Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Doing it better in 2012

I was thinking about my year and realized there were quite a few times that I chose to sit on the sideline and phone it in.  Meaning, instead of getting involved and participating, I watch others have fun or do things.  Or if I did participate, I did the absolute minimum.

For 2012, my resolution is to be an active participant in my life.  Stop taking short cuts.  Really get involved in the world around me.  It’s almost like I have been in a cocoon for most of 2011.  I think the most alive I was this past year was our vacation to Disney, the wedding and the honeymoon.  For the rest of it I have pretty much coasted.

What brings about this change is my daughter asking me fifty times if she could do this, that and the other and all I kept saying was no.  I wanted to sit on my butt and do nothing.  Then I realized, she will only be little for so long.  Soon she won’t even want to do anything with me because I will no longer be cool – in her eyes anyways.  I have to get off my duff and start living again.

I thought more about this and realize there are many areas of my life where I have phoned it in this year.  Between work, family and life I have allowed myself to think I have too much going on when in reality I am sitting back and watching it go by.  Maybe that’s why I feel so tired all of the time?  Have you ever noticed how much more energy you have when you are out doing things than if you are sitting on the couch watching the TV?

I will admit that an entire summer of over 100 degree days without much of a break is enough to make anyone want to stay indoors, but that also meant that we didn’t get outside and ride bikes, blow bubbles or play hopscotch.  We did go to the pool pretty regularly, but even that was done in short spurts and anything over an hour meant you were baked, boiled or steamed.  The water was like stepping into the bath tub so even that wasn’t much of a relief.

So, my first step in the right direction is turning off the TV, getting the bikes dusted off and the tires aired up and hitting the pavement.  It is going to be in the 60’s almost every day this week and we need to be outdoors as much as possible! 

My second step is to do it better and do it right.  If I am going to participate in something, participate all of the way and not just do enough to get by.  I know that is vague, but it means so many things to me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silent Night and a few days...

We had a pretty peaceful Christmas weekend at our house.  My Mom came over Friday afternoon and we had dinner and celebration with just us girls (minus my Step-Daughter).  My daughter was very well behaved and only asked 50 times when we were going to open presents.  When The Husband came home, we did another round of gifting and had some more fun.

Somehow Santa got confused and brought us some extra presents on Saturday morning. We were very excited as that meant the American Girl did not have to travel to Grammie’s without a new outfit.  I even got some new Christmas socks as all of mine are about finished.  YEA Santa!

Next I deposited the daughter with her dad and off they went to go visit Grammie.  The silence was almost deafening.  It didn’t last long because right after the drop off I drove to the other side of the world and picked up the Step-Daughter.  We had supper and celebration with her dad that evening and were only interrupted twice by her mother asking where she was (the first time) and when she was coming home (the second time).  That’s what happens when she doesn’t have to work and the wine starts flowing. 

Even with those interruptions it was still a wonderful evening.  I got a new Kindle Fire and am still figuring out how everything works.  I am not a Gadget-Head so it will be a few weeks before I know about all of the cool stuff it does.  Hubby got a tuned piano so he played a few songs for us that luckily did not require any singing to go along with them!

Christmas day we celebrated with some other friends that were also without their children this year.  It was so strange to spend an evening with adult conversation that did not require repeated instructions not to touch this and that and when we were ready to leave, no whining about how much longer we should really stay. 

I will have to admit that by Monday mid-morning, all of the stockings, ribbons and bows were neatly tucked back away for another year in the closet.  That was the only time that we did not have any children around and we were both home.  I thought about waiting until next weekend, but I really need a day of R & R so decided on this weekend instead.  The yard lights are still out and will stay for a few more days.

All in all everyone was pleased with their lot this year.  We scaled down so there weren’t as many packages and bags, but instead got a few things of higher quality and didn’t get a single complaint.  It seems that the more, More, MORE attitude comes as a direct result of us over shopping and over gifting.  Everyone got something nice and we didn’t break the bank to do it.  YEA!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What does Christmas really mean...?

Everywhere I hear people talking about what they are getting their children, their spouses and their families.  They stress over whether or not Jimmy will like his train or if Susie will like her doll.  So much time and effort is spent trying to find that perfect gift that everyone forgets what Christmas is all about.

To me, Christmas is about loving our friends, family and neighbors. Doing all that we can to help out where needed and making our time available to each other to share in the joy of God’s gift to us.  Not letting ourselves get worked up over how many gifts we have purchased for each person, rather asking ourselves – am I giving them a gift that has meaning?  If not, it is just stuff and we all have enough stuff already!

God gave us the ultimate gift, His Son.  There is nothing else that any of us could give to one another that even remotely would equal that precious gift.  I have a daughter, would I be willing to give her to the world?  No way!  Well, at least not at the moment...

As you can see I wrestle with the commercialization of the holiday.  This year I was horrified when the stores began putting up the decorations in the stores before Halloween was even over.  My mailbox has been swamped with sale ads and fliers of every shape and size.  My e-mail has been inundated daily with coupons, discounts and additional advertisements.  I can't even turn on the TV without getting blasted with commercials.

