Category Archives: Holidays

How do you plan to spend your Mother’s Day Weekend?

TGIF! It’s been a long week. I’m kicking off my MDW with a long soak in a hot bath.

Tomorrow morning I plan on indulging in a quick visit to the laundromat to catch up on two weeks’ worth of washing, including many puke-soiled bedsheets and towels. I know it might not sound like much when compared to a weekend spa getaway, but believe you me, I plan on enjoying the solitude and finding comfort in the buzzing noise of all those costly dryers.

After that, I intend to shop for groceries and other household items at no less than five stores, because I just can’t seem to find a one-stop shop around these parts to fit all our needs. 

Following that, I imagine I’ll whip up a batch of our homemade Borax ant-killer recipe to tackle the lovely family of ants that have graced us with their kitchen-counter-ly presence this week. Nothing like a good raining to bring about the bugs.

And, if things go according to plan, I just might be able to squeeze in a pedicure, pick up a bottle (or three!) of my latest favorite wine—a Vinho Verde from the shop downtown—purchase a few new plants (an annual MD tradition at our house), and sleep in a morning or two. 

Here’s also to hoping that I remember to reach out to my own mother and let her know just how much she’s loved and appreciated. (I can barely keep a thought for more than five seconds these days!)

Happy MDW, all! ❤️

‘Tis the season for lying about Santa, Elf on the Shelf, and trying not to murder your spouse when putting up and righting the Christmas tree.

Our oldest girl asked recently if the Santa with whom she took her picture last Christmas was the real Santa. After a brief glance toward the hubs and a pause that lasted perhaps two seconds too long, I replied unsteadily, “I’m not sure. It’s hard to say if that was the real Santa, or one of Santa’s helpers.”

“Huh?” she asked, rightfully confused.

“Well,” I stammered, “Santa has helper elves that look just like him. So, sometimes we see the real Santa, and sometimes it’s just one of his elves. We can never tell.”

“Oh,” she said, digesting the information. And then she walked away, as if it were just all too much to consider.

The hubs and I exchanged another glance and then agreed we felt quite ridiculous lying to our daughter about the bearded man in a red suit with flying reindeer. I mean, the whole Santa thing is absurd, really. But we also agreed we didn’t want to rob her of the magic and mystery of Christmas that we both experienced as young children.

I’m just dreading the day that she comes home from school—like I did some time in the early elementary years—and tells us how someone in her class told her that Santa is make-believe, and instead of taking him at his word, confronts us with the issue and explains how she didn’t believe the kid because her mommy and daddy would never lie to her.

Well, until then, we will just keep participating in the ludicrous lie that is Santa Claus.

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Moving on. Elf on the Shelf. I never intended to have one because I fancy myself unconventional. And also, I felt a little uncertain about threatening my pretty well-behaved kid with a tale about an ever-watching twelve-inched stuffed sprite who reports back to Santa.

However, last year, an Elf was gifted to us by a family member. So, I opened the box in secret, read through the book, and took one evening, right before bed, to introduce the Elf and the whole far-fetched concept to Nora.

Needless to say, she was terrified. Most kids may accept at face value the idea that Santa would send a household elf to watch over a family and tattle back if necessary; not this kid. Watching her face process the silly—and admittedly frightening—scheme was priceless. After two nights and mornings of talking about the Elf and witnessing his flights of fancy, she bravely asked if we could mail the Elf back to Santa. Like, immediately.

And so we did. More lies.

The Elf went back into the box and she and I later talked about how he might return when she was a year older. Better able to handle the thought that some weird creature was flying about her house by night and watching her every move by day. Because that’s not creepy at all for a kid.

At this point, I haven’t yet decided if the Elf will join our family again this year or not. But, I will admit to having changed my mind about using a sprite to threaten my kids into behaving properly. These days, I need all the help I can get.

