Friday, November 28, 2008

Quiet Friday

It's not too black of a Friday when you don't go shopping...

In fact, it was a beige Friday because I made turkey soup from the leftovers. It was a red Friday in that I got a pedicure instead of having my toes stepped on by mobs of people at Target. It was a New Times Roman Friday if referring to the few upcoming holiday details I attended with email and phone calls. I made one online purchase (same price as the 4 a.m. special) this morning, but it definitely was not black.

In fact, I did precious little this Friday. I thought about doing a lot more, even mourned the day for my future self when I wake up on Monday cursing, "It's freaking December 1st??? WTF? Why didn't I do more when I had the chance?" But I still didn't do much to prevent the bleed today.

And I'm glad.

Tomorrow, we'll start decorating, get that Christmas photo taken and pick up a couple of gifts. Heck, I might even find the two that I hid 3 weeks ago that I can't find which is defeating the entire purpose of early shopping, but today, notsomuch.

And now, I'm off to bed early from all of this nothingness. It's amazing how tired that can make a person.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving table

I’m not even going to pretend for one minute that I came up with this craft idea on my own--I shamelessly robbed it from Scribbit whose pinecone turkeys look so much cuter than ours...

After we made these, I was reminded once again of one of my many maternal failures. Our turkeys look like Cabaret dancers. I was going to use them as place card holders on this really elegant table I had pictured in my mind, but now I’m thinking they’re only appropriate if I invited strippers and clowns for Thanksgiving dinner.

But because we have invested so much effort--we collected those pinecones in Georgia this weekend and I went to three different stores for feathers and pipe cleaners--we’re going to use them anyway. It was pretty fun, even for J because no glue was involved.

I will just remember for next year that perhaps I should leave the clever crafts to the pros and stick to what I’m good at...which I suppose would be just coming up with dirty turkey limericks.

Back to the kitchen with me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Counting my blessings, 2008

I enjoy Thanksgiving much more than most holidays—a day that revolves around food and football, what’s not to love? But perhaps more than culinary appreciation, Thanksgiving by its very definition is a cynic’s day off. And frankly, full-time cynicism is an exhausting profession.

Last year I compiled my 2007 List of Things that I am Thankful For, and as I reviewed it this year, I realize very little has changed with the two exceptions that I would have made it longer and I would include the premature gratitude for winning that $30k from Huggies...

So I humbly present my list to you, and ask, what's on your list? Post here and we'll count our blessings together.

This year I’ve stopped at 101 for the sake of time. So in no particular order with the exception of number one...

1. My family
2. Presidential term limits
3. Amy’s doctors
4. The First Amendment
5. Faith
6. Windows
7. The unexplained
8. Old friends
9. New friends
10. Future friends
11. October 30, 1990
12. Kathy Butler
13. Saturdays
14. Hope
15. A big boy that stills thinks he’s smaller
16. A little boy who thinks he’s a whole lot bigger
17. Paris Hilton’s dimming spotlight
18. A tall eggnog latte
19. Home
20. Sunsets on the Gulf
21. Baby perfume
22. Buying only one size diaper at the store
23. For what I already have
24. A good book
25. Opportunity
26. My iPhone
27. Tasha
28. Spontaneity
29. Sangria
30. Truffle oil
31. Satellite radio
32. Surprises
33. Sacraments
34. A good pair of jeans
35. Fresh flowers
36. Having my hands full
37. Real butter and whole milk
38. Sand between my toes
39. Spring
40. Mascara
41. Fresh herbs in place of dried
42. That I didn’t get that tattoo
43. Christmas
44. Beating the spread
45. A sense of humor
46. A sense of perspective
47. Belly laughs
48. Liking the same music as my kids
49. A full tank of gas (but not the price tag)
50. Vacuum marks in the carpet
51. Lingering meals
52. With delicious conversation
53. The first day of the season you get to wear a sweater
54. Down comforters
55. Homemade anything
56. Hockey
57. My jobs
58. Road trips
59. Wifedom
60. Good health
61. Family traditions
62. Karma
63. Date night
64. A messy desk
65. Followed by a clean one
66. Lindsay Lohan off of the roadways
67. Footy pajamas
68. Online shopping
69. Sunshine sneezes
70. Did I mention the eggnog lattes?
71. The Sunday paper
72. When spammers and telemarketers get prosecuted
73. Dreary Russian novels
74. Proper grammar
75. TiVo
76. Grandparents
77. Birthday candle wishes
78. Christmas cards
79. Close parking spotsValet parking
80. Something simmering on the stove
81. Motherhood
82. Doing my best
83. New car smell
84. Thoughts.
85. Jokes
86. Everyone reading this
87. Parties for no reason
88. Dressing up
89. Bedtime stories
90. Being in love…still
91. Generosity
92. Thanksgiving
93. Lumps in my throat
94. Sleeping through the night
95. Recycling
96. Digging in
97. Not having to translate Amyspeak because it is obvious!
98. Birthday lunches with the girls
99. Baby slobber
100. Puppy slobber
101. That this list is so easy

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

(This post is on the front page over on!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sort of here

Although we're home, I don't really feel all here.

Mainly because we're all not.

I think I left A's blanket at the hotel.

