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Monthly Archives: November 2008
Today is JBelle’s “half” birthday. When I was a kid we celebrated the halfway mark by going out to dinner. I think this was my mom’s idea. Mine and Emily’s birthday are both in January, so it was a nice way to break up the year and give us something to look forward to.
I liked that, so in a way I’ve tried to carry on some of the tradition with our kids. Somewhere along the way I had bought mini powdered donuts for JBelle on her half birthday and now that’s what she asks for. It’s her personalized way of acknowledging the half way point of the year. We also sing half of the “Birthday Song” because we’re goofy like that.
Today I’m also reminiscing about last year’s Thanksgiving because today I have exactly two dishes to make for tomorrow’s feast whereas last year, I made them all. Yes, last year I cooked the whole meal pretty much by myself. And I actually, well, liked it! It was a lot of work even though the meal was only for eight people and was small on the Thanksgiving Feast scale. Still, I planned it, I prepared it and I cooked it.
It didn’t really hit me until we sat down to eat. The prayer had been said and the dishes were being passed around and all of sudden this realization swept over me, “I made everything on this table!” It was an adult-zen/”I have a finally arrived” kind of moment. It was also followed by a feeling of utter exhaustion! I barely made it through the meal before I had to go and take a nap!
Do you celebrate “half” birthdays? Have you ever cooked the whole Thanksgiving meal?
So yeah, I showed a bit of “righteous indignation” last week with the whole “no Christmas anything before Thanksgiving” rhetoric. Well, as they say, pride goeth before the fall.
Among my inane holiday rules is the denial of holiday type treats until after Thanksgiving. That means no Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks, no Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer for my coffee, no red and green M&Ms, no Christmas treats of any kind until, all together now, after Thanksgiving. Well…
We, meaning me and GMan, needed a “get out of the house” distraction today. He suggested Chick-fil-a, I said fine, let’s go! And off we went on our merry way. We got lunch, we ate, he played, I eyed the dessert menu and wouldn’t you know…they were offering a holiday milkshake. A Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake. And I, well, I caved. It was irresistible. I mean look at it!
It’s pink! And pepperminty! And it has chocolate in it! Don’t forget the whipped cream with cherry on top!
And I’m…smitten. Thanksgiving, schmanksgiving, after all, rules were meant to be broken, right? I’ll be finding an excuse to get my hands on one of these beauties as often as possible because in a mere 43 days, they’ll be gone.
A popular teaching tool among young child educators is the “class pet” or “class toy”. Sometimes it’s a live animal such as a turtle or snake or hamster. Each child gets a chance to take the pet home for the weekend, care for it and bring it back to school the next week. In other cases, it’s a toy like a stuffed animal.
The latter was the scenario for us last Thursday as I picked-up GMan from preschool. I peeked into his bag and there was “Freddy the Frog”, a cute, green, stuffed frog who was coming home with us to share in our family’s adventures. Freddy had previously gone home with children who had taken him to parties, to restaurants, even to the polling booth for early voting! (Tangent….hmmm, who would Freddy have voted for?)
Unfortunately, Freddy found our family at the most inopportune time. I was sick. DB was out of town, at least until late that evening. We stopped at our usual afterschool hangout but I was in such a haze that I didn’t even think to have GMan pull Freddy out to join us. I don’t believe Freddy even left the backpack until the next day.
Oh, and the next day, actually that day and the two that followed it, I was either in my bed or on the couch. And DB was fairly preoccupied with making sure that the kids and I were adequately taken care of. Then there was the unfortunate throwing episode Friday night. GMan had rescued Freddy from his confines only to start tossing the poor, cuddly amphibian up in air and letting him land splat on the floor. When we told GMan to cease such behavior, he chucked Freddy across the room where he landed on top of the laundry pile. GMan promptly lost his “Freddy priviledges” and poor Freddy was once more confined to the back pack.
I have to back up a bit and explain that Freddy comes home with a book. Each family writes down their adventures with Freddy, complete with pictures. Monday came and we had not had one single adventure with said frog. Much less a photo op. So I called the teacher and explained our illness & discipline related dilemma. She encouraged us to keep Freddy a couple more days with the hopes that I would be feeling better and that GMan had learned his lesson about how we treat our friends.
Clearly Freddy’s middle name is Murphy.
To his credit, the GMan did well with his second chance. I, however, did not. Still sick and using what little energy I had to get my editing work done and to make sure that the we could still find the kitchen and have clean underwear, I was in no condition to contrive any “adventures”. This is what GMan and Freddy did:
Played games on the Internet
If you’ve kept up with me this far, well thanks, I appreciate it! We’re up to Wednesday night now. The frog and the boy have been best buds for 48 hours. The book, well, it’s still blank. When we arrived home from church, I hastily pulled out the camera and clicked off a few photos. Yes, that means the above photos were all staged and taken within 10 minutes. After everyone had been put to bed, I downloaded the photos and quickly printed out a few of them. But what to write?
