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Archive for the month “December, 2011”

Number Three

My family ventured out tonight with a list of things needed for the house, namely a dresser and nightstand for our oldest. The furniture shuffle will move her dresser to the baby’s room, you know, because the sterilite drawers in there for now won’t cut it once she’s out of the bassinet, and out of our room. (PS- Said drawers are cracked, right down the side. What the what? I’m guessing that it was that way in the store when I bought it, since they’ve only been in the room for about a week, and the older two are waaaaay more interested in scattering the basket of baby toys around than exploring the world of “putting things away.”)

During the day, we went room-to-room making a list of things we need so we can pick them up when we spot something that will work, some a little more important than others. Curtains, paint, that pesky dresser…things like that. So, we leave close to dinner time, decide to eat out, and away we go.

We figured we’d hit a couple of places to check the goods before ultimately deciding to The debate is mainly should we spend a little more now, or get something for the next however many years that will probably need to be replaced. So we hit Big Lots first, only to find that the stuff was so cheap that we would probably only get a year out of it. The result? Two small bags of spicy Chex Mix and a roll of kraft paper. Nice.

Then we told the kids we’d take them to dinner. The plan was to feed the baby, head in, get something to eat, and hit the next place on our list.

I fed the baby in the car, and, long (or not so long) story short, she pooped all over my lap. I had a stain on my jeans, and a handful of baby excrement, not to mention two kids in the back who wanted to eat in. Naturally, I had removed the change of clothes from the diaper bag earlier because something leaked on them, and never replaced them. Undeterred, I undressed the baby, cleaned her up and changed her diaper, kept her socks and bib on, and headed to a drive through for din-din. (Yes, it’s not the best, but it’s such a treat for the kids because we let them have it maybe once every couple of months…)

After eating, my husband asked what I wanted to do. “We may as well head to where we were going.” She has one of those nifty zip-up car seat covers, plus a blanket…not to mention the bib, diaper and socks. As long as no one unzipped the cover, it would go unnoticed that she was nearly a naked baby. And off we went to the next place on our errand list. Thank goodness, because it takes darned near as long to corral everyone to get out the door as the amount of time we were actually out.

And so it goes with the third child.

Tales of Christmas Passed

That’s right. Passed. As in, “I’m going to pass on celebrating all twelve days of Christmas.” This, I don’t get.

Growing up, we always bought our tree on Christmas Eve (one year mom even had us return it because it was a Canadian Pine…forbidden in our house. Can you imagine, returning a [live] Christmas tree on Christmas Eve? Nevermind that, but the DQ with the tree lot took it back. And off we went to the Eagle nursery down the street for our usual last-minute pick-up). Part of the reason behind putting up the tree weeks later than most of those around us was that Santa brought it when my brother and sister were young. We also firmly believed in keeping the tree up at least through the Epiphany…still do. So, often it is creeping up on February before our tree is down.

Which brings me to my next point.  Why bother with the tree if it isn’t kept up after Christmas at all? There used to be someone two doors down from my family who would have the tree out on the curb by the time we got back from Mass on Christmas morning. Really? That strikes me as at least a little sad, that the very day being celebrated is spent tearing down evidence of the holiday. I’ve seen more than a few houses that have done this very thing over the past few years.

Though the presents that Santa brings have become a big point of Christmas, the whole reason for Christmas still remains Jesus’ birth, not just for kids, but for everyone. And the arrival of the Three Kings is a large part of the holiday, arriving (ta-daaa!) on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6. So, despite the fact that the wrapping is on the curb (and the kids have been happily occupied with new toys all week…hope that lasts), and I spotted Valentine’s Day candy and gifts in the store today when I went grocery shopping, our house will happily have our inside and outside lights on for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to share the joy well into the New Year! 🙂

Bracelet #2

Bracelet #2

I’ll call it “the sidekick,” since it was for the teacher’s assistant.

Bracelet #1

Bracelet #1

Part of the teacher gift this year

The Final Countdown

I still have several gifts to purchase, and just received word that the main gift I ordered for my husband several weeks ago will likely not come until next week. What the what? I received a shipment notice early last week, so, logically, it shoudl be here already. I received the other item in my order over a week ago. Why bother ordering early? (okay, okay, so it wasn’t that early, but it was still single-digit December.) Needless to say, I have to hit the store tomorrow.

I wish it were as easy as it seemed for my daughter’s teacher. I made bracelets for her teacher and teacher’s assistant (and took pictures because I wouldn’t mind recreating them…I always say that the best gift to give someone is something you would like to keep for yourself (but, obviously, don’t), unless someone has their heart set on something that you find really repulsive. Another post, another day). We also made a frame for her teacher, which had crayons all around the border (and ended up really cute for a teacher gift, I think), and gave each of teh hall monitors a bag of hershey kisses (had the earlier incident occured, well, earlier, it would have been helpful. I have lots of LBS. of those things around the house now).

