen) almost weekly. She comes up and stays with us some weekends and we go shopping (okay, she wanders around aimlessly, while I smile patiently and hold back a blood-curdling scream). I don't think I've ever given her cause to talk bad about me to her other children, or pray for her very life. Until Wednesday.
She let me drive. Her new car. In the rain. On the interstate.
You would have thought I had taken a needle to my veins before trying to drive her car. That's how far I dropped in her eyes. Yes, I went 65mph, but the speed limit was 70. Apparently, that was just not slow enough for her. If another car put on his brakes, a half mile in front of us, she would yell, "Whoa, whoa. They're slowing up." Then she would stomp on her imaginary brakes.
Fun times, I tell ya.
But, the best part came when Justin betrayed me. He actually told her that he won't ride with me. That's all it took. I'm forever branded the bad driver. I heard the story of her car ride with me 4 times in 3 days.
"Did you know that it's so bad, her own husband won't ride with her? I'm not surprised, you know. I was scared. Scared, I tell you. I should have told her to pull over and let me get somebody to pick me up. And it was raining. Won't happen again. No way."
That's fine with me. I hate driving, so it's a free pass for me. And, if that's all she has on me after 7 years, I'm in good shape.
Because, I promise, there are lots of worse things. She just hasn't found out about them yet.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 9:35 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Shortly after Maddie started talking, we learned that if we didn't want her to repeat what we said, we needed to spell it. And we've gotten pretty good at it. So good, in fact, it's become part of our daily language. We make sure we don't mention people's names- we just use their initials. We try not to use words that we don't want her to say. So, we spell them.
We spent Thanksgiving weekend with Justin's mom, Bettye. Bless her heart. She tried. I really think she did. But, it's been a long time since she's had to guard her words, much less try to spell them. And while the spelling was correct, she spelled the wrong words.
"That lazy d-o-g, I could just shoot h-i-m dead." "That g-i-r-l that works for me named Sue, is so stupid, h-e-r parents must have been cousins." "Those people across the s-t-r-e-e-t from me sell drugs." And on and on.
I really don't want to get o-l-d.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We are headed to the mountains of North Carolina for Thanksgiving. No, we don't have family or friends there. We meet up with Justin's brother and his family and spend the weekend at a cabin.
Last year, as we were discussing what everyone was bringing food-wise, I got this from my MIL "I'm bringing the turkey and dressing, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, bread, pumpkin pie, and strawberry cake. Amy is bringing the ham, breakfast food, milk, a casserole, mac n cheese, etc. You can bring the cookies."
The cookies. I get to bring the cookies. Wonderful.
She has no idea how much pressure this puts on me. These cookies are Justin's and his brother's all time favorite dessert. Justin even had them at our wedding, instead of a groom's cake. I have watched 100+ of these cookies be gobbled up within days. No one can resist these little bites of deliciousness.
But you see, these cookies have a mind of their own. Sometimes they are too dry, sometimes they don't become firm enough to pick up without a spoon. And the same recipe is used every single time. The weather, the color of my shirt, and the music blaring are all factors to the perfect cookie. God help us all if the phone rings.
But, for the last couple of years, they've behaved themselves and turned out just as planned. Which just sets me up for failure. Will they taste right? What if they don't? I can't stand to disappoint his family. It's not fair!! Why can't someone else take over this dessert? Oh, dangit, it's raining, my green shirt is in the washer, and my cd player currently has A Chipmunk Christmas in it! None of which are conducive for cookies. Tempermental jerks. I. Can't. Do. This.
This year, I'm making the cookies again. I'm also making squash casserole, spinach dip, and broccoli salad. Because, you know, I'm soooo much more than just cookies.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
"Let's race! If I win, I'll jump up and down. If you win, then you can jump up and down. And we'll both clap, and my mommy will cheer for us. Ok?"
What the. . . ? I look down the hallway. Just Maddie. I wonder if Justin is around. He's on the couch. Then I see a Maddie run down the hall and laugh like a lunatic.
"I won!!! No- you don't jump up and down. I DO. Wanna race again?" And she's off. I'm pretty sure she's got an imaginary friend. And apparently one that doesn't listen to the rules.
Great. Now what? Am I supposed to talk to it? Invite it to dinner? Ignore it? That's my number one choice, by the way.
Or maybe I'm supposed to have another baby so Maddie won't be lonely and weird.
Nah. I'm good. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, it's invited to our family dinner. As long as it doesn't eat too much.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Last week, I made a confession to Justin, and as soon as I said it, I wished I could take it back. I mean, really- does he have to know every single thing that goes on in my mind? Is honesty really the best policy? Now, he's looking at me like I'm crazy, doesn't really believe me when I tell him I'm not hungry, and I kinda think he secretly moniters what I eat throughout the day. Let me start at the beginning. Please be warned- it's not really funny at all. And this is really hard for me to write this.
