Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm Getting Old

Thank goodness Christmas is over! I love the religious aspect of the holiday and I love giving, but the emotional and financial stress for me is almost too great. I'm of the age where I don't necessarily need gifts from my childhood friends, or my mom, or any relative for that matter. My husband and I don't exchange gifts; instead we make some charitable donations then make a major purchase for the household (i.e. this year was a HOUSE {oh and yeah, a new laptop}). I'm more along the lines of buying for kids. I am risking sounding ungrateful -- and honestly I am VERY GRATEFUL for any gift I receive.

I suppose there might be some underlying selfishness to my new point of view, but overall I think it's basis lies in the following rationales:

1 -- Christmas is about the birth of Christ; not what candle or frame I should buy for the office gift exchange, or purchasing a gift card because I don't want to take the time to THINK about what my friends REALLY LIKE and buy it. It's about feeling the joy of the Holy Family. I will refrain from mounting the soap box and spewing thoughts about commercialization of holidays.

2 -- I'm older. I'm an adult. I receive gifts of friendship, love, companionship daily from my friends and family and community. I receive joy through these gifts that I cannot touch. Isn't that thought process the natural part of aging? I am not entitled to receive an iPod or fancy smellin' perfume or a new car. After all, that's just STUFF. SIDE NOTE: This revalation came to me through my best friend who bravely said, "since you just bought a house and I just got back from the cruise, do you just want to buy for the kids this year?". This statement made me ask myself: why do we even buy stuff for each other?? It's about the kids anyway. Thanks Mrs. John Taylor!

3 -- Kids are just so wonderful. And even though I am suckered by the Santa Claus, it's the hope and joy in their eyes that is just indescribable at this time of year. I only wish I could eloquently type/write the emotion in their faces upon seeing images of Christmas. (It's so wonderful that us parents will heighten the Brat Bar and put up with more Brat-i-ness because we already bought the Barbie Dreamhouse and don't want to back to the Toys R Us and stand in yet another long friggin line to get our money back!) Even if you don't have your own children, anyone can appreciate a child's hope-filled face.

I thoroughly enjoyed having a family filled house over for Christmas Day dinner. And seeing the kiddos go from one gift to the next as if they will run out of life before they get the chance to at least touch them all. We had Hubby's Viet Namese friend over and he played guitar for us all. Acoustic carols. Beautiful. (He also brought egg rolls again! YUM!)

So, in summary, I guess I'm surrendering to the fact that I'm getting old. I feel like a grandma. :) That explains all the new gray hairs!

If you are a friend or relative, office co-worker, potential Christmas gift-giver of any sort, consider yourselves officially off the hook of purchasing a gift for me at Christmastime.

Merry Christmas

(and GO Playoff Bound COWBOYS)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shaolin Showdown at Santa's

Tonight, My Eldest visited with a friend, Matt, she hasn't seen in quite a while -- mainly because they go to different schools now. But they still are quite fond of each other and seem pretty close still (which I'm thankful for!).

Matt and his family met at our new house and we followed each other to Santa's Village. On the way to the Village, Eldest and Matt had a secret conversation (all of which I could hear but shhhh -- it's a secret!). This is how it went:

E (her hands around her mouth like holding a cup): Guess what, Matt
M (in a whisper wearing a smile): What?
E (mischievously): There's a boy at my school. His name's Ted. I fell in love with him.

She laughs vigorously in a whisper. Matt follows suit and tries to trump her:

M (in a whisper): Oh yeah. Well, I have three girlfriends. They're all in different grades. Olivia is in 2nd grade, Raven is in 3rd grade and Tammy is in 4th grade.

He laughs vigorously in whisper.

Then they start conversing in a normal volume of voice about school comparisons. They realize they both have a girl with the same name in their class, but different last names, which sparks a conversation of name comparison. Then Eldest tells Matt about a boy named Colton in her class with whom she had some bad experience in the beginning of the year (yet they are good friends now per their teacher):

E: Do you have a boy named Colton?
M: No. What kind of name is Colton?
E: He is sometimes mean to me. In the beginning of the year he called me "girl" and "bucky".
M: That is mean.

