Archives for December 2005

Filling that Social Calendar…

I’m a homebody. I’ll admit it. When I was younger, though I still wasn’t a social butterfly who relished going out every night, or staying out all night, I had a more active social life than I do now. Having a baby does change a lot of things.

When I was pregnant for The Princess, that is when my true homebody tendencies kicked in. I didn’t want to go out to the bars with my friends, because I didn’t want to be around the smoke, and I definitely wasn’t going to be drinking. Not to mention – pregnancy fatigue! I was lucky if I could stay up late enough to watch E.R. on Thursdays!

Of course, once The Princess was born, I still stuck close to home. There was the factor of a whole different kind of fatigue. And once I returned to work when The Princess was eight weeks old, I became even more of a homebody.

Probably the biggest factor in why my social life has been fairly non-exisitent for the past few years is the fact that I was working outside the home. There is a whole debate between working moms and stay-at-home moms, and pros and cons of both. Having seen both sides of the coin now, I can say that the worst part of being a working mom is the guilt. Guilt that someone else is caring for your baby 40+ hours per week. Guilt that you are “choosing” work over being that person to care for the baby. All of that plays through a mom’s mind on repeat. At the end of the work day, I would race to the sitter’s house to pick up The Princess, so as to not be away from her a second longer than necessary. If my car needed gas, I would go out at lunch to fill the tank, so as not to have that stop to make on the way home. Pathetic, right?

But for how crazed I was during the work week, it was harder on the weekends. I didn’t want to go out because my time at home with The Princess felt so minimal to begin with. In my mind, I dumped her with a sitter all week for work, and how dare I even consider doing it on the weekend, with the little time I had? We would go to visit friends and family, and I didn’t want to let anyone else hold her, because it was mommy’s time.

And eventually, it became that I hardly went anywhere or did anything without The Princess with me. And when I did – guilt.

Probably the most amazing aspect of working from home is that I am with the girls daily. With Pumpkin, I’ve never had the feeling of “dumping” her with anyone. When Hubby took me out for my birthday dinner , when Pumpkin was nearly 2-1/2 months old, it was our first night out since her birth. I fully anticipated feeling how I did that first day I dropped The Princess off at daycare: tearful, sad, and guilt-stricken. But I didn’t feel any of that. I know that my girls know I love them, and I know that they certainly get more than their fair share of mommy time – more than they want, probably, and I don’t feel the least bit sad or apprehensive about letting Grandma and Grandpa have a bit of kiddo-time.

Today, a friend called and we made plans to go out next weekend. I also got an email today from a co-worker who is home with her newborn baby and we’re trying to put together a plan to get together as well (with four kids between the two of us, I have a feeling we’ll be picking up Starbucks and parking ourselves in someone’s living room!). Feels good to be able to reconnect and not feel guilt or feel like I’m short-changing myself or my children. Sometimes, it’s exciting to have something on that calendar that has nothing to do with being a wife or a mom.

Still Recovering from Christmas

It is amazing how months of preparation went into planning for a 24-hour period, and now several days later, I am still in the process of recovering some sense of normalcy in the house. Hubby and I had asked people to please not go crazy buying toys for the girls this year. It’s not like they are too spoiled, but they definitely have their share of stuff (more specifically, The Princess does, and therefore Pumpkin does by association). Creating a bedroom for Stepson in the basement (it’s a nice basement, really) when we found out we were expecting Pumpkin, well, that caused us to lose a lot of our storage area…. and now we are overrun with STUFF.

Right now, it looks as though Toys R Us exploded and the debris all landed in our living room. Baby Annabell and her accessories (her very own pacifier and bottle, as well as a package of tissues) are hanging out on the Carebear sofa/futon that The Princess insists should be in the living room. The Furby is on the arm chair (well, actually, he’s kind of half under it). Pumpkin’s Peek-a-Blocks are everywhere, and not because she’s been into them, but because The Princess has been playing with them too. The Princess received more Dora the Explorer stuff than I ever even knew existed, so Dora has pretty much become a permanent addition to our living room decor. Hooray for the holidays.