In high school and college, I was an average size 8/10. Nothing wrong with that, but I would look at thinner girls, and dream about being that small. It wasn't a big deal, but I was always aware of it.
After I had Maddie, the pregnancy weight came off pretty easily. But as soon as I stopped nursing, a year later, it came right back. Plus some. I was now a size 10/12. But I was okay with it. Until I went to visit my family one weekend. I made the remark on how I had put on some weight, and no one disagreed.
I joined a gym the next week. And became addicted to working out. I go exercise usually 4 or 5 times a week. I try to watch what I eat, but don't really go overboard (except for those 5 months I tried to be a vegetarian).
That was almost 2 years ago. Since then, I've lost almost 35 pounds. And I'm now in a size 4. By far, the smallest I can ever remember being. And for some odd reason, I don't feel like it's enough. I keep thinking, Just 10 more pounds and I can lay off a little bit. If I eat that, I will need to work out an extra 15 minutes to burn off the calories. Is it worth it? It usually is. Cause I love food.
And this is how I ended up at Waffle House telling Justin that I ate a Krispy Kreme donut last week and considered throwing it up. I didn't do it, but the thought was there. And I think that's what is the scariest thing. I went home, researched how many calories were in one delicious, maple-glazed donut, then went running the next day to take care of it.
These thoughts scare me. Yes, I've had them several times. No, I've never acted on them. And I never will. I promise. Justin won't let me.
Whew- that was tough.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Hi, It's me. Your server from last night. After a grueling, thankless night, I spoke with my fellow servers, and we decided that the only reason some of you are so rude is because you are sadly uninformed. I elected myself to give you a few hints. This may not apply to all of you, so if you treat servers like people and tip well- you may want to skip this post.
When your server approaches your table, greets you, and asks you how you are doing, please do not a.) ignore them b.) demand drink or bread c.) wave them away like a pesky fly d.) laugh when your child says, "chop chop" and waves you away. It's rude, and we will talk about you.
When your server repeats your order back to you, please do not a.) sigh and roll your eyes b.) ask us why we didn't listen in the first place c.) change your order completely. We do this because we want to make sure that everything will be correct when it comes to your table.
If your food comes out to your table incorrectly, please do not a.) yell at your server, it's probably the kitchen's mistake b.) suffer in silence c.) eat it and then want to get it for free. There is a polite way to address a problem. Yelling does no good, but then neither does not making the server aware of the issue.
If you need something, please do not a.) whistle for your server b.) slurp your drink as loud as you can until someone notices c.) assume that your server knows what it is you need without asking. I promise that if you whistle or slurp your drink, people will notice and the servers will not be the only ones talking about you.
When it comes time to paying the bill/tipping, please understand that a.) we make $2.13 an hour b.) we work for the same reason you do- to pay the bills c.) $1.01 tip on an $88.24 is not good (that one is for the table I had last night). Servers remember good tippers. We also remember bad tippers. And we have an uncanny knack for spotting both. And treat them accordingly.
I think that just about covers it. I will leave you with this advice. Just. Be. Nice. It won't hurt. Promise. Oh, and do you really want to be rude to the person that is in control of, well, your food?
I hope this helps, Chelsea and the rest of the staff at RL
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I sometimes try to imagine what Maddie will be like in 5, 10, 15 years. Will she still like me? Will she be athletic or a bookworm? Introverted or extroverted? Popular or the weird kid? None of it really matters to me. As long as she is happy with who she is, all is well.
When I picked her up from school today, her teacher told me a story that gave me a clue about one of Maddie's classmates' future. A little girl that I'm keeping my eye on. Ms. Teacher-lady told me:
"Maddie has a new boyfriend. Ben just loves her to pieces. Last week, he loved Elizabeth, but it's Maddie's turn, I guess. When Ben told Elizabeth that he loves Maddie now, she went up to him, and gave him a kiss full on the lips. Then she asked him, 'Now, do you love me more?' "
Oh my. She's 3. Check back in 10 years to find out if she's the, well. . . um. . . the popular one.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I love getting mail. Magazines, sale papers, and especially invitations to friends' wedding/baby showers, weddings, and parties. But, today, I got an invitation from someone that I barely know- and I don't really like what I do know. And the wording of the invitation irked me. Business Launch Party.
Stop. Right. There. From the top- I know she wants me to buy something. I read further. Yep- overpriced skin care products.
I tried to think of an excuse on why I couldn't come, then tried to gage when I should call to make sure that I wouldn't have to talk to her. I do much better lying to answering machines. Then, I see her email address. MUCH BETTER.
