Monday, December 31, 2012


I love today.  For lots of reasons.  But mainly because there was one particular New Year's Eve that was one of the best days of my life.  

It felt like I waited a lifetime for that day.  Having known from middle school that he was the one for me.  I don't know if he knew it then, but I was sure enough for the both of us.

It was beautiful, fun and everything I hoped it would be.

Unfortunately, that means that any future NYE celebrations may pale in comparison to that perfect one.  Or at least that is how I saw if for a few years.  But now I won't do that, I won't carefully measure one celebration against another.  I don't want to lessen the meaning and experiences gained in each year since that one.

I can't believe it has been 8 years!  It seems impossible that it has been that long... but it has.  The calendar says so.  If there was no calendar, no formal measure of time, I would guess it was only 3 or 4 years ago.

Although much as changed, much is still the same.  Another year ended with you and another year will begin with you.

Cheers to us, Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Now what?

On the evening of the day that 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down in an elementary school in CT, we took our son to an elementary school for his daycare holiday program.

The significance of this event, on that particular day was not lost on me.  I continually had to blink back the tears, as I am doing right now, while I was there making happy, holiday memories with my child, while also thinking about those children and parents whom cannot do the same today.

Sully and daddy watching the program.  Of course he was too young to participate but they still jazzed him up with some feathers and let him wear a mask for a bit.

They were all happy, all excited to be there.  Their parents proud and smiling while taking pictures and video of the event.

What happens between now and twenty-something?  What is missing?  What are we forgetting to do?

Is it really only about finding someone who is losing their way?  Is it really all about gun or ammunition control?  To me, these seem more defensive, less proactive.  Are we missing the point completely?

I don't know.  I don't claim to have the answer.  But it seems to me that some basics might be missing.  Like respect for human life.  Every human life.  Even in the midst of hardship, illness, financial ruin... with a gun in the next room.

There is still caring and compassion in the world.  It is evident when a perfect stranger dresses up as Santa to really talk and listen to kids he does not even know.

 He would not sit on Santa's lap, but he would play football with him.

I don't know what happens now, but something has to happen so that something good can come out of this mess.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yelling, loudly

So I guess 2 is when you really start yelling at your kid.  I mean when they are 2 and turn into some mini dictator with a bad attitude.  Before then, you may gently scold them,

"Now Sully,  that's pretty."

"No no honey, that's hot."

"You are just being silly now."

I foolishly thought that since Sully had really been exerting his independence since he was 10 months old that once he turned 2 I would be in the upswing of things. 

Stupid.idoit.moron.delusional mom.

Turns out that is NOT the case.  Let me submit this week's drop offs as evidence.  Cue the drama: tears, back arching, hitting (yes hitting!), flailing and screaming.  Imagine 3 grown women buzzing like bees around this noise offering anything for distraction:  juice, milk, juice or milk in a big boy cup, juice or milk in a red/blue/green big boy cup, banana, pancakes, pancakes with "dip", a car, a blue/yellow/red car, a book, a book about cars...and the list goes on.  All the while, his tirade continues until I either give up and walk out (I try to only stay for a minute or 2 since I hear that 30 seconds after I leave, he makes an amazing recovery) or he decides that orange juice in a red, not blue or green, big boy cup is ok, today. 

Apparently, the rest of the day he is fine.  I am sure he has a few moments but nothing full scale.

Let me also submit this week's evenings as evidence as well.  Cue more drama:  lying on the floor wailing because I did not offer him the correct snack which escalates into a completely inconsolable small human kicking and hitting (more hitting) and running into things until either a) I offer a snack he deems appropriate which may or may not be the snack he envisioned when we first got home, b)  he is allowed to eat a snack he probably shouldn't, ie chips, chocolate, candy, etc, c)  I send him to time out or his room until he stops crying (which he will go to these areas but may or may not stop crying completely) or d)  he just decides he is done crying.

