Month: November 2010

Bah Humbug I Say!

I confess. I hate the holidays.

Once upon a time, I think I loved them. When I was a kid, I lived for the holidays. Family, food, presents (not necessarily in that order). It was the best. I have brilliant memories of me and my anxious siblings trying to guess what is under the tree, opening up a new door for each day of Advent, lighting the candles every night on our Advent wreath, Christmas plays at school, midnight mass… it was wonderful. My parents never had much money to give us everything we dreamed of, and it was painfully obvious the year that I got a “fake” Cabbage Patch Doll and I was way too embarrassed to show it to any of my friends with all of their beautiful Cabbage Patch dolls complete with Xavier Roberts tattooed across their butts. I eventually got a Cabbage Patch with money that I had saved from my allowance. Now that I am all grown up, regardless that I didn’t always get what I wanted, my parents created wonderful memories and traditions that are very painful for me to break. I feel like I am leaving something behind when I can’t be there and it guts me every year.

So why do I hate the holidays? Ever since I met my now husband, I feel like we have been pulled in two very different directions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband’s family and it isn’t that I don’t want to spend time with them, but I’m not certain they had the same traditions growing up. At least, I never hear my husband talk about them. His parents worked in health care and more often than not had to work the holidays, plus lately his mom hasn’t been decorating for the holidays and has been trying to give us her decorations. I can’t wrap my head around why- I hope that I am decorating my house well into old age whether someone comes to visit me or not. Putting up the tree, the lights and the wreath are all things that I have been doing ever since I can remember. I can’t imagine not doing it. Again, my memories and traditions for the holidays run very deep.

This year is no exception to the usual tug-of-holiday-war. My brother just got married and I want to spend time with him and his new wife. My sister-in-law just got engaged so I want to spend time with her fiance and get to know him. We try to find a middle but it is seemingly impossible and someone always ends up feeling hurt. We just can’t win and it always overshadows all the happiness, joy and magic of the season. Don’t get me started on shopping… it is probably the thing I have come to despise the most. Not sure where I would be now without Cyber Monday.

Therefore. I hate the holidays. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want anyone to think we don’t care or that we don’t want to be there. We do.

I’m really trying to get over this horrific attitude about the holidays. Somehow, I want to be able to create memories and traditions for my son to remember in the years to come. I am hoping that some of his child magic will bring some joy back to the holiday season for me.

How about you? Do you dread or look forward to the holidays every year? 

A Weddingful Weekend

I have been away from the old PC for the past 4 days for a number of reasons- my illness is one of them (bronchitis and sinus infection that has swiftly blossomed into walking pneumonia) and my little brother’s wedding.

I have been a bridesmaid only a couple of times. The first was for my sister who got married in her backyard with an internet minister. I am certainly not knocking her wedding by any means, but it wasn’t really the “full” bridesmaid experience. I bought a nice summer sundress from JCPenney and wore flip flops. She didn’t have a bachelorette party or even a shower. So a part of me thinks that it might not really count. The second time I was asked to be in a wedding for my best friend, I miraculously got pregnant and my little guy decided that showing up 3 weeks early was just fine. I went into labor the night before her rehearsal dinner. Needless to say, I have a ginormous maternity bridesmaids dress in my closet if anyone needs one. Never been worn.

I look at my brother’s wedding as the first real time that I had the chance to be a bridesmaid. It is a helluva lot of work. Expensive too. But, there is nothing like being a part of something special. Something bigger than you. I also had the honor of singing in their wedding. I’m not sure why or how, but my voice made a major comeback. Just for that day and that hour, I had my voice. An hour later, it was gone. I believe God works in mysterious ways.

It really was a wonderful night. Despite my illness and the fact that Jack didn’t make it down the aisle (as suspected) or the reception (what do you expect from a 2 year old?), I felt closer to my family than I have felt in years. We danced, we drank, we joked and laughed. My feet are wrecked and instead of getting better I have totally regressed but, it was worth celebrating and being part of such a special day for my little brother.

Me and my new sister, Sarah
My little munchkin and the tie that was longer than him.

Moms Don’t Get Sick Days

If there is anything that has been a significant change since becoming a parent, it is that there are no sick days. There is no real rest. There is no lying around with a blanket with a hot cup of tea after getting home from work. For 3 more hours after I get home from my day job, I still have to be mom. I still have to make the kiddo some dinner. I still have to chase him around the house. I confess though, I didn’t bother doing the dishes or pick up any of his toys.

I have been sick for the past couple of days. Knock down, throw down hacking my lungs out, fever, nose drainage that never seems to stop sick. With limited PTO left in my arsenal, I’ve been trudging through work. Thankfully, I can get away with never having to get up out of my chair on most days. The worst thing about working when you’re sick is passing it on to everyone else. I’m sure I’ll be getting the death stares from people soon enough when they come down with this thing.