Dear So and So,
Thank you for inviting me to your business launch party. It was so sweet of you to think of me, even though we've barely spoken in 3 years. I must say I was surprised, however. I mean, this is HUGE- starting to sell face cleaner from your home. And you thought to include me. I'm touched. Really.
One of the last times we spoke was at your wedding, in which I was a bridesmaid. Where you told me that if your other friend had been able to do it, you wouldn't have needed me. Oh, and that the reason I wasn't invited to the pamper party the day before was because you didn't think I would like it. Thanks for sparing me, by the way, from a pedicure and manicure. I really appreciate it.
And I should be very grateful that you consider us to be close enough to share in this important time in your life. It really shouldn't matter that you were unable to attend my wedding, much less either my wedding or baby shower. But, you see- it kinda does.
So, in other words, I won't be able to make it to your business launch party. I'm sure I'll either have or make other plans.
Hope to hear from you in a few more years, when you start another business because this one just failed,
Isn't email great??!!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
It was such a beautiful fall day, I traded running on the treadmill to going to the park for my run. The air was crisp, there were very few people on the trail, and I had all the problems of the world solved. It was one of those days when you just couldn't help but enjoy yourself.
At about mile 1, I hear something behind me. I glance over my shoulder and don't see anything but a cute little squirrel. And I realize that it is following me, jumping from tree to tree. I am so overwhelmed by her cuteness, I give her a name. Alex. Alex keeps up with me and keeps getting closer and closer, until I started getting a little freaked out. "Now, Alex, I don't have any food for you. Go wait at the picnic tables, I'm sure some other human will share."
Alex looked at me with the saddest eyes. Then it jumped to the next tree and started chasing another squirrel. Squirrel #2 then started following me, until it came to squirrel #3. This went on for quite a while. I think it went all the way to 6 or 7 squirrels. I started imagining that the squirrels were telling each other that I didn't have any snacks and not to bother following me. (Hey, I do what I can to make the time go faster.)
As I was finishing my run, I came to this area that is away from the trail. It has military style strength training equipment arranged in a circle. I decide to try some of it out, you know, just in case I ever want to join the military. And I hear a little noise, kinda like a chirp. I look- IT'S ALEX!!
I smiled like a little kid. It was like I had found my long lost hamster. Alex gets a little closer. And then closer. I'm not really liking it. What was that? I look to my right- I think it's squirrel #2. Well, that's strange. To my left is another freakin' squirrel.
They had me surrounded. There was a full circle of about 7 or 8 squirrels. That sneaky Alex wasn't telling all of her little friends that I didn't have any snacks. She was planning an ambush! It was like the squirrel mafia, and Alex was the head of it. First I felt betrayed, then, well- I was scared. What if they had plans to attack me? Don't these things have rabies?? And one by one, they start getting closer. Would they go straight for the eyes, or start biting my ankles first?
Think, think, think. What would Survivorman do? I started to explain to them that I didn't have any food with me. That didn't work. So I looked each one in their beady little eyes, gave a little nod to acknowledge the challenge, started yelling at the top of my lungs and ran around in circles until they had all scattered.
And when I was done, I left with my head held high. But I'm never going try to make friends with a squirrel again. No matter how cute it is.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:23 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I think Maddie's love of music began when she was around 1. She couldn't get enough of The Wiggles. She would stop whatever she was doing to watch them sing "Fruit Salad" or "Hot Potato". And it was cute. For a while. Until I began fantasizing about how Dorothy the Dinosaur and Wags the Dog would get revenge on all of the camera- hungry, tummy rubbing, salad stirring men and their friend, the pirate, and take over the show.
So, Justin and I began the campaign for good music. We would let her listen to her kiddie songs, but only after she listened to Bruce Springsteen, or The Floating Men. We tried our hardest to listen to a wide variety of musicians, while subtly teaching her the lyrics to the songs. This ranged anywhere from The Clash, to George Strait, to James Taylor, to 311, to Gnarls Barkley.
It is music (literally) to my ears when I can listen to my favorite music and hear her singing along. I really have to watch myself and not laugh, when she butchers the lyrics. One day she came into the room and sang her version of "All Mixed Up" by 311. What was once "all mixed up, don't know what to do. . ." became "all dressed up, got my purse and shoes."
Yesterday, I knew all of the brainwashing had finally paid off. It may actually be my proudest parenting moment, yet. We were in the car, and she said to me:
"Mommy, can we listen to Johnny Cash?"
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 9:37 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
While driving Maddie to school today, we had this conversation:
"Mommy, you know what? I'm berry, berry smart."
"Yes, you are."
"Did you know Daddy isn't really berry smart?"
"What do you mean, of course Daddy is smart."
