Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear Santa...

My kids started drafting their lists for Santa before Thanksgiving.  DD announced that she doesn't "know words", so she took the toy books and circled what she'd like.  Oh, and she'd also drag us to the TV when a commercial came on for something she thought she wanted.  DS, in all his anality (Is that a word?  Spell checker says no, but it is now!), made a very detailed chart...making categories, and sub-categories for his wished-for items.  DS, I know, doesn't really care about all the "categories".  Most of the time, he only gravitates towards books (reading or puzzle type books), sporting equipment (or just a ball), or video games/computer stuff.  I humor him by acknowledging that he's adding some action figures to his list, knowing darn well he would never play with them.  He is ultra-conservative with his reactions on Christmas morning.  He would never dream of jumping up and down screaming over getting a special gift.  Yet, DH tries.  Every year, DH tries to hone in on the most coveted gift, yearning for that elusive Christmas morning reaction.  It's yet to happen.  And I'm doubting it will happen this year either....and not for lack of trying.
I listened carefully this year to the kids' wishes.  DD talked non-stop about Dora and the Prancing Pegasus, and Bye-Bye Baby Chou Chou.  Her birthday was in November, and she got Dora and the Prancing Pegasus.  She reacts with emotion, whether excitement or disappointment.  She was beyond thrilled and it has been played with daily for the last month.  (However the darn Pegasus is taking a beating....it has one gimpy leg and the wings are temperamental about opening up already.)  Santa scored Bye-Bye Baby Chou Chou at good price!  I was so excited!  DS was exposed to Guitar Hero on a recent trip with friends and that was the item on the top of his list....for the last month or so.  DH and I hunted for the best deal, and tried to decided which "instruments" made the most sense for our house.  We decided on the Guitar Hero World Tour edition with the dual guitars.  Perfect!
Except, it's not.  DD was playing with a little girl recently who had Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye.  A much cheesier option, I'll add.  And as we trekked through Target's toy department recently, she pointed to Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye and said that was the doll she wanted!  I showed her Baby Chou Chou and told her this was the one she asked for.  "I don't want THAT one, I want THIS one!"  Damn.  
At dinner last night, DS was counting down the days till Christmas.  DH asked him what he was most hoping to get.  His response....Madden '09 for the Playstation!!!!  What happened to Guitar Hero???  Needless, to say, the shopping is finished and neither child will be getting their "revised" top pick.  The whole point of the list is to stick to it!!

Champagne with that caviar?

We have snow!  And it's a beautiful thing.....except for one (ok, maybe more, but one I'll mention) side effect.  The rabbits that are still lurking in my yard are unseen, except for the poop that rests on top of the snow.  Tiny dark balls are scattered all over.  Gross enough.  But my dog seems to think these are delicacies.  I can not get her to stop eating them!!  This morning I was gagging as I watched her nibble them up on her morning outing.  She seems to think they're doggie caviar!  I need to make sure she doesn't lick my face anymore!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm a Junkie

My name is Beth, and I am an addict.  It doesn't seem to matter to what....I have realized that I get hooked, very easily, on a lot of things.  To name a few: coffee, wine (not to problematic levels, but I do enjoy it), facebook, The Weather Channel, the internet, and lately, and most dangerously, online shopping.  I obsess.  I can't think of anything else.  And if I don't get a fix, well, it's just not pretty.  
I always thought I was normal.  Easy going, laid back....but I'm seeing myself lately as obsessive.  What's wrong with me?  I check the hourly weather forecast numerous times a day.  Is that necessary?  I hit refresh on my email homepage more times than I'd like to admit.  And facebook....forget about it.  I'm not even going to go there.  Not helping matters is the fact that I keep my laptop in my kitchen.  Every time I walk by, I'm sucked in.  DH has thought about limiting the amount of time I have access to the internet, but isn't that treating me like a child?  Like how I limit the amount of time DS plays his video games.  I'm an adult.  I should be able to get a handle on this.  
I realize the season isn't helping the shopping problem.  So, hopefully, it will come to an end shortly.  But I did stumble upon a blog that tracks sales (wantnot.net).  It is updated a number of times a day....so I check even more frequently.  I'd hate to miss a great deal!  (In my defense, I have managed to score the Leap Frog learning globe for $49, a Melissa & Doug easel for $29, and I am diligently tracking price adjustments at Target...so far they've refunded me $36.)  Perhaps my obsessions aren't really hurting anyone, but actually helping!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crazy Eyes