Yesterday, my most awful day thus far of this horrific cold, I was prepping myself on my drive home for the chasing of my toddler and hoping to find the energy somewhere to deal with him. I’m not sure if deep down he understood that both his mommy and daddy didn’t feel well, but he came up to me after my dinner of Lipton soup as I was slumped down in my recliner and asked to, “Watch Elmo on mommy’s puter.” I happily obliged. My cute little man snuggled up on my lap and sang along to his favorite tunes from The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. He even gave me several random hugs. At the end of the movie he said “I’m ready for jammies,” WHA?? After jammies, we watch the last 10 minutes of Toy Story 3 and he said “I’m ready for bed.” DOUBLE WHA?? My 2 year old maniac is rarely like this. He would much rather be climbing the walls and doing somersaults off the couch. So, somehow he knew. He new that his mommy and daddy needed a break.

We have a busy weekend ahead with my brother’s wedding. I am now convincing myself that I am on the upswing and that I will have my voice back and ready to sing on Saturday. I am on my third cup of lemon honey tea and am not going to give up until this illness is gone.

Welcome to the cold and flu season folks! I would recommend keeping your distance from me for a few days…

Wordless Wednesday

After my brother’s wedding this weekend, I can finally once again enjoy hair freedom.

I purchased an iPhone app that let’s me try out different hairstyles. I am amazed how much difference a hairstyle can make to your overall look. Now, to decide what to do…

Current Me
Wispy Bob

Accentuated Concave Bob

Classic Bob

Another Bob

Razored Bob
Bangs- Shorter

Bangs-Keep Long

Or… could I be so risky???

Uber Short

Regardless of what I end up choosing to do, how freaking cool is the iPhone???!

I Voted

It’s Election Day! I voted and I am wearing my sticker proudly today! 

After months of being bombarded with negative campaigning, sleazy tactics and countless calls to our home, we are finally here.

Some of my friends and colleagues shocked me today though by stating that they didn’t want to vote for the following reasons:
2) Party politics have turned me off- I don’t know who to believe
3) I don’t have time

Voting is one of the most important things that make us American. It is a freedom that I take seriously. Especially as a woman, it is my civic duty. Regardless of the negative campaigns and the party politics (and yes, it drives me super crazy too), I do care. I care about how much I am being taxed. I care about my community and my son’s future schools. I care about MN small businesses. I care about job creation. I CARE. How can you not care? I simply cannot fathom that statement! As far as not having time, that is total B.S. The law says that your employer has to give you the time (I guess if that is your excuse). This is what the law states:

In 2010, the Minnesota Legislature expanded employees’ opportunity to be absent from work without penalty to vote.  Legislators removed the provision that had previously allowed such absences only in the morning of Election Day.
Every employee who is eligible to vote has the right to be absent without penalty or loss of salary or wages.  Under the new law, employees have the right to be absent from work “for the time necessary to appear at the employee’s polling place, cast a ballot, and return to work on the day of that election.”
Employers or “other persons” may not either directly or indirectly refuse or otherwise interfere with an employee’s right to take the time to vote on Election Day.  Violations of the statute are guilty of a misdemeanor.
So… the excuse that there is no time doesn’t really fly. 
As far as frustrating party politics, I’m with you. I, too, feel like the race for Governor is almost worth a huge eye roll. But, I did my due diligence. I did my research. I voted for the candidate whom I felt most closely aligned with my values and concerns.
I guess, if you can’t see the importance of what it means to have a Vote in this great country, then you give up all your rights to complain. Whether you believe it or not, you have a voice. Whether you agree or not, you have a voice. Use it. Vote today.

Halloween Happiness

When I was a kid, I looked forward to Halloween every year. The costumes. The candy. Running from house to house with my friends. Seeking out the scary haunted houses in the neighborhood. Coming home to watch Michael Jackson’s Thriller (now I’m showing my age) with our take dumped out all over the floor and eating so much sugar that my tummy hurt for days.

I longed to become a parent just so I could watch my child experience the same thing. I am so happy that our neighborhood is so quiet, safe and peaceful and the kids can run around trick-or-treating without being afraid. Jack’s very first Halloween he was just a wee 7 weeks old and it made for some darling photos. Last year, he wasn’t really sure what was going on but we took him out door to door, mostly to meet some of our neighbors. This year was very different. At age 2, Jack is very much aware, talkative and totally open to new adventures. I stayed home to man the trick-or-treaters while daddy took Jack out and about and apparently they had a blast. Jack didn’t want to come back home and started telling daddy, “Let’s go that way,” as they cruised around in the wagon. Jack’s excitement was contagious; and, it was one of those moments that make becoming a parent totally worth it.

I wanted to rant today about how rude some of the kids were that came to our door (and upon the discovery that our house was giving out FULL SIZE candy bars, a few kids made repeat appearances). However, I’d rather my memory of Halloween 2010 belong to my kiddo. It was more than just one big memory- from the candy to the costume, the smiles and the laughter… We’re quite happy to cut it into many small useful pieces.

Mommy! I’m ready to go!
Mommy! Why haven’t we left yet??
Bye Mommy! Off to go trick-or-treating!
Yay! My ride is here!

Happy Halloween and many more to come!