My daughter began hitting me up in September with ideas of what I could get her for Christmas.  Every time a commercial comes on she says “Ooo-ooo, I want THAT for Christmas”.  I have a feeling she will be disappointed this year.  I purposely have not gone overboard with gifts for her and I have instructed her Dad and my mother not to do so either.  It seems she has been developing a greedy streak that has been of our own making.  We love to see her face light up when she gets new things, so we have created a monster.  Now she wants more, More, MORE!!!

I have also turned the focus on what we can do for others.  Cleaning out the closets and the toy boxes, what can we share with those that have nothing?  Many of these items are in new condition with minimal wear and tear.  What a special thing for someone that has nothing at all?!  This also helps to make room for all of the new stuff that I know we will be getting this year regardless!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oops! I forgot, again and again and again...

Some days I wonder if  maybe I might have the early onset of Alzheimer's. I have been forgetting things at an alarming rate.  Single handedly I have forgotten three events for the Christmas weekend.

  1. Friday night I scheduled a Christmas celebration for my mother, daughter, stepdaughter and myself - Stepdaughter is with her mother Friday night and guess what - I knew that...
  2. At Thanksgiving we made plans to celebrate our Christmas meal at a friend's house - I scheduled dinner at my house with my mother for the same day and even the same time. I hope she likes eating alone....
  3. Next Monday we have a play date scheduled with two of my daughter's friends - I scheduled a lunch for us with my mother.  I hope she likes GattiTown...
I do notice a common thread here.  These are all events that I have planned that include my mother.  The worst part is that when faced with the double bookings, the light bulb comes on and I know that I knew about those other events.  Do I intentionally block these things out or is it purely due to having too many things to do and not enough time to do them?

I did find out today that my mother has Sjorgren's (Show-grens) Syndrome.  This is an autoimmune disease that while not life threatening, is also not curable.  She is taking it pretty well.  It mainly affects the ability to produce saliva, tears, etc. and as long as the medication for it is taken regularly, it is pretty harmless.  It does reduce her immune system and makes her more susceptible to Lymphoma so she will have to watch out for that.  All I know is that she and I are both ready for her to feel a lot better and to stop having so many medical problems.  She is hardly in her 60's and is already on her way to requiring full time care.  Which sucks on many, many levels.

Anyways, I have now added the Google Calendar to my phone and am putting in every event that I think is even partially important... 

Brush teeth - check
Go to bathroom - check
Shower - check
Put on clothes - check, check, check...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Long Live The Queen...

I really think our new puppy knows who exactly is in charge in our home, besides her that is.  While she terrorizes The Midget (my daughter – I call her that because she is so tall for her age) and attempts to eat the toes off of The Husband, she is so sweet and calm with me I wonder if she is even the same dog.  Yes, I have received an ankle lick or two, but when I make that ‘eh-eh’ noise at her, she stops, almost immediately and then heads off to make war with the others.

Chloe wants a cracker
She will sit on the Husband’s shoulder like a parrot and lick his head like he is a giant ice cream cone.  I am sure it has to do with him having a shaved head, but for some reason she thinks he needs a bath.  Left unstopped, she will continue until she falls asleep.  It is pretty funny.  Well to me it is.  If it were my head, I may have taught her how to fly by now. 
The Midget

The Midget forgets that she is twelve billion times taller than the puppy and will start screaming when the tiny, three pound puppy tries to jump on her.  This is HER puppy too.  If it weren’t so sad it would be downright funny.

The step-daughter, the Princess of Literal, has even decided that my decision making ability is a step higher than her father’s because she asks my permission to do anything, even when he sitting right there.  I think it is hilarious.

The good news is that the Husband does not seem put out or even slightly annoyed by any of this.  He is pretty good natured about having his toes attacked by Kujo and even volunteers to do his part in helping to raise our little angel.  I will have to say if this unchecked deference to my rule continues, we may have a Monarchy on our hands…  Long Live The Queen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What was I thinking...

There are always going to be people in life that bite off more than they can chew. I fall into that category whole heartedly.  Somehow, I always manage to figure out a way to make it all work out and sometimes it works out in spite of my mismanagment ;-). 

We adopted a shiny, new puppy over the weekend.  She is 8 weeks old and a Toy Fox Terrier.  She is absolutely the cutest little thing I have ever seen - well, besides my daughter and that's different.  She loves to sit in your lap, give kisses and pee on the carpet.  Well, two out of three aren't too bad.  LOL!  She will get better at the potty training and eventually we can add something nicer to say about that part.

With work so hectic right now, the holidays fast approaching and a five year old that thinks life is incredibly unfair, I am not sure why I thought now would be the right time to add the responsibility of a puppy to the mix.  The daughter played with the puppy for all of about five minutes and now she is my responsibility.  I knew that would happen going in, but I still had high hopes that it would last longer. 

Add to the list that the husband has been out of town for work all last week and had to go back out for most of this week.  It sucks to be the low man on the totem pole for all of us. 

Friday night we went to the tree lighting ceremony at my daughter's school for Literacy Night.  They did NOT light the tree as there were not any lights on it - DOH, and the school website had posted that we could make cards for the soldiers that are oversees.  Literacy huh?  Oversees?  Are these soldiers overseeing our handiwork for the soldiers overseas or what?  I did get a bit of a giggle out of that, but then was saddened because these are the people that are responsible for learning my kids an edumacatn.