DH took the kids to the pet store the other night.  We can't seem to keep fish alive in our tank, so we just keep replenishing them.  He made the mistake of letting them each pick out 3 specific fish each....as "pets".  So, now, when they kick the bucket, which we know they will, we'll have to deal with the kids crying over the death of a pet again.  DS, in particular, is very sensitive, so he'll surely take it hard.  
One of the fish that DS picked is unlike anything I've noticed in the pet store before.  We've affectionately dubbed it "Crazy Eyes".  I don't think this picture does him justice, but his eyes are, in fact, crazy.  They are on top of his head, not on the side like normal fish.  They look up, and he almost has a cross eyed look to him.  DS said the pet store had this fish in a tank all by itself and he thought the fish would like to come home and have some friends.  DS has empathy for the crazy eyed fish.  I thought it might be a deformity and signal impending death...and tears.  DH says it's an actual type of fish.  Have you ever seen a fish like this?

Friday, December 5, 2008

'Tis the Season

I bought my kids Advent calendars this week.  Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared on December 1st, so when we got them on Wednesday, we had to open up 3 windows at once.  Much to my kids' delight, they got to enjoy 3 chocolates at once.  Last night, DH was on duty, and forgot to do the calendar.  So, tonight, after dinner, I went to help the kids open two windows...and enjoy two chocolate treats.  I hadn't labeled the calendars with their names since they were identical and would be eaten at the same pace.  I had "stored" them on my kitchen counter, standing upright, in a corner.  I grabbed them both and noticed that the front calendar had a number of windows flapping open.  At first, I thought we got jipped...that maybe they were empty when I bought them.  Then I remembered the cellophane wrapper and ruled that out.  As I was figuring out what was going on, DD ran and hid.  That's when I knew.....
My DD stole candies out of the Advent calendar!  The thief!  Somehow, she must've climbed/reached the calendars and cracked open 5 extra days!  And even the special, larger, Christmas Eve candy is gone!  Isn't that like, sacrilege or something?  So typical....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Break Up?

I have plans next week to meet my friend for breakfast.  I made these plans with her in October.  Actually, we made plans to have lunch together...and she didn't have an "opening" until December.  She only lives 10 minutes away from me too.  I was notified of the switch to breakfast last week.  Apparently she's very busy.  
We used to work together...up until last year.  Just a fluffy little job, so we had plenty of time to chat there.  But once we both quit, we kind of drifted.  I'm not really sure why either.  I enjoyed her company.  She was funny, and sarcastic, and always had a story.  So, I miss her.  Yet, I'm kind of nervous about meeting her next week.  I ran into her at a baseball game over the summer, but other than that, I have not seen her in months.  I think we broke up.....
Do friends break up?  And if so, why are we meeting up?  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crock Pot Cooking

I am new to the world of blogging.  New to writing, new to reading.  I'm fascinated by what I'm finding "out there" that people blog about.  I don't have a specific topic, but a lot of people do.  I just stumbled upon a great blog last night called A Year of CrockPotting.  I love my crock pots.  I know most people will say it's one of those useless appliances, but mine are front and center.  Meat comes out moist and tender.  And of course, I don't have to stop in the middle of the afternoon to think about what's for dinner.  I have a number of tried and true recipes that I stick to, but this blog documents using a crock pot every day for an entire year!!  It's going to take me a while to go through the site, but what I glanced at last night made me very excited!  If you haven't used a crock pot, I strongly suggest you do!  I'm sure you could find a recipe on this blog...or maybe I'd even share one of mine.  ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Out With the Old

