Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

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!!!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Well. . . This Is Awkward

Snow White, feeling embarrassed and extremely overdressed, tries to explain.

"Oh, my. When the invitation said to "bring a friend", I had no idea that you wanted me to bring the dwarfs."

Cinderella (host): "Seriously, Snow- did you think I meant one of your animal friends? Get with the program"

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Princess Bride

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.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It Happened This Christmas

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.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

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.

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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.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Joke's On Me

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.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dora The Devil

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.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daddy's Girl

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.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Portly Chocolate Pie

When Justin and I argue, it usually goes something like this:
Him: "Blah,blah,yadda,yadda."
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.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Third Time Really Is A Charm

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.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Happens When My Inner Monologue Takes Over Mouth

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.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What I'm Looking Forward To

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.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Groceries And A Whole Lot More

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.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

According To Maddie

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?

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Future Rehearsal Dinner Pictures

Just a single gal- out for a ride

Scoot over, I'm a better driver.

I think I love you!!

See Ya!!!

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

There Goes Santa Claus

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.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Please Come Back, Ronald!!

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?

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

They Froze The Grinch

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.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lucy's Guide To Becoming A First Class Brat

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?

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Color Me Crazy

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.

Enter Maddie.

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.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Laughs

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??

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus

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.

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