Christmas Eve, my dad and his wife were in town from California, and they prepared dinner for us in our kitchen. As a result, my kitchen is still in recovery mode. As much as I loooved not having to put together an edible meal for everyone, giving someone else the run of my kitchen caused me pain, and continues to cause me pain as I find measuring cups and mixing bowls that are no where near their proper location. Additionally, I have about five pounds of chicken parts in my freezer that I will have to cook at some point (and chicken with bones in it totally goes against my lazy policy to only cook with skinless, boneless chicken breasts — I have no idea how to cook chicken with bones in it!). I have in my crisper a huge bag of parsley and smaller bags of thyme and rosemary (yeah, they don’t just come in the jars – hmmmmm). A plus is that I got a brand spankin’ new bottle of olive oil out of the deal. But really. Not worth it.

Though the joy of the seasons, and seeing the kids so happy make Christmas such a wonderful day – the recovery process makes me glad it only happens once a year.

I’ve Found Them

I’ve been on a mission to track down It’s-It ice cream sandwiches the past few days. When I was growing up in California, we used to eat an Its-Its at midnight on New Years Eve. An It’s-It is a healthy – yeah right – concoction of ice cream, smooshed between two oatmeal cookies, covered in chocolate. It’s a California thing, and apparently not available east of the Rockies.

I’m so bummed.

However….. you can have them overnighted. Is it wrong to spend $67 in shipping so I can have an ice cream sandwich on New Years Eve?

Can’t. Function. Must. Take. Nap.

Pumpkin was up at 5:30 this morning, so consequently, The Princess was as well. And of course, I was. You know what this means? It means there are three extremely tired females in this house right now, and NONE OF US CAN (or will, in the case of the little ones) NAP!

Because of the weird holiday weekend, Hubby didn’t grocery shop on Friday night as he usually does. He ran to the store Monday evening to get me some cereal, but it wasn’t until last night that we sat down and planned our meals for the remainder of the week and made a grocery list so I could grocery shop today.

I don’t normally do the shopping. I’m sorta not “allowed” to go. The main reason I’m a crappy grocery shopper is that I impulse shop. A lot. It’s so bad that I typically spend about $20 – 30 more per trip than Hubby would! Also, taking the two girls to the store is an adventure in and of itself, even more so now because Meijer has purchased all new shopping carts, and Pumpkin’s carseat won’t fit on them anymore! I have to put her infant seat in the back of the cart where groceries go — therefore, can’t really fit much in the way of groceries in there. It’s a pretty miserable experience.

I had a fairly short grocery list today and could have gone to a mom & pop store closer to home. That is what I should’ve done, because I really do not enjoy grocery shopping, or making it a prolonged 90 minute experience. Buuuuuuuuut, The Princess needed new sneakers, and I figured that I could get her shoes and groceries in one stop, and then be done with it. Have I mentioned, I’m not functioning well today?

We get to the store, and The Princess insists that she MUST have Dora the Explorer shoes. They didn’t have her size. Oh, okay, how about Barbie? They didn’t have her size. We settled for a pair of cute pink and white velcro shoes that light up – $19! I never spend that much on kid shoes. But I didn’t feel like walking out empty handed, because she was so tired, I knew that not getting shoes would have resulted in a pretty ugly meltdown.

New shoes on (and dirty snowboots in the cart), we proceeded to start grocery shopping. We hit the dairy/egg aisle and had a meltdown immediately. The Princess started chanting, “Chocolate milk! We need to buy chocolate milk!” Knowing that we have a full can of Nestle powder at home, I told her no. She shut the door to the cooler, beaning her noggin in the process and started sobbing. I thought she was crying about smacking her head, and was instantly hugging her and reassuring her, until she wailed, “I waaaaaaaaaant chocolate milk!” You have GOT to be kidding me! All that noise for chocolate milk – but I held my ground and we kept walking.

Our grocery list had ten items on it, and I bulldozed through the store ticking off the items on the list. We got to the checkout, paid for the groceries and shoes, and I went to dig in my purse for my car keys and…


Immediately, I started that horrid nervous sweat, elevated temperature, panic feeling. I thought, “I’m going to have to call hubby and tell him I was stupid and lost my freakin’ car keys and he’s going to have to come get us.” Searched my purse twice, no luck. Searched my pockets. No luck.

