Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thankful - Days 9 - 17

(Please note I thought I hit publish but apparently hit save….this was suppose to post yesterday. Of course it was....)

So today is a TOTAL Monday for me.  I am a straight up grouch.  Totally unpleasant to be around and really don’t want most people to be around me.  I woke up with an upset stomach, I was stuck in a 4 mile back up on the highway this morning which caused me to be late to work, the power went off 4 times in 15 minutes at work (so basically once I got my computer restarted and things up it went out again), all the letters I was working on are in read only mood which is just annoying, I was getting off the highway today and stopped at the light when I see not one but TWO people driving and texting as they are getting on the highway (STOP TEXTING WHILE YOU DRIVE!!!!), for some reason I am so tired that I can barely stay awake, and I am annoyed with myself for being so crabby.  I mean, in the big scheme of things I have NO reason to be such a grouch.  But I am.


I think that I really need to post the things I was thankful for last week.  Today is annoying and sucks but I needed to be reminded of those things that have been good or make me happy and that I am thankful for.  It may not help my mood completely, but I am trying.

November 1st – 8th HERE.

9th – Amazon Prime account and free two-day shipping!!  We are now proud owners of an Amazon Prime account and I must say I LOVE IT.  Thank you mom and dad for the early Christmas gift!!  All the free movies and TV shows, free books and games AND free two-day shipping….that I shared with my mom and sister.  Yep, I am thankful for you Amazon prime….especially since we don’t have cable anymore.

10th – A Happy child.  For the last two weeks Henry has been fighting off croup.  And while the cough is the only thing that has been lingering the past couple days, he has still not been himself.  That is, until today!  Today he is his old self again.  Happy, funny, energetic….I love it.  I am thankful that he is getting better and that we have our happy (eh – most of the time) child back!!

11th – Veterans.  THANK YOU.  I really don’t know what I can say for those who have and are fighting to protect our country.  You and your families do so much and give up so much more that I feel “Thank you” just isn’t enough.  But today, and every day, I am thankful for your service and for you.

12th – Pictures with Santa and celebrating the holidays with my son!  Today we took Henry to get his very first pictures taken with Santa and folks he LOVED that jolly old man in a red suit!!!  (Post HERE) This makes me happy and I feel VERY thankful that I get to share these special moments with Terry and our son.  To see all the wonders of the holiday season through his eyes.  To witness him see Santa for the first time and walk up so proud and grin as big as he possibly can.  To be forced to take in all the holiday things I may have been in too much of a hurry and overlooked in the past.  To bear witness to all those things and force me to stop and listen to him in the softest and sweetest of voices utter “WOOOOOW.”  Sigh.  I am so thankful for this.

13th – Friends.  I am so thankful to have my friends in my life.  I used to be a loner (and still am in many ways) and never had many friends that I felt extremely close to.  I cared for a handful of people but was always awkward and kept my guard up.  But then I got out of college and started opening up more and making real friends.  The past few years has really proven just how important and valuable these relationships are and I cherish them so much.  And I cherish being able to talk to them about anything.  Something funny, just chit chat about the day, things that are serious…whatever.  Of course I still do most of this via email as in person or on the phone I can still be awkward :-)  But my friends get that and accept me for me and I truly love and care for these individuals so much and feel so thankful to have these amazing people in my life.

14th – For a husband that just does what is needed.  Back story.  Sometime after dinner tonight Henry threw up everywhere.  We are still not exactly sure why or the cause, but am convinced it wasn’t my cooking!! ;-) Well this puking turned to dry heaves and went on through the early morning….4:45am to be exact.  Henry only wanted me all night and finally around 5am Henry and I slept, on the floor in his room for a couple hours.  However, all evening and night my amazing husband did about 3 loads of laundry.  Changed the sheets 4 times before we moved H. to the floor.  Made sure Henry had everything he needed.  Washed his stuffed animals.  And even in the days after did about 10 loads of laundry to make sure everything was washed from the pukes.  I never had to ask nor did I expect it.  I figured we would deal with it later.  But Terry took care of it.  I am so thankful to marry a man who is like this.  Just does what needs done.  Is my partner and equal. 

15th – That whatever bug or food issue that Henry had seems to be over! 

16th – For Saturdays.  Enough said.

17th – Sleeping in until 7:30am!  The past few days sleeping has been at a minimum and since he started going to school more, sleeping in has been almost non-existent.  Well today Henry slept until 7:30.  Yep, that is enough to be thankful for right there!

So what are YOU thankful for today?!?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Santa, Listening and Strangers….OH MY!