"No, he's not. He thinks mosquitos and crickets are not the same thing, but they are."
"Well, honey, they aren't the same thing. They are both bugs, but different types of bugs."
"NOOOOO!!! MO-UHM, THEY ARE THE SAME!!!! UGH!" insert rolling eyes.
I honestly thought I'd have at least ten more years before she started thinking we were complete idiots.
Maddie:2 Me: 0
Monday, November 5, 2007
I purposefully keep an extremely easy hair style. I can shower, rub in some mousse/gel/balm/whatever I'm not out of, and go. I go to the cheap salons for cutting it and for waxing my brows. I don't consider myself to be high maintenance. But even I have standards and a few basic requests.
Since I go to whichever salon is having a sale, I rarely get the same person. I don't mind. I figure that they need all the practice they can get, and I'm helping them train for the real salons. With that in mind, here are some tips I gathered at my recent visits.
To my stylist of the day: Please do not dialogue every step you take, like you are explaining it to your teacher. It does not make me trust you or your scissors. I also do not want to have my head bent at an unnatural angle and hear you say, "Now, how did that happen?" I will most assuredly move my head from that awkward position and then you will forget about whatever it is that you just did. When you think you are done, please don't hand me the mirror when it is obvious that there is a 2 inch difference between the right and left side. And I beg of you, please do not complain about having to sweep up the hair off the floor when I'm still sitting in the chair.
To my eyebrow waxer: First, please do not get offended that I was shocked when it was you doing my brows. I was simply surprised to see a bearded woman working in a beauty salon, and I really didn't mean to stare. Please do not tell me how long it has been since you have waxed someone's brows and ask your co-worker where your little strippy thingamajigs are. And if you ask what I want, please don't interrupt me to tell me that you go for the natural look. Believe me, I know- I saw your beard. Please don't let the wax get cold before you put on the strips because you got mad at me for laughing as you expounded on the wonders of body hair and how each one serves a purpose.
That just about covers it. Did I miss anything?
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:34 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I was taught at an early age how to cook and mostly from scratch. I loved it. The measuring, the mixing, the stirring, the letting my mom clean up the mess afterwards. And I would dream of the day that I would be cooking for my very own family and they would love everything I made.
Fast forward about a decade. A typical menu for any given day consists of frozen waffles, Kraft Easy Mac, instant potatoes, pb&j in a bowl, a banana or two, and an ice cream sandwich. For Maddie. Believe me, I know how terrible it is.
How did it get to this point? It's true- I blame Justin for a lot of it. But there is also the convenience factor. And the fact that Maddie is 3 and is just as stubborn as her dad about veggies.
I borrowed Deceptively Delicious from a friend. I saw her on Oprah and really wanted to try some of her recipes. And this book is chock full of them. But none that include instant potatoes, easy mac, or salmon patties.
So I started making up my own recipes using the basic premise of hiding veggies. In overly processed food. Guess what? IT WORKS!!! Butternut squash goes really well in pancake mix and Easy Mac. I had to tell Maddie that her pancakes were orange because it was fall, but that was her only concern with it. When it is pureed and stirred in with the other cheese, it looks just like the goo that becomes Kraft Easy Mac. But the real test came tonight.
Mashed potatoes and salmon patties. I added almost a cup of cooked, finely pureed cauliflower to the mashed potatoes. Chopped broccoli went in the salmon patties. I was scared. What if it's terrible? They might never trust me to make a decent meal again. What if Justin sees the broccoli? Oh, I feel so bad about this. I shouldn't lie about food. Especially to Justin. About his absolute favorite meal. I'll never do this again. Never. Ever.
I GOT HUGS, PEOPLE!!! And I'm doing it again tomorrow.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 9:02 PM
Saturday, November 3, 2007
"I think you need to get another job, Mommy."
"Why? I work at night so Daddy can keep you while I'm not here."
"Daddy works 2 jobs, and Ms. LouLou works 2 jobs, so you need another job."
"My most important job is being your mommy. That is my other job."
"Well, you can just find someone else to watch me now."
That sound you just heard was my heart breaking.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 3:16 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2007
When I first started this blog, I thought I would have people reading it from all over in a matter of days. And they would love it. And comment. Religiously.
Not so much.
I do have some regular readers. Most that I know and they started reading it because I sent them a link- and I asked them all the time if they read it. No pressure, though.
And when I discovered how cool stat counter is, I was hooked. I checked my stats constantly. I wanted to know who was reading, how long they read, or if my friends and family were lying to me about reading it at all.
I worried if my blog was interesting enough. I wondered if it would draw a laugh from a stranger, or even ellicit an emotional response from anyone. And then I stopped.
I am doing this blog because I enjoy it. I like writing about my family and our experiences and my thoughts on random issues. I can only hope others enjoy it and continue to read it.