Fortunately, some kind soul had turned them in to Guest Services, and I was able to grab the keys and get the girls into the car and on the way home. We were all tired, all cranky, and all ready to be home. I can’t believe I did something so unbelievably stupid!

I haven’t called Hubby to tell him, and probably won’t mention it. I’m sure he’d get a lovely laugh, at my expense, over that one!

The Only Thing Worse than Being Sick on Christmas…

…is one of your kiddos getting sick, too.

I woke up on Christmas morning, just feeling ready to keel over. I had had this feeling in my chest like an elephant sitting on it, coupled with a cough for a few days, but it wasn’t constant, and the afterhours clinic told me on the phone Friday night that since I didn’t have pain in my leg, and because I told them I didn’t have anxiety, that I could just drink more fluids, wait it out – come in if it got worse. By Christmas morning, it was worse.

I had the chills and nausea, topped with light-headedness and an aching body. We got through our Christmas festivities at home (basically the girls opening gifts from Santa), loaded into the car to head to my mom’s (a five minute drive). Hubby asked me if I wanted to stay home, because I was just hobbling along.

Got to my mom’s and my head was pounding and my stomach was just in knots. I sipped 7Up all morning and curled up in a rocking chair. The nausea finally subsided over a bowl of plain noodles at about 11. That was about when The Princess curled up with Hubby on the couch, complaining of stomach pain. She was miserable ALL afternoon. She barely ate all day, and her temperature went up to about 102. She didn’t even participate in the opening of presents with any enthusiasm! She got her much hoped for Annabell Baby, and didn’t even get excited. It was horrible.

The Princess is such an independent little kid – and she was such a cuddlebug yesterday, asking me to rub her belly and hold her tight. It was rough for us to both be sick on Christmas.

She’s back to her normal self today, but I’m still not quite there yet. Of course, doctor’s offices AND afterhours were both closed today, and I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. This has not been the merriest Christmas for our family.

(But, on a positive note, if you want to see my favorite gift – go to Canvas On Demand to see what Hubby got me – he had a pic of the girls blown up to this awesome black and white portrait… So so awesome).

Ick. Ick. Ick.

I think I just got my Hubby’s best friend in beaucoup trouble with his wife. And I’m feeling a bit squidgy and icky about it. Hubs and Friend went out last night and hit the local watering hole (and “hole” is a word for it – what a dump, but anyway). Hubby came home at 2:30 (I know because I was up waiting!)…

Fast forward to this afternoon when Friend’s wife called… She used to babysit The Princess and she and I are friends, so I thought nothing of her calling. She said, “How useless was your husband today?” I reported that Hubby was doing fine, that he slept til 8, and was up and around after that. She asked me what time he got home and I told her. Silence. Her husband came home at 5:30 this morning! My hubby swears he has no idea who Friend was with or where he was…

But, ugh.

He is sooooo busted. I can only hope Friend doesn’t try to say he was with Hubby. Ick ick ick. I wish I hadn’t answered the phone.

On the First Day of Christmas…

… my true love gave to me:

one bottle of my hair conditioner which I so desperately needed

(But, that isn’t what I thought I was getting. I thought I was getting a snow brush for my car. The receipt said “Snow Brush”. So, now I wonder where the snow brush went, because I don’t have one and he does. Probably a Christmas gift. Ask me again tomorrow).

Oh – On the Second Day of Christmas…

… my true love gave to me:

two socks

Well, it’s a pair of socks, actually. A festive holiday pair with bears in santa hats and candy canes. Embarassingly enough, I have a few goofy pairs of holiday socks (including bright orange ones with jack o’ lanterns for Halloween). I like ’em. They’re spunky.

The Joyous Sound of Silence…

It’s 9:07 p.m. on a Friday evening, and all I can hear is the sound of my fingers clattering away at the keyboard. Nothing else. Pumpkin isn’t crying. The Princess isn’t talking. Stepson isn’t rambling on. Hubby isn’t trying to yell over the noise of the kiddos. Just me and the keyboard – and it’s peace.


