Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is it.

Today is my last day of work before having 17 days off in a row. The best part? Only 2 of those are vacation days… the rest are just gifts for working in higher education and earning much less than I could out there in the “real world”. Ahem.

Everyone around here keeps asking if I am ready for Christmas. Emotionally – yes, I am. Christmas itself isn’t much of an ordeal for me. Homer is Jewish, so that fact that we celebrate anything to do with Christmas with my family has always been a no-brainer. That makes it pretty stress-free on the family front. The other good thing is that none of the extended family festivities happen at my house. I just have to show up with my kids and my potluck dish and that’s all that is expected of me.

Of course, when people are asking whether or not I’m ready, they are really asking if I have my shopping done. Nope. Not even close. Am I stressed about it? Nope. I know exactly what I am buying people and where to get it (I have a chart drawn up). I have the day off tomorrow and will shop all day while the kids are still in school/daycare. I have my route mapped out and will not hit one single mall. I’ll wrap everything up after the kids have gone to bed on Friday night and I’ll be done. I do it this way every year and the system hasn’t failed me yet.

For the rest of the holidays, I’ll just tinker around the house (read: clean out closets, cupboards and the basement), spend lots of time with the kids and Homer and meet up with some friends for coffee or lunch. Seventeen days seems like a long time right now, but I’m pretty sure it will seem too short on the other side of it.

I’m not sure if I’ll post in the next couple of weeks or just take a little break.

Wishing all my bloggy friends a wonderful Christmas full of cookies, friends, family and wishes granted. I’ll see you when I see you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dear Santa Jr.

The kids are excited about Christmas, but they're not in the over-the-top, frenzied mode yet, which is GOOD.
We finally got down to writing our letters to Santa last night (I know, bad mom). Here are the requests:


A Pound Puppy (with one butterscotch ear and one white ear with butterscotch spots):

Littlest Pet Shop Collector Tin (if you look this up, you will often see it called "rare" - a word that makes slacker Santa shudder):


A marker. When pressed, he will specify black.

And a Wonka Bar.

A candy cane

And mittens

I think Santa`s getting off pretty easy at the Simpson house.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dear Santa....

I need this.

I have been very, very good.
Really. Good.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Damn you, weather man.

I like a winter storm as much as the next guy. In fact I LOVE winter storms for the most part. If it happens on a work day, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll have the day off. My neighbours on both sides LOVE their snow blowers, leaving us to just shovel the walkway from our front door to the driveway. I love hunkering down with the family, baking cookies, eating soup, watching movies and playing games.

As much as I love a good snowstorm, I did not love what happened yesterday. Lisa’s birthday party has been planned for a month. We were going to a gymnastics place with 15 of her closest friends. They would jump, bounce, tumble and balance for an hour, eat pizza, cupcakes and fruit for another hour, then I would send all the kiddies home with loot bags. Birthday festivities would be done.

They were calling for a storm. It was to start Friday night and continue throughout Saturday into the wee hours of Sunday. That would have been fine – plenty of time to get the roads cleared for a Sunday afternoon party. Except, that the storm was late. By a day. I spent Sunday morning frantically trying to figure out phone numbers for kids in Lisa’s class that she only knew by their first names. I booked an alternate date with the gymnastics place. I threw the cupcakes and the perishable items from the loot bags into the freezer. I broke the birthday girl’s heart.

Lisa was actually quite understanding about the whole thing. Of course she was disappointed, but she didn’t cry or even pout. After a long, long hug, she suggested that, during the time that the party would have been, we play games and all have fun together. So we did.

The new party is in two weeks. I will go ballistic if there’s another storm. Do you hear me weather man? BALLISTIC!

Friday, December 14, 2007

How? When?

How is it that when I think of her, I see this:

But when I actually look at her, I see this?

When did she get so big?

This weekend, she turns 7. I will be the mother of a seven-year-old!

Where did the time go?

More importantly, how do I slow it down?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Seven negative things (only 7?!)

JMC challenged her readers to do a Seven Negative Things meme. Negative, I can do!