Last night we took Henry to see Santa for the first time.  To say the trip was a success is an understatement! 

We decided to not take him to see Santa the past two years as he was 3 months and 15 months and based on his personality at the time we thought he was too young and would be afraid.  For him, I am glad we waited. 

Still not exactly sure how he would be with the big man in the red suit, we decided to get him pumped for the big day!  (Folks, if you read my previous post about the holidays you know we are nuts about Christmas so this is really not unexpected nor a big stretch for us.)  So to prepare we have been listening to Christmas music, talking about Santa, and Henry has even been watching the Santa episodes of one of his favorite shows (Caillou – ugh) to get him familiar and excited!  I mean if Caillou does it then so will Henry.  No, really.

Now, I am not exactly what you would call a Bass Pro Shop kind of girl (why are you laughing at this?!?!) but they have a bunch of stuff for the kids to do, crafts, free pictures and most importantly a REAL looking Santa.  I am convinced this is actually the real one.  I don’t know how Bass Pro gets dibs on the real looking Santa’s, but they do.  Henry will not be sitting on no jank looking Santa**!! 

So we walk in and of course Bass Pro shop is a wonderland of stuff for kids (and husbands) to see and get in to and EVERY little boys dream.  For me?  Eh.  But I imagine it is the same feeling I get when I walk into a kitchen or home store so I enjoyed it with them and got excited seeing their excitement! 

We didn’t even make it 10 feet into the store and Henry was OFF.  I swear I needed a leash for BOTH Henry and Terry.  They were all over that store.  But we finally got Henry (And Terry) wrangled in enough to make our way to Santa.  Going on a Tuesday way before Thanksgiving was PERFECT.  There was no one in line for Santa and only about 4-5 kids the whole time we were there.  No people.  Nice.  That is what it is all about.

So the lady came up to Henry and asked if he wanted to see Santa and he said YES and held her hand and walked up to him.  Of course one of Santa’s reindeer was beside him and Henry made a sharp turn directly to it and was fascinated with that and ignoring Santa.  But eventually refocused and with NO fear or hesitation got on Santa’s lap, took a great picture (even though it was his “cheese face”) and told Santa what he wanted for Christmas.  A tree.  Yep, the last few days when we ask him what he will ask Santa for he says a tree.  We have given him suggestions for toys and it is always a tree.  Silly boy. 

When it was all done he said thank you and Merry Christmas (or some form of that) and we headed off to play with ALL the fun things they had for kids.  Remote controlled trucks, guns, bow and arrow, train….Henry was ALL. OVER. THE. STORE.  Literally.  So happy.  So much to do.  I think we made his day.  I know it made ours, even if we were sweaty from chasing him!

 Daddy showing him how to work the remote control truck....
 ....He totally got it.  And he literally shrieked EVERY time he made it crash into something.  Pure joy.
 That thing is bigger than him....but he had to do it by himself. Always.
Terry looks good with a pink gun ;-)

So much fun was had and I just love, love, LOVE doing these things as a family and seeing Christmas through a child's eyes.  MY child's eyes.  Happy sigh.

But, there is always a but....

... that brings me to this: listening and strangers because both were issues during this outing.

First is listening.  Henry gets so focused that you can scream his name and he pays zero attention.  At one point when we were exploring the store we lost grip of his squirmy jello like little hand and he ran off.  We are yelling at him to stop and he is doing nothing of the sort.  Total two year old tunnel vision.  Here I am with my arms full of coats, pictures, stuff from the Christmas area trying to chase after him (and it was a sight as I am not in chase after a kid shape).  He finally stopped when he got to where he wanted to go and Terry and I tried to tell him without major discipline in the store that he can’t do that and he needs to stop and listen to us.  Another time in the store he did that with Terry, just ran off and started walking up the stairs.  Just in a split second, off. 

We usually hold his hand, but he is so damn squirmy.  We have been trying to teach him to stop and listen as we are having the same problem at home where he doesn’t listen andignores usHenry stop, Henry STOP.  HENRY STOP.  “Oh, huh…are you talking to me?!’   Not sure what we can do at home and in public to get him and/or teach him to stop when we call his name and listen to us. 

Tips?!  Suggestions?!

And second are strangers.  Henry used to be so shy around people he didn’t know, but then he got older and started going to school more and now everyone is his friend.  We went to dinner and he blew a kiss to a complete stranger.  When we were out last night interviewing a babysitter for Henry at Panera this old guy came up and sat down in the area we were sitting (strange) and Henry walked up and started talking and even grabbing his arm.  No personal space.  No boundaries.  No fear. Even with the potential new babysitter we said we are going and he said “Bye mom, bye dad” and went and stood with this new girl.