It’s been a long day – Stepson has been here most of the week, as we get half of his holiday break from school. Because I work from home now, and because Hubby and his parents still haven’t spoken since he told them we weren’t bringing the girls over, I sorta got elected to “babysit” Stepson during the week. It’s been a long week. Among many other issues, Stepson has ADHD – and after he came back from a day with his mom yesterday, he didn’t have his medication with him. If you haven’t ever spent a full day with a child with ADHD who hasn’t had his (much needed) medication, you are lucky. The whole day, I felt like I was trying to herd cats (an expression shared with me by my friend Kellie, and I have shamelessly stolen it because it describes the day I had to a “t”).

I had to take all three kids to the grocery store to get the ingredients to bake monkey bread (our family tradition is to make it Christmas Eve day to eat on Christmas morning), as well as pick up a few things for dinner. I put Pumpkin’s carseat in the grocery cart, and she was fine – the least trouble of the three – Stepson and The Princess were walking sorta with me, playing some sort of game that involved Stepson talking into his watch like it was a walkie-talkie and there was something about rescuing animals too. The Princess was talking with her brother, and chattering as well – in fact, she was chattering so much, a woman who we had passed in several aisles started laughing at us when we saw her near the meat counter, and actually said to me, “She doesn’t stop talking, does she?” No ma’am, she doesn’t. Welcome to my world.

The rest of the day progressed much like that shopping trip – The Princess loves to play with Stepson, but they inevitably spend as much time fighting as they do playing peacefully. Factor in that he hadn’t had his meds and she hadn’t had a nap, and it was just a recipe for disaster. By the time Hubby came home (early, at 4 p.m.), the kids were wired, bouncing off walls and speaking at a superhuman volume… and Pumpkin had barely napped because her older sibs were being so rambunctious.

Unbelievable. You look at children and you think, “They’re small. How could they be that much work?” But man, oh man. They ARE. It is amazing, because after five months (nearly) at home with the two girls, I have really gotten into my mom-groove handling two kids. But you throw that third one in the mix, and I’m floundering. I’m such a creature of habit and very resistant to change, so it’s not been the greatest week for me.

Stepson goes home tomorrow, and Hubby has a three-day weekend. Here’s hoping that Santa puts some bubble bath and some ear plugs in my stocking.

My Last "One Last Thing"

That’s it. Finally. I’m done. Done Christmas shopping. This afternoon, I ventured out to the store to get the last “one last thing” I’m going to buy for Christmas this year. I know, I’ve said that before, but this time, I mean it.

I really thought I was done until we were at the Great Wolf Lodge and The Princess wrote a letter to Santa while we were there (they had this special post office to send letters right to him – wink wink). She told Santa that she wanted two Annabell babies, a puppy, and a Furby. Well, my grandmother already got her the Annabell baby, and Santa’s just not getting her a puppy this year. To avoid Santa looking like a total chump, I had to go out and get that Furby.

Man, is it UGLY! It looks like a cross between a bird, and the thing in the movie Gremlins before it actually turns into a Gremlin. It talks, and has “feelings”. It supposedly even dances. I know it’s going to be one of those obnoxious toys that I will be kicking myself for buying. I’m sure I’ll start kicking myself sometime around noon on Christmas day, and I won’t stop until the batteries die (of course, you know how well stocked we are for batteries in this house, so I’m sure we’ll be able to keep that thing going until The Princess gets to fourth grade).

As a parent, it’s hard to find that happy medium between really celebrating and knowing what that season is really about, and wanting to focus on the magic of Santa and the gifts and the giving of the gifts to our kids. I don’t want The Princess to be materialistic and “gimmee gimmee gimee”, but I so enjoy going shopping for her and the Pumpkin and picking out the things I know that they will like, and will make them smile (well, more so for The Princess – next year, it will be more fun shopping for Pumpkin!).

Only for my daughters would I dare brave the crowds at the trashiest WalMart in the world, three days before Christmas to buy a toy that I know will ultimately drive me bonkers. ‘Tis the season.