So I made the conscious decision to stop worrying about stats and numbers. The day I did this, Justin decided to tell me that he wants to start his own blog. And I was happy for him and even agreed to help him get it set up. Until he had the nerve to ask me:
"You won't get mad when I get more readers than you, will you?"
So. . . if anyone has any ideas on how I can get more readers, please feel free to share. Should I try to join a blogging community? He. Can. Not. Win.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
9 A.M. Was dressed in costume
10A.M. Already had a sack full of candy from gym nursery
12P.M. Finally convinced her that she could take off costume to eat lunch and take nap
4 P.M. Dressed again to meet friends for dinner and trick or treating. Tinkerbell and Captain Hook- how cute is that!!
5-ishP.M. At Pumpkinfest for candy extravaganza
5:30 P.M. Already starting to eat candy
7:30 P.M. Candy eating continues
8:30 P.M. And continues. Add in running around in circles, chasing Grendal, and generally acting like a 3 year old hopped up on Halloween candy
9:15 P.M. Late bedtime with threats of throwing all candy away if she doesn't settle down.
Currently: Singing/reading/calling me in her room to talk while in bed. Threats continue, but I know I won't have to throw away of her candy. Justin and I will eat it all before it gets to that.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Me: Look at that airplane, out your right window.
Maddie: I don't see it.
Me: Right there. (pointing to the right)
Maddie: That's my left window.
Me: No. You know what your right and left are.
Maddie: I decided that's my left, now.
Me: Honey, you can't do that. Right is right, left is left.
Maddie: Says who?
Me: Everyone. I promise.
Maddie: Well, I don't care. I'm doing it this way. Hah.
Me: But it doesn't work that way.
Maddie: BUT I SAID SO!!!
I gave up. Left is now right and right is now left. Which will explain why I always get in the left turning lane when someone tells me to turn right.
Maddie:1 Me: 0
Monday, October 29, 2007
At the beginning of this past summer, I decided to become a vegetarian. No research was involved, and I really didn't have a reason for it. I just wanted to see if I could. So, just like that, I no longer ate meat.
The beginning was tough for me, but once I got accustomed to being the only one NOT enjoying their dinner, it was fine. No, I promise- this broccoli/cauliflower/squash thing is awesome. I love everything green!! Veggie burgers taste just like the real thing, really. And then I started believing it. And I got weird. For almost 5 months I was obsessed with being a vegetarian. I didn't trust myself around it, so I didn't want it anywhere near me, and I sure didn't want to smell it, especially bacon.
But the nights were the worse. I dreamed a lot. About bacon. And nachos bellgrande from Taco Bell. And juicy cheeseburgers. And fried chicken. And being able to eat it without feeling grossed out.
And so began my journey back to sanity. I started out eating chicken, and progressed to lean meats. But the true test was last week.
I went to Taco Bell and ordered a real nachos bellgrande. Filled with ground beef, refried beans, tomatoes, sour cream, and cheese. I felt a tingle of excitement as I ordered it. And when I got my little sack, there was an extra taco in it. Oooh, this must be God's way of telling me it's okay to eat grade D meat. And then I got to object of my dreams.
What?!?! They messed it up!! There were no tomatoes. There was no sour cream. THERE WAS NO MEAT!!!
I sure hope this wasn't a sign from God to give up meat again. Cause I'm not ready to jump on that crazy train again. And neither is my family.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I first heard about this complaint-free bracelet from a friend. In a nutshell, you put this bracelet on and every time you complain, you switch wrists. The goal is to go 21 days complaint free and every time you switch wrists, you must start the count over. Not too hard, right? Think again.
I honestly didn't think I would have a problem, so I didn't see the need for an actual bracelet. And then I listened to myself. WOW. If it wasn't one thing, it was something else. And I'm a happy person.
At work a few nights ago, I listened. And I got pretty disgusted. People, including me, were complaining about everything under the sun. And you know what? We complained to the people who have the least control over the situation. And it wasn't pretty.
Does it help to gripe about the weather? Probably not. What about having to do a job that you really hate? My solution- stop complaining and get another job that you like. Mad at a friend? Tell that person- not me.
Don't get me wrong. I understand the need to complain. There are times that it is completely justified. And sometimes it does feel good to vent to someone else, and to get another's opinion. But the real question is- do you feel better or worse when you're done? I usually walk away feeling worse than when I started.
So, I think I'm going to get a bracelet. But probably not one of those rubber ones- I'm afraid I'll get blisters from switching arms all day long.
Anyone else up for the challenge?