Then they start talking about other stuff unrealted to Colton, bucky, meanness, or names.


About 10 seconds later, and after some careful contemplation, Matt speaks up:
"Hey Eldest. You know that boy who called you Bucky. You know what I would do to him if I ever saw him??"
E: Would you punch him?
M: No.
E: Oh.
M: But I would FIGHT him.

Silence for about 4 seconds.

E: Would you challenge him to a shaolin showdown?
M: Oh. NO WAY. No shaolin showdown. But I would *definitely* fight him.

Guess it's nice to know that someone is looking out for My Eldest besides me and the Hubby. Thanks Matt.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Declaration of Love for My Hubby

My Husband *hates* malls.

It is difficult to get him out of the house -- especially during the week.
Getting him to a mall on a Tuesday night that us about 20-30 miles away so that Our Girls can take pictures with a jolly Santa was an act of Congress.

Today, I love my husband even more than I did yesterday -- and it grows the more I tell this story.

You see, last night, Our Family trekked to a mall that is very Dallas-cliche in an attempt to get a magical photo op with ole St. Nick. I had taken some care in asking some co-workers where they had thier kid's picture made, and this mall was recommended. In an attempt to be efficient, I also asked, "where in the mall is Santa?" so I could park nearby. I find out by two different people that Santa is right through this particular sporting goods store. Got it. Park, get in, snap pic, leave.

We finish supper, do the dishes, get the girls all dressed up -- tights and all. It's already bed time for The Little One. Bed time is fast approaching for My Eldest.

Both girls fall asleep in the car on the way to the mall. They wake up grumpy and puffy eyed. Hubby and I bicker with Eldest and warn her that if she doesn't straighten up before we see Santa, we will be asking Santa to put her name on the Naughty Kid list and bring her a lump of coal. She pouts but acquiesces.

Parking is SUPER. Great! Going just as planned. Break out diaper bag, put baby in stroller, grab baby's sister by hand and let's roll.

We huff and puff our way through the sporting goods store. No Santa.

But there is a cute sign that says, "Santa is now by Sears on the lower level". They don't tell you that Sears is a half mile walk away from where you are currently standing.

Shit. Hubby is hating me right now, I think. Could this get any worse??


We walk through the mall only to be accosted and obnoxiously approached by 20-something trying-to-makke-a-little-extra-money-right-now (plastic) sales people at a kiosks that are strategically planted approximately 5 feet between each other.

In a French accent, "Madame, ah you nail natwahl?" Are my what what? I ask, "excuse me?". He repeats the phrase 3 times before I understand that he's asking if my nails are natural. Neither of us have been in a mall recently enought to figure out that this is the new way of drumming up bisness. Hubby is huffy. I politely walk away only to be slammed by aromatherapy, hermit crabs, moving pictures and remote control helicopters. Rude. Rude. RUDE!

And then the choir sings, the vastness illuminates and

In his beautiful suspenders. Giant jolly belly. Long natural wavy beard. Long natural hair. Cute round wire-rimmed glasses. Red nose and cheeks. He's a magical sight indeed. Santa Claus sits and chats and laughs -- with the DOGS

You see, Tuesday night is friggin PET NIGHT. So there are a ton of pets in line! We ask the 20-something I-don't-want-to-go-to-college-right-now punk-ass security guard, "where is the entrance to the line?" After all, the posted time for Santa pictures is until 9:00 p.m. and it's only 8:20.

Guard (bowing his chest importantly): Awww, it's closed.
Me: uhhh, excuse me?
Guard (defensively): Well y'know, Santa's gotta go home and eat. He's been here since 10 a.m.

I collect my madness and take a big gulp. God gives me patience.

Me: I just drove 40 minutes to get here. The sign says you're open till 9:00.
Guard: This is the busiest night I've seen since I been here. It'll take him more than an hour to get through these folks in line.

SHIT -- Hubby is going to LOVE this news. I turn to Hubby and explain what's going on. He's not happy, but he took the news REALLY WELL.