We have started talking about strangers and politely moving him away when he gets too close to people.  But what are tips and suggestions for a two year old who is just sweet as can be and overly friendly and wants to talk to everyone but needs to understand andlearn about strangers?!  Is he still too young to get it?! 

Thoughts?  Ideas?!

**Thought: how many real looking santa’s do you think are out there?!?!  Even in our area alone?!  Think about all the places they are over the Holiday season. I know a number of them have the Santa’s with real beards.  I don’t see them throughout the year, but then BAM at Christmas they are everywhere!!  Do they go into hiding during the summer months or have to shave their beard so people like me kids don’t see them and think it is Santa?!?!  And what a cool job is that?!  I am retired but during November and December I am Santa.  Awesome!!  With my hormones all I mess and the beard andgray hair I am growing, I could probably be Santa in a few years!!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Thankful Days 1 – 8

So during the month of November people write daily posts about what they are thankful for.  I like this.  I am not posting every day, but rather writing things down daily and will post every Friday or Saturday during the month.  So here is what I am thankful for from November 1st – 8th.

What are YOU thankful for today?!?!

1st – Emailing with my sister.  Her and I email each other pretty much every day.  It just makes me so happy and I am so thankful to have her and be able to “talk” to her every day.  Whether it is something serious, a recipe, a funny story, life in general, or a joke that I know only she will laugh at….it makes me feel close even though we don’t see each other all the time.

2nd – Last minute weekend visits from our family!!  It was so great to have my parents plan a last minute trip to see us today!  It was a perfect…and I think helped one sick little kid feel better.

3rd – Dots, aka, Tim Bits.  Come on, I think we can all admit “dots” make everything better and are something we should be thankful for!

4th – Having a job where I can take the day off, even if unpaid, when my son is sick and my work doesn’t question it or get mad.  I know many people, including my husband, cannot easily take time off unexpectedly.  I feel lucky that I at least have the option to put my family first.

5th – Dancing!!  I came home after a loooooong day at work and was tired and it was yucky out and as I walk through the door Henry comes running to me and says “DANCE”!!  You want to dance?  OK!  So I literally throw my stuff down and Henry and I dance.  How can you not be thankful for that.

6th – For being able to sit down and have a dinner with Henry and Terry!!  Sure tonight it was just grilled cheese and soup.  But for two years we have only had a handful of family dinners and now we have one almost every night!  Tonight we talked about his day at school.  We are fairly certain he was trying to tell us that a big kid would not let Henry ride the bike at school.  “Big Kid.  No No Bike.  Me.  No No Bike.”  You guys…..I am SO thankful for this.

7th – For finding the most awesome wee-ooo, wee-ooo truck (aka a Fire Truck) for Henry!  And the best part was it was on sale and I had coupons putting this $30 truck at only $10!!  Henry has been asking for this truck for awhile….he will be so pumped to get it Christmas morning!!

8th – For the guy in front of me at the Starbucks drive through who paid for my coffee and bagel this morning!!!  THANK YOU!!  That is such a kind gesture!!  I was so thankful and continued the chain and paid for the person behind me.  What great holiday spirit!!  I am truly thankful to you stranger (and others like you) and your act of kindness!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I Love….The Holidays!

Warning: An annoyingly long and random post about my favorite things I love during the Holidays where I use the word LOVE about 50 times too much and use an obnoxious amount of exclamation points!!!!!

Here is the thing.  Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter, Christmas - they all make me SO happy.  I love fall festivals and picking out pumpkins.  I love passing out candy and dressing up for Halloween.  I love preparing a big Thanksgiving meal and sitting around a table with love ones.  I adore everything about Christmas.  I actually listen to Christmas music on and off all, yes you read that right, ALL year round.  And if I could have a spinning white tree with blue lights and decorations up in the house all year round, I would.  Really.

The idea of giving and being together and remembering and celebrating and eating and doing holiday activities and relaxing….it just makes me so happy. 

I sort of stay in my own little bubble during the holidays.  I need to so I don't get caught up in the negative or rush of the season.  I avoid holiday crowds and shop online and I smile at those being scrooges.

LOVE this time of year so much and do not feel that a month for each is nearly enough time to celebrate.  I want to celebrate longer!!