So..we head to my in-laws and a family friend’s house for Christmas Eve, meaning tomorrow, my day consists of the following [deep breath]:

1. Finish baking. Not just cookies — Lord knows that the nine or ten varieties I already have done are in no way enough — but cakes/pies/tarts…something else for desserts on Christmas day.
b. Help the kids decorate their gingerbread house. My daughter did a really good job on one when she was my son’s age, though she was also much more patient than he.
III. Shop for gifts (see above).
4. Finish my eldest’s Christmas stocking. It’s dangerously close, so much so that I could just put the back on and be done. But I don’t want to do that.
Oh, and maybe I shoudl work a little on the younger ones, just so there is something to tack to a regular stocking until I finish theirs.
E. Make a couple of presents, because I’ve thought of things to make, but not to purchase for some.
6. Wrap presents. I mean everything. Except for those that already went to my brother and his family. They were wrapped in teh wee hours before packing them up to ship.
7. Fix the start from our tree. It won’t light this year, and when I tried to open the door on it to get the lights out, the stand for it came off. Go figure.
H. Find something suitable to wear for Christmas Day. I will say that I’ve been back down to my regular size for a while following baby three, but my shape isn’t quite teh same as usual in all areas, and I wore the one dress I know fit me to a wedding about a month or so ago, and I keep forgetting to bring it to the cleaners. And I refuse to wear slacks (yes, slacks) on Christmas.
9. Clean my house. No, noone is being hosted here, except Big Red himself, but girlfriend just needs to vacuum and sweep. No breaks from the kids this week…none.
X. Sleep. I’m not very good at that lately. Well, I’m a champ at sleeeping, not so much with actually going to sleep. Hopefully that will change after Christmas.

Speaking of…off to bed. I have to rest up!

That’s HOW Much?!?

The children are all nestled snug in their beds (well, one may be reading) for a little nap after getting back from running some errands and coming home for lunch. Let’s just say mama could use a glass of vino.

Kids are kids, and it seems that the only place that they were on 100% don’t-touch-anything behavior was the one shop where there were no less than three screaming children having a fit on the floor. I felt so badly for the moms, and told one of them I just had the same sitation in the supermarket 5 minutes before…which makes me think the terrible two’s are accurate for boys, and the girls provide mental anguish later in life. I digress…

Fast-forward to Michaels, where they seemed to be fine until right before we got in line. Bags of Christmas candy in the aisle, candy on the counter…that place is littered with the stuff by the checkout. And it’s all at kid-level.

My two-year-old proceeds to say he wants a treat, runs and grabs a bag of Hershey Kisses, and tears it open before I can get to him. He didn’t get to any of the candy, but the bag was torn. (Peanut gallery passers-by chimed in with a much appreciated, “tell her you need it, not that you want it!”) Guilty conscience that I have, I head to the checkout and tell the lady I’ll pay for it (while he grabs one of those stinking eye-height truffles by the counter…which was already unwrapped by some other kid and put back. Luckily, the man behind me verified to the cashier that it was already open. Have I mentioned that several of the casiers at the local store are not very friendly? ‘Cause they’re not).

Now, it’s happened once or twice in my life — well before my children came along — that something has been broken or fell off of a precarious shelf when I was looking at something, I’ve brought it to the counter, let them know what happened, offer to pay, and am told that they just damage the item out of the system. Easy, since I’ve seen a LOT of damaged items left to rot on a sales floor. So, it’s not so much that I had to pay for the bag of candy, it was that:

1. She said, “well, what am I going to do with it?” With a little bit of ‘tude.
b. Apparently, Michael’s sells Hershey Kisses for $5.99/bag. Come again? $6 for the same bag I can get (and did) on sale for $1.50 before any coupons at CVS?

I’d have felt better about it if the response was even just a sorry about your luck, or even no comment at all. I already had them with me in line, just shocked at the price for the things. But clearly I was not in a mood for attitude on top of it with a baby in a stroller, a little girl who checked out before me who insisted on puchasing her own stickers for a chain letter she received (it was a cute letter, but we spent a lot of time carefully picking a pack that her little friend would especially like), and a little boy who was having hulk-like cravings for chocolate.

Anybody want Hershey Kisses, come to my house.  I have lots.

Getting Old(er)

My birthday was last week, and I think I’m not along when I say that I’m not the only one who has to sit and think for a minute when someone asks my age. I figure once someone’s married and has kids, keeping tabs on that sort of thing are the least of their worries.

My husband ratted me out to our 4-year-old and told her my actual age. A could of years ago, i asked how old she thought I was, and she told me 22. Last year on my birthday, she said, “you’re 23 now, right?” I didn’t want to discourage her addition skills, so I applauded how smart she was and said that was exactly correct…if I were 22 the year before. What’s a few years, give or take?

Fast -forward to last night, when I was watching A Chipmunk Christmas, the same one from when I was young, and mentioned to said 4-year-old that it was teh same one I watched when I was a little girl. Her response? “Oh, how is it still in color?”