Recently, my sister and her family decided to move out of their house and into my parents' house.  My parents have a Cape Cod style house, so my sister, her husband, two babies, and two dogs are living in the upstairs - what was her and my old bedrooms.  Needless to say, in order for them to fit, the shrine to my younger years had to go.  
I was completely ok with this.  I mean, I've been on a decluttering kick at my own house for the last year and a half, so it makes sense that they'd get rid of the stuff that's been sitting in my old room for the last 10 years.  In fact, I was asked if there was anything I wanted out of the room.  Aside from my old flute, I figured I clearly didn't need anything that had been sitting there untouched for the last decade.  But aren't pictures different?
Since I'm living in a different state, I wasn't there to do the clearing out myself (not that I'd want to...).  So, I was relying on my mom and sister to do the job.  Old size 4 jeans, college text books, stuffed animals.....all the things I was thinking they'd toss.  Then, I got the news.
In high school, I had one real boyfriend.  Only one.  My sister went through boyfriends frequently, but not me.  Apparently, I had left a gift box in my old room with mementos from that relationship.  Little things, nothing major.  But there were pictures.  We're not talking a whole album here....probably a dozen or less.  In my mind they were proof that this one boyfriend had existed, and frankly, a part of my history.  And my sister threw them out!  She told me at Thanksgiving in a very "oh, by the way" sort of way, and finished up with "You didn't want them, did you?"
What am I supposed to say to that?  They're gone already, right?  Was I going to frame them and hang them in my family room?  No.  But when I'm 80, maybe I'd like to show my grandkids a picture or two of their granny with big hair and a boyfriend.  I'm just saying.  Now, I will only have my wedding pictures show.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peppermint Chocolate Chip

I've been making a conscious effort lately to eat better and less.  Never before have I been so aware of calories and fat content.  It's been an eye opener, to say the least.  I look at what I used to eat and I'm realizing that my weight gain in recent years was not entirely the fault of my children.  
For instance, I went through a phase where I was addicted to the mint chocolate chip milkshakes at Chick-fil-A.  I had no idea how many calories were in that little bit of heaven.  I would crave them, and satisfy that craving a few times a week.  They were so accessible with a drive-thru window!  I was devastated when they stopped serving the mint chip flavor.  Sure, I had seen the balloons and signs advertising the flavor as a limited time only thing...but it had been months.  And I was hooked.  I tried the cookies and cream flavor, but it was a sorry substitute.  I went through a withdrawal of sorts, and got off the milkshake band wagon.
Yesterday, DH and I made a pit stop in Chick-fil-A for lunch...for the first time in a long time.  They now have balloons up advertising a new milkshake flavor, for a limited time only.  Peppermint chocolate chip.  Good lord, that sounds divine.  I was so tempted.  DH was telling me to order it.  I resisted.  I wasn't going to let them get me hooked on a limited time only flavor again, only to have them discontinue selling it.  But it was tough.  As I started to waiver, I grabbed one of their nutritional information brochures.  I nearly fell over.  One peppermint chocolate chip milkshake has 850 calories!!!  No wonder I gained 10 pounds last summer during the mint chip addiction!  I had no idea it could be that bad.  Like I said, calories are a totally new concept to me and 850 is enough to keep me away from that milkshake....at least for a little while.  :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Expiration Dates

