Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Vacation

Ok listen. This vacation I am on, is the stuff dreams are made of.

1. The scale here doesn't work.

2. I got to nap and wake up on my own accord more than 3 times.

3. I got to shower until my fingers were pruney AND I was in total privacy.

4. I got to read an entire book that doesn't have pictures, and I've started on my second one.

5. I ran an actual 5K, outdoors, in my best time ever (into the wind, uphill both ways, with no water or HGTV show to watch)

6. Let's not forget that I got to spend time with my peoples.

7. I ate an entire one pound bag of M&M's (ok-and maybe two cheese balls, a box of turtles, three batches of pancakes with real syrup, 2% milk instead of skim, chocolate covered raisins, movie theatre popcorn and two bottles of wine) and didn't gain one pound. (see number 1)

We start our return trek home in two days. Then this blog will be back to it's regularly scheduled ramblings. Until then, Happy New Year to you all and may the force be with you while you determine you annual resolutions.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Little Sleepers

Last night, as I was sitting next to Maggie's bed, tickling her palms and waiting for her to fall back to sleep, I started to think about what a blessing it will be that she is such a light sleeper. For instance, should our home come under attack by a pack of very stealthy ninjas, Maggie will be the first line of defense with her inability to sleep through the faintest of noises.  Not that I would expect her to fight ninjas, but surely the sound of a screaming toddler would scare even the bravest of home invaders.

I blew a very quiet air kiss to my guard dog, and tried to sneak out of her bedroom without my ankle cracking. One hour and three attempts later, I finally made it to my own room; where I found a large, snoring sack of preschooler sleeping upside down in our reading chair.

As I grunted to pick up her 50 pound body and lug it into her own bed, I knocked her sweet noggin' on the door frame and tripped over a mess of toys and dirty clothes. As I kissed her emerging goose egg and soft cheeks, I was thankful that she is such a hard sleeper. I snuggled in closer to her to feel her hot breath on my face and to plant subliminal messages in her head.  I whispered in her ear how important her role as a big sister was. That she should watch out for little Maggie in school, at the park, and any other time Mom and Dad weren't around. I told her that when she's old enough for college or to live on her own, that she should talk Maggie into moving in with her. I told her that if she would take Maggie under her wing, Maggie would in turn protect her from home invading ninjas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A short list about a long road trip

One week from today, my little clan of crazies will pile into the car and start our 21 hour journey to rural Kansas to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.
So today's "List" is in celebration of our 7 day countdown:

Reasons We Thought It Would Be a Good Idea To Drive A Gagillion Miles
with Two Small Children

1.  Flying would cost our family of 4 about the same amount as we could get for Bear Cub on the black market.  I was about to call Delta, but right as I picked up the phone, the wee one asked me to snuggle and I had a change of heart.

2. We love all the Chevy Chase "Vacation" movies and want to  provide our own children with painful, character building, memory making trips.

3.  We are straight up c.r.a.z.y.

4. They are so cute when they sleep in the car.

5. We know a pharmaceutical sales rep that has offered an "emergency" sample of "copers" should things get hairy.

6. Road trips are a valid excuse to eat McDonald's, Twizzlers, Oreo cookies and Pringles.

7. Now that Prozac and I are BFF's, I have an everything's-coming-up-roses attitude
that makes things like
Two Screaming Children in a Small Confined Space for Two Straight Days
seem kind of like
A nice way to spend some quality time together.

8. The children will have a better understanding of traditional Christmas song lyrics like:
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
Dashing Through the Snow
The Weather Outside is Frightful
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

if they are in an environment where it's too cold
to wear tank tops, shorts and go shoe-less to sit on Santa's lap.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My thirtysix and a half year old body

It's taken just about two and a half years, but as of Monday, I finally hit a goal I set for myself.  My goal was to be at such a weight that no BMI calculator, scale or body chart could call me names like: overweight, obese or just plain fat.

I stepped off the scale and sized up my not-considered-fat self in the mirror. It's been close to ten years since I'd seen those numbers.  I stood up a little taller and started to compare my 36 year old body to my 26 year old body.

I'm the healthiest I have been in my entire adult life.  My stomach is no longer flat and hard, but then again, neither is my heart.  My legs are strong enough to press 300lbs, but my resolve seems to be even stronger. My skinny jeans fit, but more importantly, I am comfortable in my own skin. And as for the laugh lines that tend to linger after my smile has faded, well, I'll keep those because I've earned them.