Then she laughed.

Back in the Saddle

It only took about a week, but my internet is now up (hooray! Finally!). Nothing like having my connection down in the midst of trying to get Christmas gifts ordered last minute. Then again, I guess there’s nothing like waiting until the last minute, so… Either way, in the words of Gene Autry, I’m back in the saddle.

On tap for today: Cookies! [Hopefully] lots and lots of cookies. I made a few small batches over the weekend to bring to some distant relatives that I was meeting for the first time, so I made small batches, and they are out of the house. Well, except for a dozen or two I stashed in the freezer. I have a long way to go.

In other news, I’m sitting here and noticed my Christmas cards — also sitting. I still have time for those, right?

Just One of Those Days

This morning, I was in my usual rush of getting the kids out the door and my daughter to school.  I’ll preface by saying nothing of the day was all that bad, just one of those frustrating combinations of annoying circumstances.  My mind was wandering to thoughts of what I had planned to do tonight (adult time of drinks then Christmas shopping), and what has just recently come up, preventing my guilty conscience from doing said evening out: the high school Christmas concert, featuring two of my neices.  (It’s not  that I don’t want to go, it’s just the Murphy’s Law-esque timing. I mean, how often do I have plans to go out sans kids…really?)

As thoughts of what I wasn’t going to do were swirling through my head, it wasn’t until I was almost to the next town that I realized that I drove right by my daughter’s school. And so the day began.

After I dropped her off — 8 minutes late — I returned home and thought the rest of the day would be smooth.  Then I remembered that I left her school library book, due today, on the counter.  My son decided to take a nap, so I should have known then that something was off. It did make it easier to get in a shower, get my youngest fed and dressed for her 3 month pictures, and head out the door to get my oldest from school, so there’s that.

We went to Target for the pictures, and I’m already having buyer’s remorse for picking the wrong shot, but we’ll see once it’s printed. We’ve been in this house for over a year, though, and the first portrait that has been on display was this year’s Christmas picture, put up just a few days ago.  Okay, maybe it was yesterday. So no harm, no foul on that one, I guess. There have been no less than three holidayportraits, two birthday portraits, and one family portrait since we moved in. Not a one has made it out of the envelope.

The nice thing was that I ran into a couple of people that I knew this morning and caught up a bit, but the quick trip turned into a not-so-quick trip, because I had myself on repeat: “come on…come on…now…let’s go…I’m leaving…”  A couple of times, I tried to get out of sight to see if it would make any impact.  No.  Darned the toy department and those kids who drop little pieces of things as they’re going through the store.  Target should put my kids on payroll for janitorial services. “Someone was piggy and dropped this…”

Then, another *quick* don’t touch anything trip to Michaels, to get one or two things to finish-up (read: make) the Christmas present for my daughter’s teacher.  God bless the man who let me in front of him in the super-long line. It only let me skip ahead by one, and they opened more lanes right as it was my turn, but still…so nice!

Parking lot havoc this time of year drives me crazy, especially when someone is waiting for the space I’m trying to get out of, nnot leaving me room to actually exit said space, lest someone else swoop in and get it.  Yeah, that happened on the way home.

I come home to find a note in the door that the internet repair guy, who was scheduled to come yesterday, was here (see earlier post). I must have just missed him, because the rain had not yet soaked the sheet.

Then we had lunch.

TGI(almost)F

So…I haven’t written in a while, and, even now, I’m on borrowed time. Literally.

My internet service has been down since Sunday, so I’m borrowing someone’s unsecured wi-fi from the neighborhood. Not sure who’s, but thanks! If it weren’t for the, albeit weak, signal, I would have been in quite a pickle, especially for my actual for-pay job. Which brings me to my next point.

Thanks, ISP!  That $60/month is really paying off, especially the uber-reliable fiber-optic connection, which has resulted in at least a half-dozen (conservatively speaking) service calls in the past year. I especially like sitting for days waiting for service to come fix it.  What about those who work in an office? I’d be even more ticked if I had to take several well-earned vacation days, just this week, to wait.  And wait.

So far, service went out Sunday, I called Monday and was told they didn’t need in the house but would call ahead if they did. Instead of missing an appointment for my kids, I went, and, naturally, someone came during that hour. Called my husband’s cell, not mine, which I left for the service ticket, so were long gone by the time I got home to let them in.  I called again that afternoon to set up for the next day, was told they would be here between noon and 5 (“because they go home at 6”), and…nothing. I had to pick my daughter up from school today, so imagine my surprise when there was a “sorry I missed you…please leave a cell # with customer service when you call back” note in my door when I got home.  Seriously?  It’s been five days now. And I left my cell number.  I have no other number to leave. And the company has done this before, but actually never showed up for several days, after several calls letting them know that noone has been showing up. And they don’t issue credits to the account. Fabulous!

The shame is that the repair guy(s) who routinely come to our house are very nice and helpful. The phone reps? Another issue, apparently.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Rant done.

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