I sort of lump Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas together.  When October hits I am 100% IN the holidays.  Three months of festivities!  I give them each their due respect and appreciation and celebrate fully each holiday, but I am also celebrating or preparing to celebrate the others.  So if we have Halloween decorations up and are listening to Christmas music, or have Christmas Decorations up and are listening to the haunting sounds of Halloween, or even have Christmas decorations up & Christmas music playing on Thanksgiving day…well in our house that is OK! 

I love Christmas music and it is in full force in our house.

I know some say I am listening to Christmas music too early and celebrating too soon.  I respectfully say, bah humbug on you….no I am not!! :-)  (Disclaimer: I totally understand how some may not want to listen yet.  But I want too.)  I love the way it makes me feel, I love singing at the top of my lungs (and man is it singing like you have never heard before!), I love how as soon as I hear the first notes of a song it takes me somewhere or to someone, I love how Christmas music just makes me feel and my family…..happy.  Yes, even the semi-annoying songs.

Besides the music, I love ornaments.  Our tree is this hodge-podge of ornaments, each meaning something different to us.  Some represent milestones in our life, some represent our favorite things, some make us laugh, some make us remember, and some are from our childhood.  Seeing our tree as a backdrop for all those little reminders of our life together and from when we were younger brings so much joy to our house!  Last night Terry and I were on the Bronner’s website looking at Christmas ornaments.  They have the best ornaments there!!  We have already ordered one ornament this year and will be ordering a few more as gifts. Shhhhhhh

Henry’s Ornament this year that we ordered….What Time Is It?!?! 

I also love the holiday smells.  I know it sounds weird, but smells make me happy….or unhappy depending on what the smell is!  The smells of: Thanksgiving dinner cooking, of our apple spice candle that we only bring out this time of year, of that cold air that hits you in the face when you step outside, of recently fallen leaves, of the inside of a freshly carved pumpkin, of Christmas trees and wreaths, of a big breakfast being cooked, cookies being baked, and so much more.

The Lights.  Whether it is the lights of a glowing pumpkin or of the Halloween decorations we have peering through our windows or of candles lit or of Christmas lights…I love lights.  Terry and my first date was actually in November, thirteen years ago at the Lights Before Christmas at the Zoo.  It was a horribly frigid evening but we loved every minute of it and drank tons of hot chocolate and stuck close together.  And now every time we go back, it sort of feels like that first date…those memories all come back.  And now we get new memories every time we take Henry and he looks at the lights and says “WOW”.  I agree, my son.  WOW.  

We are actually planning a trip for next December to the Oglebay WinterFestival of Lights.  Too many lights to count spread out over 300 acres in the rolling hills of WV.  Perfection.  I went when I was a kid and can’t wait to share that now with our son.

Movies.  We just introduced Henry to It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown last week (well the first time he actually watched it) and we are preparing him for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  I think we can all agree there are SO many great Holiday movies and shows out there that just make you laugh, cry and think about your childhood or family.  But The Peanuts are pretty much THE BEST thing to happen to the holidays.

Tradition.  You know, I think this may be my favorite thing about this time of year.  From October through December it is all about making memories and remembering traditions from when you were a kid and starting new ones with your family.  Really, there is nothing better.

So be forewarned.  If you come to our house from now until probably the end of February chances are you will hear Christmas music, see a tree (in a few weeks), be eating cookies made by my husband, and be surrounded by so much Holiday cheer that it may make you a little sick.  Don’t worry, we always have some Tums on hand if it is just too much to digest.    

Yep, that is how we do it.

Have I mentioned just HOW MUCH I love this time of year?!?!??!!

So what are YOUR favorite holidays?!   Your Favorite things about the holidays?  Any traditions you love?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This Is My Brain.

Lately I feel like my brain is totally out of order.  

There is SO much going on inside that I cannot sort out my thoughts or what I need to do next.  Basically, I cannot FOCUS. 

I even have about 7 blog posts and can’t finish any of them.  Even writing this post, my brain is about 20 other places.

Between bills, holidays, work, finances, home, family, things I have to do, things I want to do, things I have forgotten but pretty sure I was suppose to do….my brain is a MESS! 

And I am the type of person when I feel overwhelmed and can’t focus then I stop and I don’t want to do anything and then BAM I will go crazy and try to accomplish everything at once.  For the record, I am currently still in the “I don’t want to do anything” phase.

I tried to write everything down and get organized....and then I lost the note pad.

Yep....THIS is my brain at the moment. (including the tiny little cowboy hat.)

Let me ask, how do you focus?  How do you sort through the clutter in your brain so you can think again and get stuff accomplished?! 

I think I need Peter Walsh, de-cluttering extraordinar, to get all up in my brain and organize it.