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 9:05 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
On the day of our 5th anniversary, we spent the day touring Washington D.C. My mom kept Maddie for the entire weekend, so it was like we were newlyweds again. We laughed at each other's stupid jokes, we ran through the rain trying to both fit under an umbrella, we made fun of other tourists, we absolutely exhausted ourselves. After all that, I was ready for some romance.
Let me set the scene. It had just turned dark. We went to the second floor of a quaint Italian restaurant, sat at an intimate table for two, right beside an open window while the rain slowed to a drizzle. The candles were lit, the wine was nice, the conversation was better.
And then, coming from the table close by we hear the dreaded sound of, you guessed it, kids. Loud kids. Kids that don't know the meaning of romance. Kids that ask very interesting questions.
"Dad, do you have any brothers or sisters?" the boy asked. "No, I'm an only child," responded the dad. "Can you just make your body have a child?" he wanted to know. "No. You can't. Who do you want to win the baseball game tomorrow?" He tried. "I don't know. Um, Dad, if you can't make your body have a child, can you make your body not have a baby?"
And he really tried to explain about the little pill a woman can take. To a 7 year old. And he explained, very patiently, how great the questions were, just inappropriate at the dinner table.
Meanwhile, I wipe the wine that I had just shot out of my nose off my chin, Justin picks himself off the floor from laughing, and we agree that hearing that was the highlight of our trip.
Until it hit us. HOLY. CRAP. Maddie will probably ask us something like that. But it better not be for a really long time. We need time to prepare.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Last week was fire prevention week at Maddie's school, which coincided with learning about the letter "F". Her best friend's dad came to talk to her class since he is a firefighter, and to a 3 year old, that's just about the coolest thing for a dad to be. Except a policeman, apparently.
When we picked Maddie up from school, she started talking about her friends's daddy and then we hear this: "I told my friends that my daddy is a policeman."
"But your daddy is not a policeman"
"Yes, he is. I told everybody he is."
"Why do you think your daddy is a policeman?"
"God told me he is, so he is." There was no reasoning with her. She almost convinced me that he really was a policeman.
At least when they get to the letter "P" for policeman, Halloween costumes should be pretty cheap.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
So, I ran into a lady that I used to work with a few years ago. We talked and caught up with everything that had happened since she quit a few years ago. Blah, blah, blah.
Of course, we started talking about our kids. More blah, blah, blah. She told me that when she picked her son up from his first day of Kindergarten she told him how much she had missed him.
"Oh. Well I was having so much fun, I forgot I had a mommy," was his response.
I really didn't need to hear that right before I leave Maddie with my parents while Justin and I go on a mini-vacation. I packed a picture of me in her suitcase. Just in case.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 1:32 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:06 PM
Monday, October 15, 2007
When Maddie was a baby, she hated wearing clothes. No big deal, right? Tennessee summers get excrutiatingly hot, after all. And when she was about two years old, it was so much easier for me to let her eat/finger paint without her clothes on. No stains to worry about.
Fast forward a little bit. I've had to chase my child through the store after she took off her shorts and threw them at me. If she spills something on her shirt, it comes off before I have a chance to stop her. No matter where we are. Her friend came over and as soon as his mom left, he stripped down to his underwear because that's all Maddie was wearing and paint was involved. Good times, right?
Now let's add another factor into my non-clothes wearing daughter situation. She loves to dance. On poles. But only in public. If we are waiting for a table at a restaurant and there is a fence post, a flag pole, or a banister, Maddie is sure to be dancing on it. Wrapping her leg around it and holding with one arm and spinning around and around. And drawing quite a crowd. Friends laugh uncomfortably when they see her performance. I know exactly what they are thinking, There goes Maddie again. I wonder where she learned those moves. Hah. I know it's not from Dora or Diego. This is so terrible to laugh at, but at the same time, so dang funny. At least it's not my child.
And I know exactly how this happened. You see, after a friend of a friend told us what she was naming her daughter, Justin and I laughed. Hard. We said that she was destined to be a stripper. We wondered at what age we should buy the kid a pole to practice on.
I'm just afraid that Maddie is going to ask Santa for her very own pole. And offer to pay with a lap dance when she turns 18.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
"Mommy, I've got a great plan. I'm gonna stand on the top of the couch and jump. If I don't hit my head, you clap your hands. If I hit my head, you don't clap. Ok?"
"Um, I'm trying to look at something on the computer, but okay- go for it."
She jumps. She doesn't hit her head, so I clap. Satisfied that she won't seriously hurt herself by jumping, I go back to doing my thing. She jumps again. I don't hear crying so I clap. And again- she jumps, no crying, I clap my hands. And then, "Ow,ow,ow!!! My foot. sob. Mommy, my foot. sob, scream, sob
I jetted over to her as fast as I could. How could I be so stupid? Who lets a 3 year old jump off a couch? And clap when she doesn't hit her head? Oh, man. I hope she doesn't tell her teacher tomorrow, or her Gram or Granny. I'm. A. Terrible. Mommy.