1. I will go out of my way just to avoid rejection. Like the time in grade nine when I quit the basketball team rather than tell the coach that I would have to leave early from the Wednesday practice to make it to my piano lesson. My 13-year-old logic concluded that it was better to miss the whole season of basketball, rather than: a) talk to the coach and ask for an accommodation; or b) talk to my piano teacher and ask to change my lesson time. All these years later, I still hate myself for being so stupid.

2. I am very secretive. Tell me a secret and I won’t tell a soul… you can take that to the bank. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can become bad when it hurts someone to know that I didn’t trust him or her enough to share what I know.

3. I have zero tolerance for people who make excuses instead of taking responsibility for something they have done. I get sarcastic, quiet and bitchy and instantly think less of them.

4. I also have zero tolerance for people who complain all the time. Everyone complains now and then, but there are some people just have such a rough life that they must complain about it constantly. That’s me being sarcastic, because my experience is that people who actually have a hard life are much better at coping with it than the complainers. I can’t even fake that I feel sympathy for the person. I just think they’re weak.

5. I have serious self-image issues. Okay, not serious in the sense that it would lead me to any kind eating disorder or other self-destructive behaviour, just serious in that it’s out of whack. I hate my skin (pale - but not porcelain pale, rashy), my hair (not curly or straight, mousey colour, never had a hairstyle I was crazy about), my body (boobs too small, bum too big, arms not toned enough). I don’t complain about any of these things (see number 4), but I always wish I were just a little bit better.

6. I am terrible at keeping up with friendships. I think maybe if something like Facebook was around when I was in high school/university, I may have been better. I can barely get Christmas cards out, let alone remember anyone’s birthday (or send a card or even email if I do remember). My best friends are my circle of friends from high school. They are good at keeping up, so I haven’t lost them yet.

7. I don’t have a sentimental bone in my body. I’ve been married for 10 years, and I have never once bothered to watch the wedding video. Our wedding album is the book of proofs provided by the photographer (we ordered 1-5x7 and 1-8x10 for ourselves, plus a few for our families.) I don’t keep notes, cards, report cards or anything else from my past. I have some photos from different times in my life, but they’re all in the basement, just thrown into a box. I keep them, because I know I should. I will do baby books for my kids, but I have yet to get past the ultrasound pictures for Lisa’s. Bart and Maggie don’t even have a book yet.

So, that was cheery!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We are the Simpsons.

A few weeks ago, Swistle surprised a lot of people by revealing that the kids' names that she uses on her blog are not really her kids' names. In the comments to that post Marie Green shocked even Swistle when she said that her kids also used pseudonyms.
Awhile after that SaLy started a new blog with code names for her kids and herself.
Just yesterday, Misty announced that she had removed any mention of her kids' or husband's names from her past entries, to thwart the "child molesters, stalkers, or serial killers".
Oh my, have I really been that naive?
So it is that I stayed up late last night editing each blog entry to give my kids new names. I thought of using their middle names, a la Swistle, but those would be more revealing than their first names. So now, I would like to introduce you to:

Homer & Marge (aka LoriD).
He loves meat and beer.
She loves her family.

Lisa, who is smart and principled, but not above being silly.

Bart, who can turn anything into a fun time.
And, little Maggie, who is smarter than all of us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's the thought that counts.

About 5 years ago, I unwrapped a Christmas present that made me laugh like no other. I present for you, the VAC 550:

My dear husband thought this was the perfect gift for me. Something that will make our cheese last for weeks (even though we go through a giant brick of cheese in 1 week). Something we can use for all of our freezer goods (we only have the little freezer on top of the fridge and that only hosts ice cubes, ice cream, Popsicles and a few frozen vegetables). Something to keep our cookies fresh (because he also sprung for these accessories):

Never mind that you have to suck the air out EACH TIME you go in for a cookie.

Needless to say, it sat on the counter for about a year and was more of a novelty than anything. It was a great thing to bring up in front of other people when discussing lame gifts. Despite the fun of the VAC 550, it was sent to the garage long ago in favour of more counter space.