I just went to grab something out of our spare fridge, and noticed that I have a half of a case of Trix yogurt out there.  And it expires next week.  I guess we bought it on our last BJ's run, but really, how much yogurt can we force our kids to eat?  Especially since we have Halloween candy being rationed out, and now birthday cake leftovers....and soon to have Thanksgiving goodies.  I hate buying things in bulk, and then wasting half of it because you can't eat it fast enough.
Speaking of expiration dates though.....my mind is boggled by the "Best by..." stamp on so many items that I wasn't aware ever expired.  I understand food products.  I am petrified of salmonella, botulism, and even freezer burn.  So, we follow those dates pretty closely.  But soda and water expire now.  What's up with that?  Maybe soda goes flat, but what's the deal with water?  What could possibly happen to bottled water?  I just loaded my dishwasher and noticed an expiration date on the detergent bottle.  Really?  Soap goes bad?  
Is this all a marketing ploy?  So that, if you buy in bulk, and can't use up your detergent fast enough, you'll notice that expiration date and buy more anyway?  Maybe, after that date, it won't clean the salmonella germs off of the cutting board I used when I cut up my raw chicken!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I sit here tonight reminiscing about four years ago.  Four years ago, I was 39 weeks pregnant with my second baby and had a c-section scheduled for the next morning (10 am to be exact).  That afternoon, my parents had arrived in town to stay with my son, who was 3 1/2 at the time.  I was all showered and packed and ready to welcome our daughter.  It was all going according to plan.....until 3 am.  

But first, the back history.  I am not one of those women who enjoy being pregnant.  I ached, I complained, I gagged, and I gained a lot of weight.  And, with #2, I was even more exhausted since I was keeping up with the activities of my first child.  My first baby was born via c-section (scheduled) at 37 1/2 weeks.  He was breech and large.  Despite being 2 1/2 weeks early, he was a healthy 8 pounds 4 ounces.  So, the second time around, I opted for a repeat c-section, and assumed the delivery would be at around the same point.   Much to my absolute horror, my new practice said they would not deliver the baby until 39 weeks!  I balked.  That extra week and a half was going to kill me, I was sure.  Or worse, what if I went into labor before then!?  (Then you come in and we deliver the baby was the answer to that.)  However, my concern was that, with a scheduled c-section, I should not need to labor!
So, eventually, I was able to schedule my date for the c-section.  Wouldn't you know it, 39 weeks fell on a Monday.  I asked if we could do it on the Friday before since all of our family would be coming from NY and they could stay for the weekend before heading back to work.  A resounding, "No" was what I got.  Absolutely not before 39 weeks.  There was a chance the baby wouldn't be ready for the outside world before then.  Defeated, I scheduled it for the first day of the 39th week...Monday.
When I went for my last office visit on the Friday before D-day, I was getting really worried that I might go into labor.  I told them that I didn't think I was going to make it to Monday.  The doctor told me that I was sealed shut (TMI, I know), and she didn't foresee anything happening.  "But how will I even know what labor feels like if it starts?"  (Not having labored the first time around.)  She had the nerve to tell me that it's instinct....you just know.
So, fast forward to 3 am, the night before D-day.  I wake up.  My stomach hurts.  Wow, what a yucky feeling.  I get up, thinking I have to go to the bathroom.  My stomach feels crampy, but I feel like I need to make a #2 (again, TMI, I know).  I had been anemic this pregnancy, and had been taking iron pills, which led to some constipation.  I thought this was the problem, and tried to "go".  No luck.  Try to go back to bed.  Yucky feeling won't go away.  Turn on QVC.  Hmmm, cute Dorney & Bourke bags they're selling.  Need to go to the bathroom.  Go back in, push...nothing....just pee.  Go back to bed.  Hmm, another cute bag.  Back to bathroom.....damn, more pee, but I missed the toilet.  Think to myself I'm a sloppy, incontinent pregnant woman.  Sick of being pregnant, mutter, mutter.  This went on for quite some time.  My DH would occasionally wake up and ask if I was OK.  I told him I was just constipated and trying to "go".  After a couple of hours, I realized I was running to the bathroom trying to poo every 9 minutes, with no luck.  That's odd.  A pattern.  I woke DH to tell him of my need-to-poo pattern.  He wanted to know if I thought the baby was ok.  I told him the baby was fine, I felt like crap (literally).  By 6 am, he'd had enough of my every 5 minutes poo run.  He thought we should call the doctor.  I thought I could wait until we had to be in at our scheduled 8am prep time.  I ran to the bathroom to try one last time to push that poo out while he called the doctor... who said to come right away.  
When we got to the hospital, I refused to be dropped off at the door, and made him park the car and walk in with me.  I had to stop a number of times due to the pressure in my "lady parts".  Oh, and the crotch of my pants were soaked.  I'm not sure when in the last hour that it dawned on me what was going on, but at some point I did realize it wasn't poo.  My instincts, apparently took far too long to kick in though, and I didn't "just know".
We finally made it up to Labor & Delivery (third floor, mind you) and they checked me out.  I was 7 cm dilated, and did I know when my water had broken!  So I wasn't an incontinent, sloppy pregnant woman!  At this point I yell for drugs, because when you're not planning on laboring, you have no coping skills.  They can't give me any painkillers because they were were going to bring me right into the operating room for delivery, and they'll give me anesthesia there.  But, I got bumped.  Some laboring mom's baby's heart rate dropped, and she needed an emergency c-section....I'd have to wait my turn....without drugs.  I was so mad.  This was not how this birth was supposed to play out.  Finally, my turn.  I get the epidural, and relief.  Then, during the delivery, the doctor had the nerve to joke with me that, see, they got the day right, they were just off a little on the time.  Not funny.  
DD made her debut at 8:15 am, on the day that we, and nature, had picked for her to be born....at a whopping 9 pounds 13 ounces.  She's going to be 4 tomorrow.  And because her fiasco of a birth still seems like yesterday to me, my childbirthing days are so very over.  :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My DD is turning 4 on Saturday.  We're throwing her a party on Sunday.  (Just an "at-home" party, but a party regardless.)  I've learned my lesson, from DS's previous parties, not to assume some kids won't come.  With his, I'd send out 20 invitations, (thinking it would be great if I could get 10-12 kids to come) and every last kid would show.  Mayhem.  So last year, I only invited a handful of kids to DD's party.  It was wonderful.   This year, following suit, I only invited the little girls in her preschool class, plus two she was friendly with from last year.  That makes 7 invitations that I sent out this year.  Today is the RSVP date.  I have only heard from 2 kids. Where are the other 5?  Are they waiting to see if a better offer comes in? Maybe a party at Bounce U would be more appealing??  I just don't get it.  Yes or no.  It's really simple.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Post for the Sake of Posting