Then there are a slew of small, seemingly insignificant occurences that can set off another episode:  a toy that does not bend a certain way, a wooden stick that once broken in half does not magically snap back together, Turbo laying on one of his Bs, not playing a certain episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the DVR menu, placing his cheerios/goldfish crackers in the wrong area on the coffee table...just to name a few.

I mean, it is like he doesn't yet understand the laws of physics or the fact that we understand English or that there or other, more horrible things in life. 

Ok, I feel better.  Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Elvish Design

Some crafty and very patient elves have given me a sneak peek of what is coming soon...

Puffy magnetic felt alphabet.

Rice hot/cold packs for all those accident-prone toddlers out there.

I also hear the Elves have finished a large batch of monogrammed hooded towels...

and the bulk of them, including the two pictured above, are lost in the mail:/  Grrrrrrrr.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First Snow

There is something so exciting about the first snowfall of the season.  It is fresh, new, clean, beautiful and you have not had the time and opportunity to get annoyed by it yet.

But it does bring its challenges for photography, especially in the dark.

 So cool, now I have two "snow blowers."

He still fits in his snow pants, coat and boots from last winter!

 I know, the hubs sweater is so...distracting.

Hot star.

Hope you had some winter fun today!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Plans, Ideas, etc

It's funny and odd when you remember things about yourself that you forgot.  For instance, a few months ago I remembered that when I was in my late middle school and early high school years I imagined that I would be a writer of novels.

I had totally forgotten about this dream of mine.  It got inadvertently buried under old hockey skates, college drunken late nights, expectations of financial independence and the need to have a career "right now."

Back then, I loved writing fiction, adventure and maybe even sci-fi.  Years passed.  After I became an ICU nurse and saw a few real life horrors, I became obsessed only with non-fiction literary works because I was not convinced that any fictional stories could ever compare to the real-life tragedy that I have seen.  So for years, I refused to read any fiction.  I would only read memoirs and autobiographies/biographies (I am still a sucker for a juicy memoir) and very occasionally something about history.

And maybe it was those years that forced the dream even further between the couch cushions, underneath a layer of crumbs and forgotten toy cars.  But eventually, I could not get my hands on enough intriguing non-fiction and I had no choice but to turn to some good old fashioned fiction for entertainment.  And I fell in love with fiction again.

Which brings me to today.  I have an idea.  Probably not a new idea.  But a possible plan to reach a goal, a dream I once had.  No, I don't plan on writing and publishing a book.  But I do plan to create a story.  Gears are turning.  Inspiration is near.

“If you play it safe in life, you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore.” 
― Shirley M Hufstedler

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St Nick + another first

Looks like someone made a stop at our house last night.

He got an activity book with a no mess marker.  Instead of coloring in the lines he kept tracing his "honds" (there he goes writing/drawing with his left hand again).

 And in even more exciting news...

Another first...

First school pictures!!  He even picked out that particular sweater for the occasion.  No lie.

The hubs does not like this one because he thinks "he looks like he could be a girl."  I disagree but I guess we won't be getting any of this one.

And my fav...

My big boy, growing so so fast!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The stockings are hung...

I hung the stockings on the stair railing because I just didn't feel like hanging them on our fake fireplace this year.  I also didn't feel like getting out all of the fake garland and lights this year so the stockings dress up this area where the garland and lights usually go.

I set up the tree and put the lights on it on a Monday.

 Then, on Wednesday, we decorated.

 Like a fool, I had grand expectations about us trimming the tree as a family while jamming out to some Christmas music.  In reality, it was spend mostly scolding a 2 year old who saw my vintage bulbs as balls that you need to throw really far while the men's Badger basketball game played in the background.

Sully decorates trees in a "cluster" fashion.  He just kept throwing all the bulbs on the same spot of the tree.  Such a boy...

 Here it is with all the ornaments in place.

 (Yes, I did make that tree skirt by sewing strips of burlap and white fabric to my old tree skirt.)

But sometimes more is better so I could not possibly stop there.  I had to add some ribbon.  And feathers.

 Love, love, love!