Fast forward to the weekend when I had a brilliant idea. For Lisa’s birthday party this weekend, I’m making the kids Christmas cookie decorating kits in lieu of loot bags. I bought 16 Christmas tins at the dollar store. I’m going to make the gingerbread men (and trees and snowmen) and include in the tin some icing and candies for the decorations). I needed something to package the icing so they could snip off the corner and direct the flow of icing.

What could I use? You guessed it, the VAC 550! Now, do you think I could find the thing in the garage? Right again, no I could not. I’m going to have to rummage through the pit that is our garage and find this appliance that I suddenly neeeeeed, but cannot find. I love you Vac 550. Come out, come out wherever you are!

How about you? What is the lamest gift you ever received?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day 4 - Dare I say...

All is well.

Maggie was less pissed. Today was "dress like an elf day", so even screaming she looked pretty darn cute.

No one is sick.

After work, I have to head back to my parents' house, but this time it's to drop the big guys off for a sleepover, as tomorrow is a PA day (no school).

Despite my busy day at work, I am feeling quite calm and competent today. Almost like this could all work out. Almost...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Day 3 - Are you freaking kidding me?

The babysitter is feeling much better.

Maggie is still pissed, but she screamed for only a couple of minutes before settling in today.

So, why did I have to drive an extra hour this morning? That would be because Bart spent the night puking, so I had to drive him to my parents' this morning so they could take care of him for the day.

Anyone want to place a wager on who will be sick tomorrow? My money's on me, since I spent the whole night dealing with Bart the Puke. AND, I have 5 meetings tomorrow that will be oh so fun to reschedule.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 2 - sorry about your windows

So, the babysitter is sick today. That's right. Babysitter. Day 2. Sick.

Bart will go to our friend's house after school. Homer will have to pick him up and drive him across town at noon. He'll then go to get Lisa at 3:30. He'll kill a little time with her, then go pick up Bart, then Maggie, then me.

Maggie was so happy when I picked her up yesterday. She was singing "if you're happy and you know it" and wiggling her little bum. She greeted me with a big hug and lots of giggles (nervous laugh?) She chatted all the way home about her day.

This morning, she willingly got into the car. Willingly got out of the car. Walked to the front door, then started crying, "No mommy! No!" I finally released her arms from the grasp they had on my neck and hair and passed her off to her teacher. If your windows shattered this morning, I'm afraid that was probably my baby screaming her head off at my unforgivable betrayal. Sorry about that.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 1 of the new arrangements.

I mentioned awhile back that our nanny was leaving to go and have a baby. Well, Friday was her last day. After a few tears, a little party and some cupcakes, the kids said good-bye to someone who has been a part of their little lives for more than a year. We’ll go to visit her one weekend after the baby is born (she’s a 4-hour drive away), and we’ll keep up with her over email, but for the most part, she’s gone.

So, today was the first day of the new arrangements. As expected, Maggie was royally pissed off that we were not planning to stay with her while she went about her day at the new daycare (I ended up getting a spot at the one I wanted, where I know everyone and they know me, thus reinforcing my positive attitude, no back-up plan approach). Never mind that she completely ignored us on the two mornings we took her for orientation – us leaving was not part of the deal. As a last ditch effort, she wailed, “ [Nanny] come and sit?” No sweetie… you’ll have to make new friends today. I called over at 10:30 and she had been complaining on and off throughout the morning, but was generally doing okay. I feel an ulcer forming, but that’s me.

I went to pick up Bart to walk over to his new afternoon babysitter’s house. He was slightly miffed that I was there… he just wanted the babysitter to get him. Do you ever get the feeling that you just can’t win? We’ll see how he feels at the end of the day, but he was quite excited that his little friend from school was coming too and was happy to shove me out the door.

I’ll pick up Lisa at the end of the school day and walk over with her too. I don’t worry about her at all. She has Bart there and, even though she comes across as very shy, she’s actually quite adventurous and eager to try new things. She’s also very likable and well behaved, so I don’t anticipate any problems. Hopefully this prediction doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass.

So, there’s where we sit in the middle of Day 1. I’m hoping that, magically, Days 2 to 100 will fall into place, everyone will be happy and I can actually get some work done. Let me say it for you: HA!