I look at her foot. There's a little swelling. I ask her to move her toes- she holds up her fingers and shakes them. Oh, no. Did she hit her head and now has a concussion? "What about your foot? Move your foot. Come one, you can do it." She moves it a little.
She stops crying and looks at me like I'm a crazy woman. Mommy, I think my foot is okay. I'll try it again. And THIS time, clap when I don't hit my head."
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 9:40 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Gatlinburg. Pancake houses on every corner, Hillbilly Golf, Smoky Mountains, and all things southern. I'm going this weekend with my mom and Maddie. After hearing the stories of my mom's last trip, I'm not sure I can keep up with her.
The first major trip I took with my mom was to Europe after graduating from high school. She tried really hard to curb my trips to the bars. I was 18 and in Europe- what did she expect?
I've gone on a few other trips with my mom since then, and while that first trip will always be my favorite, I've come to this conclusion. She only gets better with age. And if we stop at the store and she buys jello for some shooters, I'll be sure Maddie doesn't get any.
What happens is Gatlinburg, stays in Gatlinburg- unless I deem it blog worthy.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Bad habit #1: Rolling my eyes at just about everything
Bad habit #2: Letting Maddie see me roll my eyes at just about everything.
Bad habit #3: Wanting to scream at Maddie when she rolls her eyes.
Bad habit #4: Rolling my eyes right before telling Maddie she shouldn't roll her eyes at me.
Bad habit #5: Blaming Justin for teaching Maddie how to roll her eyes.
Got any bad habits you wanna share?
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
"I'm rich. I have more than enough." Those were the words our preacher had us repeat after him in church on Sunday. I had a hard time saying those words. By all of my standards, I am most definitely NOT rich. I have enough, but not necessarily more than enough. And I don't like to lie in church.
We have one vehicle. It's needed a new engine since last December. We live in a relatively small apartment, not a house. We don't take elaborate trips, and we check our bank account every day. Nope, not rich. And, if I'm honest with myself, I look at what others have, and I want it. Bad. I want us to be able to drive our friends when we go out and not worry about our car breaking down. I want to have people over for dinner without worrying about space. I want to be able to take friends and family out and pay for it and not worry about the cost.
I've been thinking about this since Sunday. And I've been doing some additional research. Some staggering statistics are out there. I was blown away. Did you know that 3 billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day? Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are chronically undernourished. Millions of women around the world spend several hours a day collecting water.
I have some nerve, you know. I get angry when a table only leaves a 2 dollar tip. My cupboards may be bare, but that's just because I haven't made it to the store- not because I couldn't afford it. We were without water last weekend for 1 1/2 days. I couldn't imagine not having it at all, or worse- having to go get it myself, and I don't mean by going to the store.
I have a wonderful family and some awesome friends. I live in the best country on planet Earth (possibly the best city). I've never had to go to bed hungry and neither has my daughter. Each day brings a new opportunity and with it- hope.
I really am rich and I really do have more than enough.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 1:32 PM
Monday, October 8, 2007
Maddie goes to a twice a week preshool program. She absolutely loves it. I love it. Her dad loves it. All for different reasons.
When we get home on those days, we go through her school bag to see what she worked on. Hmmm. We have a cotton ball covered sheep, letter tracing, rainbows, cheerio covered letters, paper kites, finger paintings, the list goes on and on. And this is just in one day. This does not include the other papers that show how well she behaved. This does not include the lunch menu. This does not include the phone list or monthly calender.
I'm proud of her, I really am. And I do like listening to her tell me what she learned that day. I'm just so sick of the papers. What do I do with them all? Right now, they are scattered throughout my apartment. I try to get rid of them little by little, but if she knew I was throwing them in the trash. . . Well, it would not be pretty.
So, my suggestion is this. DA, won't you please go green? At least one day a week? Or start a recycling program. Just pretend to glue on the cotton balls- oops they fell off- now run along Mary. Here you go Jimmy, why don't you try one- just look at you learning. . . Don't write names on any of the papers or projects and reuse them next year- let the next child add a little bit, and do it all over again. Just tell them there are some papers that have to stay in the classroom. If they question whether it's really their work, just give them some M&Ms. They're 3- they won't know. Really. And I don't think any parent would mind. Trust me.
We all need to do our part. For the children.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:17 PM
Dear Juan Valdez ,
You are on my mind first thing in the morning. I can't make it through the day without you. I love you. My friends and family may like you, but I love you.
I began to love you when I was a child. Heavily creamed and sugared. Now, my love for you has grown. I do not need any supplements to improve upon your greatness.
