Monday, December 29, 2008


I wish I had a picture of Maddie pretending to sleep, when she heard Santa outside.

I wish I could bottle her excitement when she found the bell Santa had dropped.

I wish Santa had not given her the devil game- Kerplunk.

I wish you could have seen how grown up Maddie looked during the candlelight service at our church. A four year old, holding a lit candle and not moving a muscle, while belting out Silent Night.

I wish I had won at least one Apples to Apples game.

I wish I could see my family more often.

I wish my camera had not broken right before Maddie's Christmas program.

I wish I had known last year that it was going to be my last Christmas with my Mawmaw.

I wish calories didn't count on holidays.

I wish. . . I hope. . . every Christmas will be as wonderful as this one was.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Maddie's nightly prayers are the typical prayers of 4 year olds. Thank you for this and this. I love you. Amen

Last night, Maddie's prayer was simple. And profound.

Dear God,

Thank you for everything. Most of all, thank you for baby Jesus. I love him. So much. And I love you, too. Amen

Jesus. It's what Christmas is all about.


I'm headed out of town for the rest of the week. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Letter From Santa

Dear Maddie,

You've been a good little girl.

But I have some bad news. You aren't getting the GeMagic set you asked for.

I thought about lying to you and telling you that you simply weren't old enough for this particular jewel making machine. I thought about telling you that the elves just didn't know how to make it and due to budget cuts, I couldn't afford to train them.

But I knew in my heart that you wouldn't believe the lies.

The truth is- your parents don't want it in their house. They know how obsessive you become when it comes to making everything "pretty". They envisioned getting dressed for work and finding gems stapled onto their clothes. They imagined what their couch and recliner would look like after you got done GeMagic-ing the house.

And as often as you asked me for the Magic Gems, your parents asked me to not bring it.

I'm not the type to disappoint a child, so I you a sticker sheet of gems. Gems that are easily removed when done. Gems that can be thrown away when you aren't looking. Gems that cost $1.99.

Enjoy. And you're welcome.



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Friday, December 19, 2008

Tape Is Overrated

While on the phone with Justin

"Do we have a stapler?"

"Yes. It's upstairs, under the futon. Don't ask why, but that's where it is."

"Okay. I'm wrapping your present."

Bless his heart.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


There are some interesting people in this world, and I think most of them have either worked with me at some point, or work with me now. Some are interesting in a good way. Some are interesting in a very strange, "are we on the same planet?", and "seriously- what is wrong with you way?".

But there is one that takes the cake.

His name is Gary. I mean Imala. He, I mean she, is shall we say different. This person's mascara is impeccable and has a delicate touch with his eyeshadow. He carries a Tinkerbell purse. His boobs are getting bigger and his hair is getting fuller. His Adam's Apple isn't as noticeable as it was 6 months ago.

I've never been around anyone actually going through a sex change. I mean, I've seen it on Maury Povich and Jerry Springer but to actually work with a man that one day will be penis-free is well- challenging.

And not just for me.

Imala helped out a friend of mine. She turned to say thank you, "Well, thank you, sir. I mean, ma'am. Sir. Oh God. I don't know what to say."

Imala was a good sport and told her that he prefers to be called ma'am. His name has been legally changed to a girl's name, after all. But, to me- a simple name change doesn't mean he is a woman. I have a hard time saying ma'am to someone that has never had the pleasure of intense menstrual cramps, bra straps that won't stay in place, or wearing heels for hours on end.

Okay- to give him credit, I think he probably has worn heels for hours on end but . . . no. Still can' t call him ma'am.

I know that day will come when Imala will have the full surgery and acquire a va-jay-jay. And when the day comes and he can honestly say, "Im-a-lady" . . .

I'll call him ma'am.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Party

Maddie has an incredibly strong gag reflex. It's pretty simple. She coughs- she vomits. Or comes really close.

Friday night, I didn't give her any cough medicine. She woke up covered in vomit. Saturday night, I gave her the medicine too close to bedtime and it didn't get a chance to work before she threw up all over herself.

It's a science, really. Medicine is given 1 1/2 hours before bedtime. She is not allowed to eat after 5. She can only drink water or a little apple juice at dinner- definitely no milk when she has a cough. It's not pretty.

But, we know it's not a stomach virus. And as long as she doesn't have a fever or any other symptoms, life goes on as usual.

Yesterday, I went to Maddie's Christmas party at her school. I was standing next to the bookcase, just watching the craziness. In the middle of the party, my sweet angel walked up to her teacher and asked her a question. I couldn't hear what she asked, but I heard her teacher tell her to go ask her mommy.

Then I got the look. The "how could you?" look. The "what kind of mom are you?" look.

What could she have asked? I even brought extra stuff for everyone to eat- not just the gallon of milk I signed up for.

"Mommy- since I throwed up 2 times, can I go see the nurse?" She seemed to shout it at me.

Crap. Did anyone else hear that? Please don't let this be like the Fifth Disease.

"No. You are NOT sick. You threw up because you were coughing. Do NOT tell anyone else that you threw up. They won't understand."