Ok, so I'm a little under the gun to get started here (ahem).  Really, I've been meaning to start a blog for a long time now.  (Not because I'm a great writer, but sometimes, I need a witness to some of the odd things that happen in my day to day life.)  Time just has a way of escaping me.  Last year was a series of comedic tragedies, so I'm feeling a little inadequate and boring lately (although really relieved that I have not backed into any garage doors recently).  
When I was in elementary school, they used to assign us "Current Events" assignments.  You know, where you cut an article out of the paper and fill out the who, what, when, where and why.  They tried to get us familiar with the newspaper, and to encourage us to read it.  I never did.  And not just as a kid either.  I've always had this feeling that I need to gather information, from the beginning.  Which, as far as newspapers are concerned, is a pretty daunting task.  How could I just jump into an article about an ongoing war, if I'm not familiar with why it started in the first place?  I'd need to start from the beginning.  So, instead of just jumping in, I tried to time it so I caught some newsworthy event from the start....and follow it.  Needless to say, I never did. 
I mention this, because my friend has encouraged me to start this.  I have this hang up that I need to tell my stories from the beginning....for whoever is out there reading this.  An utterly overwhelming thought.  I'm trying to let that go.  So, I'm going to begin.  Right here, in the now.  But I will probably be referencing plenty from the past....there's so much good stuff back there!
There.....my first post.  It's not much, but now, I'm official.  :)