When I meet friends at a coffee shop, I order some fancy-schmancy imposter. I feel like I'm cheating on you. Please understand that it's not you, it's them. If I knew they hand-picked their coffee beans, you might have something to worry about. My loyalty is with you, I promise.
I have only one question for you, and I'm mortified to bring it up. And if I need to see someone about this, just say the word. I'll make the appointment tomorrow.
Why does my pee smell like coffee? Is this normal?
Love you forever and ever. CB
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:03 PM
The night after we bought our super expensive pumpkins, I pretty much got over it. I mean, really, we've wasted our money on lots of things, why stop with fall produce. In fact, I was almost proud of us. We had just supported a local farmer. I understand the importance of buying local. I don't do it much, but I understand it.
And what if these are special pumpkins? What if they are really filled with jewels, winning lottery tickets, or keys to a new car? I could barely stand it. We needed to get started carving it right away.
So, we set up a table outside. Maddie began painting hers and I hoped against all hope that something magical was about to happen. I started taking the top off. Dang, this is hard. Must be really something good in there. Justin finally came to my rescue and finished sawing it. After a few struggles, we got the lid off. I couldn't wait to see what grand prize we had been awarded.
Disappointment abounded. Ooey, gooey, pumpkin junk. With more seeds than I ever thought possible.
But I threw some seeds in the grass. Maybe tomorrow there will be a really tall vine and I can go get the golden goose eggs.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Every October, sometime before Halloween, we get Maddie a pumpkin and let her paint it. Since we are going to be out of town for the next 2 weekends, yesterday was the only day we could do it as a family. We had seen a little place to buy fall items and decided to try it out.
Maddie hops out of the truck and can hardly wait to pick one out. While she and Justin try to find the perfect pumpkin, I go to the stand to ask about prices. The only sign says, "Due to drought, prices are higher this year." That should have been my first clue. The lady with plastic spider earrings told me they start at $8. I thought that was a little high, but there was no way Maddie would let us leave without a pumpkin.
She finds one. Then we find another one to carve while she paints hers. We take our 2 mid-sized pumpkins to the checkout. "That's $24.04" WHAT!?!? And we were stuck. We couldn't tell Maddie that the pumpkins were too expensive and we couldn't buy them. She would have been heartbroken. And truthfully, I really didn't want to deal with a tantrum at that moment.
So we loaded up our precious cargo and Maddie and left. We decided to stop at the store so we could get some carving utensils. Right in front of the door, like a slap in the face, I see a sign.
"Large Pumpkins $4.99"
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Every change of the season, I find myself buying some type of potted plant. I always look for one that looks sturdy and easy to care for. I usually buy it a new pot and fertilizer. I read the recommendations on how to care for it. I follow these instructions to the tee.
And then it dies. I don't know what happens. I'm sure it was just the plant. It's not my fault. I make grand proclamations on which store/nursery I'm boycotting because of inferior products.
My husband calls me the "Grim Reaper of Botany."
My aloe vera plant just died. I think he may be right.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:42 PM
Friday, October 5, 2007
I just got home from a not-so-great night at work. I worked way too hard for the amount of money I made. Let me give an example of just one of my great tables:
Mr. Moneybags: I don't want a salad, I want soup.
Me: I have to charge an additional $1.80. Is that okay?
Mr. Moneybags: If I didn't have the money, I wouldn't be here.
Me: No problem.
I get him his chowder, refill their drinks about 8 times, make sure the entire family of 5 has everything they could possibly want.
He gives me a $5 tip on a tab that's $99.78
Maybe I shouldn't have charged him the $1.80
Thank you, Mr. Moneybags, thank you.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 10:45 PM
Today I took Maddie, my own little Swim Monkey to the pool at the gym. I watched her swim, splash, and go down the frog slide for about 30 minutes. Everything was perfect. She was having fun, I was relaxing. And from behind me, I hear this: "It's about time for you to have another one, isn't it?"
What?!? Surely he's not talking to me. I turn around. Yep, he's talking to me- I'm the only one around. This is wrong on SO many levels.
- I don't know him. I've never talked to this hairy-armed bald guy.
- Please don't suggest to me that you know my situation better than I do and that I should have another child before I'm ready, Mr. I'm going to inspire her to make more babies tonight guy.
- How does he know I'm not trying to have another and can't? I'm not, but he doesn't know that and that remark could really hurt someone if they were.
- I DON"T KNOW HIM!!
This list goes on and on. I turn back around to see if he's actually still there, waiting for an answer. He is. And as I prepare myself to blast him, I turn around with a smile on my face.
"No, it's not" And I go back to enjoying my day with my child.
Posted by pb&j in a bowl at 12:06 PM