We ended up watching Santa from afar. My Eldest decided last year that she does not believe in Santa. She figured it out on her own, and we had a long talk about letting the littler kids believe and not spoil the secret. Now, this year, she seems on the fence. She WANTS to believe in Santa, but she also is logically realizing something just doesn't add up. So watching her lingering desire to believe as expressed by her twinkling brown eyes and slight smile as she looked on while all the other kids, dogs, cats, lizards and the like get their picture with Santa was so sad for me to experience.

We drove all that way only to be turned away. My plan imploded. As a result, I wrote a big complaint letter to the mall's management office. Hubby wrote an email to a local news station ranting about the experience. I like his point: Why is the mall choosing to turn away HUMAN children who have human emotions attached to the holidays and Santa, and instead opting to have pets, who don't know or care who Santa is??! I fully respect that pets are family members, but a mall is not the time or place for a pet to be. Take the pet to a Petco where there is a Santa waiting for you there. I mean, the liability of having pets at a mall has to be incredible. How would the mall react if someone was deathly allergic to cats? What would they do if a pit bull attacked a child in line? And I'm already on an anti-cat bandwagon right now and I shudder to think that a cat might actually urinate on or spray Santa. Who would allow their kids to sit up there after having animals up there? Frustrating. Very frustrating.

I expressed over and over again to Hubby my gratitude. He really was fantastic about the whole thing and I'm give him public, global props on being a team-player last night.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Roaches & Dog Food

Today I ponder as I type in my rubber gloves: Am I a neglectful mother?

Today My Little One ate pieces of a dead, dried cockaroach. Later in the day, she ate dog food.

Totally friggin nasty gross to the max disgusting on both counts.

(She's so cute, though that I still give her smooches.)

We have moved!! (The pipe just burst under the kitchen sink thank you very much Mr. DPD).
We are Homeowners!! (Did you ever friggin clean your house, ASS? After all, you had 2 english sheep dogs and SEVEN {oh how I strongly dislike them} cats.)
At the tender age of 35, I finally own my own home.
Deep breath.
Big gulp of Old Grand Dad and coke.

Yes -- big news, right? Exciting, indeed! I'm now a suburbanite. Nice. Love it!

How does my new home pertain to My Little One's new protien-enriched diet?

Scene One: Well, see, we've been a little busy. She's still a crawler. I put her on the floor as I lift boxes or move furniture or supervise projects. In our old house, there was a crusty roach on the pergo and I was helping Hubby with moving when I hear My Eldest yell, "eeewwwwww, Mommy! Little Sister ate a cockaroach!!" I saw that damned roach when I walked in the door. I knew My Little One might go there. I knew she would reach out and pick it up and try to eat it. I saw it there and just hoped that she wouldn't. I trusted My Eldest to supervise and specially asked her to watch Little Sister so that she didn't put anything in her mouth. But neither hope nor Eldest did not take the place of me just being The Mom and picking up the roach proactively. I learned my lesson. and SCENE.

Scene Two: At the New House, My Little One is playing happily on the living room floor with her Little People Zoo. I hear her squealing with delight as I am taking a much needed potty break. ~~ Out-of-place background information: my mom is here with her two dogs. ~~ So, Mom is scrubbing the linoleum in the laundry room (a.k.a. former owner's super stinky urine-soaked kitty litter box room-thingie -- yet another reason I strongly dislike cats). Hubby is doing I don't know what when suddenly I hear, "eeeewww YUCK!! Little One, don't do that! Don't eat the dog food!" When I get there, I want to tell you -- she had a goodly amount of food in that mouth of hers. It was so freaking grossly disgustingly nasty. She was fussing at us as we are digging our dirty fingers in her mouth retrieving the vienna-sausage-like goo out of her toothless mouth. For the life of us, we could not get her to take a swig of water. Okay. THIS TIME, I learned my lesson. On the baby shift-work. and SCENE.

Moving is just great with an eight month old.


Oh -- Me gusto Automatica Grammatica!! Cowboys keep on truckin'!!