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Every year I DREAD having to put up the Christmas tree. Dread. This probably stems from the trauma of childhood Christmases and watching my dad under the tree, year after year with the tree stand, tightening and loosening this screw and that, rotating and twirling trunks left and right. All while my mom insisted over and over again that the damn thing still wasn’t straight. Wasn’t showing its best side. We children held our collective breaths and winced while our dad stomped off and stormed around a bit until he had calmed down enough to try again. We silently urged our mom to just say good enough is good enough. But it had to all be perfect.

Now that I’m one-half of the tree-putting-up committee at my own house, I’ve learned to expect less than perfection for sanity’s sake. Still, adjusting those stubborn screws and getting that damn conifer to stand straight is a HUGE pain in the arse.

On top of all of this stress, I fear we have lost the tree stand in the recent move. Which means we may need to purchase a new one. I was browsing today on Amazon and discovered a few brands that people claim will save marriages and should be invested in no matter the high cost of $100.

One hundred dollars for a tree stand?! You’ve got to be effing kidding me! For one hundred dollars, included in that deal better freaking be Bing Crosby himself come back from the dead to hold the trunk merrily, all while singing “White Christmas” round the clock for our family and holiday guests. Sheesh.

On second thought. I guess it does beat the cost of having to pay for counseling and/or a divorce lawyer. I think I’ll have to sleep on it.

 

Last Day of Holiday Vacation

Does it mean something terrible that after twelve days off from work I’m hoping for a snow day tomorrow? Or a snow week, or month even? My husband had off from work the same amount of time so we have been able to see lots of each other and the girlies. The thought of having to go back to school tomorrow is making me want to run away to Mexico. Incidentally, anytime I imagine running away, it’s always to Mexico. Surely there must be other sunny places I could go in my mind. I’ll work on that.

About a month before this break I started making a list of projects I hoped to tackle over the past week and a half. I’m feeling pretty adequate since I was able to cross off more than half of them. My husband, whose name is Liam—but also answers to daddy, doggie (our younger girl easily confuses the two), Baboo (a nickname that has stuck around for two years from when our oldest called him this), honey, babe, and rarely, LIAM! (which is screamed at decibel level 90, after levels 50 through 80 have gone unanswered, often in some kind of instance in which I am in the bathtub behind a closed bathroom door and unbeknownst to me, he is outside in the garage putting garbage away. Anyway, he and I probably logged a good 20-plus hours organizing our basement, creating a craft space for me (let’s hope it gets some use this year!), a play space for the girls, and tons of shelving to store all of the shite we’ve accumulated over the years, yet have no space to put or otherwise display in our small, cramped rental house.

We also enjoyed some meals out just the two of us, as well as time spent with family and friends, an overnight trip to Philadelphia, and some fun activities with the girls, like swimming, library-ing and park-ing, to name a few.

Of course on this last day before back-to-work, the day I hoped to tackle some of the remaining items on my list, the girls have decided to come down with major colds and coughing fits. What is it with this timing? They couldn’t have gotten sick and then spread germs to us while we were on vacation, with plenty of time to rest and get well? Now I’ve got to cancel the sitter tomorrow, have the girls spend the day with my mom, which they will love, and likely take a sick day myself later this week when surely I will come down with the hacking, spasmodic lung illness. How’s that for optimism?

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Doing her best to wipe away the runnies.

Anyhoo, instead of being productive I got to spend the day holding my germy babies. It was quite nice, actually. I love that—when I’m forced to slow down and take a break, and instead of being grumpy about it, I’m able to soak it up and appreciate the time I have. Especially since tomorrow I’ll go back to seeing them less. Sigh.

The girls will go to bed early, which means I’ll have approximately two hours before I go to bed to make six batches of play dough for my oldest’s preschool class, make homemade instant oatmeal packets, fold and put away two baskets of laundry, scrub the bathtub and toilet, organize all of the family photos, clean out the fridge, update the girls’ baby books with memories before my mind goes blank, write lesson plans for the week, or at least tomorrow, pack a week’s worth of salad lunches, and get pre-approved for a loan. No problemo.

Or, I could just relax and enjoy a girls’ bath with my little sickos.

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At least the blog post is done for the day. Check.