My 36 year old body may never see a bikini again. Her mini-skirts are no so mini. And things still jiggle in places that make her feel weird. But do you know what my 36 year old body is going to tell my 26 year old body?  Eat your heart out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Preschool Vocabulary

When preschool started this year, I became aware that my little Tazmanian Princess would be learning as much from her new friends as she would from her teacher.  During our first open house tour, a fellow classmate's mother came up to me and asked if I was Rylee's mom. Yes, I say. She says "Rylee taught Nora the funniest thing....Tickle Tickle Cut the Pickle."  I laughed for three reasons:

1. I thought it was funny.
2. She learned it from school and then taught it at school, and I had no knowledge of this new knowledge...which made me nervous.
3. Sometimes I laugh when I get nervous.

I took a deep breath and was thankful that it was still preschool and I would have a few years to research (aka: asking friends on facebook) how to discuss different topics that children will learn about at school and want more information about when they get home. But as with All Things Parenting, things come up before you are ready, and you learn as you go.

When I picked up The Taz from school on Friday, she beamed ear to ear as I was buckling her seat belt.

"Momma, I learned a new word today?"
"Oh yeah? From Ms. Connie?"
"No, from Angelique."
"BUTT HOLE! Bwaa haaaa haaa haaa haaaaaaaaaa"
"Oh honey. Let's not say that."
"What? BUTT HOLE?"
"Yes. It's not a nice word to use."
"I'm gonna tell Dad that BUTT HOLE isn't a nice word when we get home."
"I think he already knows."
"He knows BUTT HOLE isn't a good word to use?"
"Mummble mummble mubbble BUTT HOLE mumbble mummmble."

As so begins our education, hers and mine, with vocabulary.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Season of Giving

A few days ago, My Chef sent me this link to a story on 60 minutes. I had to ask him if he meant to send it because it wasn't a video on car stunts or stupid human tricks. He got all somber and told me to watch it.

I watched 30 seconds of it before I wanted to turn it off. I was in a joyful mood. I was full of the Christmas spirit. I didn't want to hear tragic stories about suffering (Whoa, wait a minute. Isn't that backwards?)  I watched anyway because, if My Chef felt it was important enough to forward it to me, then it must be important, right?

I tucked this story in my heart, but at the waaay back of it.  In fact, I didn't think of it when we were organizing the garage and My Chef said "I guess we can sell the single stroller now." I didn't think of it as we piled up 3 totes full of toys the girls had outgrown. All I was thinking about was how much money we could bring in if we sold all of these things at a garage sale in the spring.

But it seems like that story was put in my heart, even at the way back of it, to start to soften it a little. A planted seed, ready to grow a giving spirit, waiting for the ripe moment of opportunity.  The opportunity came when a woman spoke at church yesterday about donating to a shelter for women and children. She spoke of their need for clothes and diapers and strollers. My Chef looked at me and said "Let's just forget about a garage sale." And I could feel my heart swell with joy at the thought of how many babies we could clothe.

Boy, I thought I was in the Christmas spirit before.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pine Cone Christmas Tree

I don't know if it's the holiday spirit, or the Prozac, or the need to do anything besides housework, but I have been craftin' up a storm lately. 

The girls and I made these Christmas tree wreaths. We bought a kit at The Boutique.
Enough to make three.

When you live in Florida, you need all the help you can get to make it feel Christmasy.

Especially when the sun is shining and the grass is green.
(Not that I'm complainin')

Then, Thanksgiving weekend, we went on a nature hike, and got bored after only seeing one butterfly and one squirrel, so we gathered pine cones.

The only craft I've ever done with pine cones is to slather them in peanut butter, then roll them in bird seed, tie a piece of yarn around it and call it a bird feeder.

But somewhere I had seen a picture of a pine cone Christmas tree. So I thought I would give it a whirl.
After two attempts on my own, I had to consult the interwebs.

This is what I came up with.

It kinda looks more like a jumbled pile of pine cones than a tree,
but that's not the point.

I'm not sure there is a point....

I think I have one more project to show you tomorrow, and then we'll go back to our regularly scheduled ramblings.