Dear Miss “A”‘s class. GMan’s family is boring and the boy will probably be a baseball pitcher one day judging from the fast pitch he used when he threw me across the living room. Also, woe to the next family who gets me, you’ll probably end up getting typhoid fever.
Well, I did what needed to be done. I sugar coated the truth! I pretended like Thur-Sun didn’t happen and we started over with Monday. Freddy came to stay with our family at a very opportune time because he proved a faithful companion while Daddy had to take care of Mommy. Our lack of exotic outings allowed Freddy to rest from his previous adventures and just spend time getting to know GMan. Freddy was exposed to numerous learning opportunites while he played on the PBS Kids website with GMan. And Freddy really hopes that Mommy gets better soon!
Now you have, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story!
A year ago yesterday I wrote this post about feeling Christmas-y in November. And I was serious about being a Christmas “purist” in that I don’t, normally, want to acknowledge anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving. But here we are again, one year later, and what is going on? Christmas prep.
I’m having to think of Christmas much earlier than I care to for a number of reasons. On DB’s side of the family, we draw names for gift giving. Three of the four names that we drew this year are members of the part of the family that live in Illinois. They will be joining us for Thanksgiving this year, not Christmas, so we are going to be ready to present them with their gifts when they’re here in a couple of weeks.
My mother has been bugging me requesting ideas for gift shopping from me for weeks now. (Hi, Mom!) She’s one of those people who shops early and is all prepared and stuff. I’ve been uncooperative and now she tells me she’s found something for me even though I didn’t give her any ideas. Hmmm…I’m little scared now. (Kidding!)
I got an idea for our Christmas cards this year from something I saw at church a few weeks ago. Shocking, I know! Especially since traditionally, my fellowship of faith does not like to associate Christmas with, well Christ. Go figure. The congregation we attend is little more “progressive” though. But I digress…ever since then I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with how to pull off the idea. But if I am going to pull it off, I can’t procrastinate (who me?) and wait until the week before Christmas to get it done. So, once more, Christmas stuff on my mind.
But the icing on the Christmas cookie would have to be that yesterday, in my house, someone was playing Christmas music. Christmas music. Before Thanksgiving. That, my friends, is a big No-No! Of course, the excuse was that it’s practice for someone’s upcoming Christmas concert. But still it was playing and yes, I’ll admit it. I even liked it. Just a little. For now.
Just don’t expect me to sing along. Hum…maybe.
(No, I didn’t make it, it’s from Publix.)
Make a wish
Have map, will plunder
It be treasure! Yarrr!
What do you spy, eh?
I believe a fun time was had by all. We tried to do some games & crafts inside but we should have known better. They just wanted to eat cake and to play. We probably could have done the whole thing outside since it turned out to be very pretty day. Oh, well. Live and learn.
The GMan’s birthday* was this past Sunday. But four years ago, Election Day was his birthday. Our baby boy was born at ~7:45am on Nov. 2, 2004. We had already voted because this was scheduled c-section and we knew we’d be otherwise occupied that day! In some ways, to me, today feels more like his birthday than Sunday did.
We watched some of the election coverage in the hospital room that night but then shut it off when it became fairly obvious that a winner would not be determined. I remember that early the next morning, a nurse came in to check my vitals and she said something to the effect of, “Well, we still don’t know who our next president will be!”.
That, of course, harkened back to four years earlier in 2000 when the presidential race was hotly contested and the winner was not officially determined until sometime in December. That year, JBelle was only about 5 months old. I remember that DB came home from work and we took her with us to our polling place. I had dressed her in a red onesie with a hat that was white with red and blue stars on it. As we were leaving the polling area, we were stopped by local TV news reporter and cameraman to answer a question about the election. Later that evening, JBelle made her television debut!
Four years prior to that in 1996, I didn’t vote. Not because I didn’t want to but because I had procrastinated (shocker, I know!) and had not yet registered under my new, legal married name.
And prior to that was my first eligible presidential election as a new “adult”. I turned 18 in 1992 and that fall, while attending Virginia Tech, I filled out and mailed in an absentee ballot. This year, our eighteen year old, college freshman niece did the same!
I don’t wax political here on live. laugh. love., that’s DB’s job. And I’m not what you call “patriotic”. But as long as I am able to, I will vote. Not because I believe some politician will “save” us. Not because I think our government can “save” us. But because I have the honor and priviledge of living in a country that gives me the right to do so. And because years and years ago, women who were far braver and savvier and smarter than I’ll ever be risked more than I probably would be willing to risk to make sure that I had the right to vote and let my voice be heard.
*more on that, with pictures, later!