I went up to the teacher, explained the gag reflex issue and went on with the party. But I made sure to stand beside Maddie every time she started talking to a parent, to stop her if she decided to get a little too chatty.

After all, when we are talking about vomiting and embarrassment, prevention is everything.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Quiet Blocks

Every child loves blocks. They love the stacking (and the falling down), the bridge making (and the crashing), and the building of the biggest tower (and watching it tumble).

And while the crashing and tumbling of the blocks is part of the learning experience, it noise it made quickly made me want to hide the blocks. Forever. heard my cry. And found me hiding in a closet with my hands over my ears. And sent me Parents Architecture ABCs.

It's a 26 piece set complete with arches, pedestals, columns, and turrets. It's squeaky, squishy, and best of all- quiet when it falls.

Each block features a letter and a corresponding animal. It's raised textures make it easy for little hands to grasp and build to their little heart's content.

It is recommended for 6+months, but blocks are toys that kids of all ages love.

You can find these blocks at Target and have a suggested retail of $25 but I found them for $19.99

These would definitely make a great gift for a little one.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Reindeer On The Floor

I read about the Elf On The Shelf not long ago. I loved the concept of it and told Maddie a little about it. She wanted her very own Elf on the Shelf.

I tried to just find a little generic elf statue to no avail. And I didn't want to shell out the $30 for the whole kit, so when I got a stuffed reindeer for a Christmas present, I decided to forget about the elf on the shelf and go with the reindeer on the floor. You know, because all of the elves were already at other kids' houses.

And he is so cute, you just can't help but love him.

I told Maddie that our reindeer would move around throughout the day, and report back to Santa in the night. She loved the idea that he would magically appear in different places, without anyone actually seeing him move.

He started out in the office. Then he was on the stairs. Then he was in Maddie's bedroom to watch her sleep.

Then Maddie freaked out and was scared to death by his magic.

And I had to talk to the reindeer and explain that he wasn't allowed to use his magic anymore. Especially in her bedroom.

I don't understand how it could have started out so wonderfully, and ended so tragically. I mean, who is really scared of an innocent little stuffed doll that moves around by itself. Infused with magic. . .

chuckie Pictures, Images and Photos

Okay- I guess I would be a little creeped out, too.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Four Quarters

Yesterday, I decided to finish up my Christmas shopping. I was at KB Toys, trying to decide on a gift for my friend's son, when I got a phone call. A phone call telling me that my friend's husband had gottthe dreaded phone call that he needed to go home to be with his very sick mother.

And then my phone went dead.

I didn't have any details. I didn't know if she needed any help. I didn't have my charger with me.
So, in a panicked state, I went to the girl working the register at KB Toys.

"I just had an emergency phone call, but my phone went dead. Can I use the store's? I'll only be a couple of minutes."

"Ummm. Let me check. . . no." What?!

"Okay. Can I get some change from you, so I can find a pay phone?"

"No. We can't give out change." Okaaaay. Let's try something else.

So, I went back to the shelf, grabbed one of the toys I was considering in the first place and brought it to the register.

"I'll take this. Since I'm paying with cash, can I please get change for one of the dollars?"

"No. We can't do that. We've had problems doing that." WHAT?!? You've had problems giving four quarters instead of a dollar bill? My four year old daughter could do that.

"I need your manager's name and number."

She called him over. I tried to explain my problem. He explained that they are not able to give out change if the drawer is not open. I, as nicely as I possibly could, explained that the drawer was open because I had just paid. With cash. I just needed four quarters instead of the dollar bill.

He rolled his eyes, "Just give her the change."

Seriously? Did he just do that?

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the bad attitudes from customer service this holiday season? I understand that sales clerks and managers have a lot to deal with, especially with rude customers, the possiblility of losing their jobs if the economy doesn't get better, and I know I would lose my mind if I had to work in a toy store with that annoying parrot that repeats everything it hears.

But I honestly think that my request was not out of line. Four quarters instead of a dollar bill. To call my best friend who just found out her mother in law is on the verge.

Here are my options:

a) Call corporate office
b) Email corporate and include link to this post
c) Return gift, with receipt and ask for all nickels, dimes, and quarters

What do you think?

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Worst Wake Up Call Ever

I have the same routine every single morning. Rarely does it change.

I hit the "on" button on my coffee pot. I stumble to the bathroom, do my business, put in my contacts, start mine and Maddie's breakfast, drink the first cup of coffee, then walk Grendal.

This morning the dog was a little more anxious to go outside. I started the coffee, and begged him to let me drink some of it. He begged louder and I gave in.

I took him out and followed him around the yard- seriously wanting my Folger's Select. He took his sweet time, and when he was finally done started running to the door.

I followed him, and what happened next occured so quickly I'm not sure of the exact chain of events. I took a step and the next thing I know, I ate some concrete.

All I know is I look like someone did a serious number on me. I went to Wal-Mart and I could almost hear the strangers' thoughts. Wow. She should just leave him. And her poor little girl- I bet she saw the whole thing. Should I ask her if she is okay? All of these thoughts were accompanied with a look and then a quick glance away.

Here is what I've been sporting today. Be forewarned- it's not pretty. And feels like it looks.

Note to self: NEVER give in to dog's whining before at least one cup of coffee.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Helper Mommy

One day last week, I was in the process of getting Maddie signed in at school and putting away her lunch, etc. Another little boy walked in with his mother. I heard the children greet each other. And then I heard:

"Dan, I'm gonna win the puzzle contest. I only have two more to do and I'll be the winner. I'm gonna do them right now, and beat every one."

Dan looked on without much interest.

She began to open the puzzle bags with a look of determination in her eyes. She feverishly started working on one of the puzzles.

Dan didn't give a flying flip. I could see that. His mom could not.

"Maddie, you don't have to hurry like that. Take you time and do it right. Dan still has to get signed in and put his jacket up. Chill." I tried to tell her.

His mom heard me. "Dan- let's get you started on a puzzle. " Apparently she really wanted him to win the contest. With the grand prize being a coloring book. Which every kid gets once they complete the 20 puzzles. After all, they are all winners.

She sat down and started helping Dan. She glanced at Maddie's progress. She worked quicker. The poor boy just watched.

I leaned over, gave Maddie a goodbye hug, inconspicuously moved a couple of her puzzle pieces to the correct spot, and walked out.

His mom was still working on his puzzles as I left. I think he was playing a game of "crawl under the table and hide."

And later that day, when I was looking over the work Maddie had done, I really wished his mom was around so she could witness my

BOOO-YAH!! Maddie was the first to finish all of her puzzles.

And has the coloring book to prove it.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

I Got Thick

A few years ago, I decided it was time to lose some of the weight I had put on after having Maddie. It took almost two years, but I lost about 40 pounds.

It took 3 months to gain 8 back. I mean 10. Okay, okay- you forced me- 12.

I can tell. I think Justin can tell. Especially when I'm jumping around the bedroom trying to squeeze into my jeans.

I was telling some people at work how I've really started watching what I eat and how I've been exercising like a mad woman to lose those 12 pounds. They were doing what real friends do- telling me that they couldn't tell, and claiming that I didn't need to lose any weight. Whatever.

From across the room, I heard someone shout, "Yeah- Chelsea done got THICK." Her words, not mine.

Now, I like a thick slice of cake. And a thick steakburger, with thick cut french fries. Thick milkshakes. There are lots of things that are thick that are wonderful.

But when you are talking about my body, particularly my lower half- thick is not good.

So this holiday season, when I pass on cookies, cake, candy and everything delicious in this world, don't be offended.

I'm just trying to un-thick myself.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Magical Lies

"Mommy- look in that door. You've just got to see it!" Maddie said with excitement.

"Which one?" Please tell me she is not talking about the door that she never ever looks in that is hiding her Christmas presents.

"That one. The scary one."

Crap. "What's in there?" What did you see? Please don't let it be the princess kitchen set. . .

"I think it's a new kitchen."

Double crap. "How in the world did it get in there?" Maybe I can tell her that Santa's sleigh was too full and he made an early delivery. Nah- she'd never fall for that lie. Oh wait, she already believes that the big guy delivers presents to every child on Earth in one night. She'll fall for it.

But should I keep the lie going? Is this the moment? The moment she finds out we've been lying to her? The moment she realizes that reindeer don't really fly and no matter how hard they try, very few men can actually fit down a chimney?

"I wished upon a star, Mommy. And the kitchen magically appeared!"

Whew! She can keep believing in Santa. And every star that she wishes on. And the tooth fairy. And the Easter Bunny. And every other fanciful creature that magically brings her stuff.

And I'll keep telling the lies until she stops believing them.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

The Not So Great Debate

Last year, when we were in the mountains with Justin's family, I noticed his brother getting up and going to the bathroom, staying a few seconds, and coming right out. But he only did it right after Justin left said bathroom.

What in the world could he be doing?

Nothing was said about it, and I pretty much forgot about it. Until later that night. . .


It hit me. That's what he was doing. He was checking to make sure Justin put the seat down, so my sister in law wouldn't fall in.

And so began the annual debate on seat up or seat down.

Surprisingly, I take Justin's side. I don't care if he leaves the seat up. I'm an adult, I know to look before I sit. I suppose if I were blind, I would take issue with having to grope around to find the seat, but I'm not.

When I spoke up and agreed with him, I felt every pair of female eyes glaring at me. "Um, it really doesn't bother me. I don't lift the seat every time I'm done, why should he have to lower it every time he is done?" Yeah- not quite the right thing to say.

"Well, I guess you've never fallen in the pot at 3 in the morning, have you?"

"Of course, I have. I was mad, too. But at myself, for not looking- not at him."

There are things worth nagging about. I just don't think it's that big of a deal.

Splattering, however, is definitely worth nagging about. And, I'll nag until he automatically wipes the rim, and chases after his brother to make sure he didn't leave any evidence.

What do you think? Seat up or seat down, or does it matter to you?

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