Please, don't. I await a phone call saying they've found it amongst the discarded blankets of the little double bed Frick, Frack, Freak and I shared every night. They have my credit card number to FedEx it as soon as it is found--which will be a miracle in itself if the description of "a child's pink blanket" can reasonably apply to the thing that A-Dog carries around everywhere. Hopefully, Housekeeping has not mistaken it for a spool of dirty yarn from a seconds store. Or a bag lady's knitting basket. Or Barney's lower intestine and colon. Or what a muppet threw up after a night of binge drinking.

Oh, I'm in trouble.

Friday, November 21, 2008

No, really, I'm leaving in just a second

As I am over-packing to leave within the hour, I must keep reminding myself that not only do they probably have stores in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, but that I am only going to be there for 48 hours.

And I'm leaving Sean and the Intern to hold down this fort, so they could probably wash the coffee pot themselves.

On second, better go get the sponge.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I should really get packing

I’m sitting here ticking off all of the things I need to do tomorrow. I’m taking the kiddos on one of our whirlwind road trips to Atlanta for the weekend because a.) we haven’t done one since August and I don’t want them to get used to having feeling in their legs for 12 hour stretches, b) because my grandparents (their great-grandparents) just spent 3 days trying to buy the correct brand of milk and cereal that although I have told them specifically at least a dozen times this week alone, they will not have purchased the right one, which doesn’t even matter because the kids don’t eat much anyway, but I can’t leave food there out of a guilt reflex so powerful and strong dating back to infancy that I will end up eating 17 bowls of generic Cocoa Pebbles in 2 days, and c) because it’s Thanksgiving and at 38 years old I’m thankful to have grandparents that can, and do, buy the wrong cereal for my children.

So after conferences at 7:30 am, a hair appointment immediately following (want to look closer to 38 than 88), last minute shopping, packing, house-prep, column publication and miscellaneous Traceying; we should be ready to go.

But here’s a couple of pictures and a link to my Thanksgiving column so you don’t miss us too much.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shopping for days at the 1 Day Sale

For the last two days, I have made several stops at Macy's 1 Day sale. (I know, I did the math too, but fashion need not make sense, people.) I have returned for the final time this afternoon with a good chunk of a first effort at the Christmas shopping. Early and on sale with coupons. Coupons which always seem to shock and awe the salespeople who have worked at the store that issued said coupon for 80 years.

I also had to stock up on long pants. Temperatures dropped below 70 this week which caused a wave of sweater-wearing Floridians to run for the stores for the once a year we wear such longish, woolish clothing. Hate it. But I suppose it is necessary since the kids and I will be traveling to that great northern city of Atlanta this weekend, and if my Grandma sees them without socks she'll disown me and then I'll never hear any good cat stories again.

Hence, Macy's.

But this is more shopping than I've done in years, so I'm worn out and must tend to other non-retail things this afternoon. I'm off to for the last 2 days of voting for the national ad campaign of Mom videos. Please vote for your favorites.

And you don't even need a coupon...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Newbaby stuff and other news from the blogosphere

You wouldn't know it from the workday I just put in, but I'm sick. I finally dragged my infected head to the Stat Med yesterday (yes, I know, but who has time to make an appointment with a real doctor when you are going to Disney and attending multiple parties??) and got a chest Xray and about 17 prescriptions to heal with uber cold that has resided inside my nasal cavity and general torso for the better part of the autumn. So I hope I'm finally on the mend.

But in addition to laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, making doctor's appointments and food preparation, I managed to write two posts for the Times, including this one on the Motrin/Babywearing controversy that consumed all of Twitter and the blogosphere this weekend.

You're sure to hear more about it, but if you want a gentle post about the babywearing Mom's POV, read my friend, Stephanie, from Adventures in Babywearing. I met her on our Disney trip and she's a beautiful person. I think she sums it up rather well.

Speaking of, we're hosting some big holiday fun over there. We're gathering Mom's holiday video cards to share with the blogosphere. Submit yours by December 15, 2008 to be eligible for fabulous gifts during prime gift-giving season. If you can get it in before December 1st, then we will include a portion of your video to add to our Mom's Unite for Peace project, which is a video collage of our Mom wishes for the New Year. Please take a minute in front of the webcam with a Santa hat to take part of this festive project. You can embed your card on your own site or email it to your family friends for the most unique card they'll receive this season!

And that's about it for this manic Monday, off to pass out on that freaky decongestant they gave me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hookey is fun

I've had a shower this morning and feel much better. One must wash off the unique perfume of amusement park--that captivating fragrance of sweat, wet metal, and onion rings--before moving on with real life.

Yesterday was a blast. Fun to be with Colleen and her beautiful children, if only for 10 hours in line for Dumbo. I'll take it. The particular irony of this is that as we were gathering any of the 8 children between us to buy an ice cream or souvenir, I had a deja vu. It was only 2 decades ago when we used to work side by side selling overpriced concert swag to people just like us once upon a time. Ah, how things change.

Weekend plans? Oh, the usual, 3 parties, 2 hockey games, 2 oil changes and about 4 gallons of milk. There's a pattern to my life at least...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Playing hookey

Okay, so I'm trying to calm all of the monkey's down for bed.

I stupidly told them more than 30 seconds before we were going to leave that we were skipping school tomorrow and going to Disney World instead. Rookie mistake.

Why am I being such a nice reckless and irresponsible mother? Because my pal from Michigan is down here with her family in the land of Mouse and I miss her and these kind of days are needed every once in a while so you don't lose your mind.

BUT..I deserve it because I've written my fingers off this week and I need to look at something other than this computer screen for a few hours.

I'll eat a Mickey churro for you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, hello Tuesday

I took a Benedryl last night to help me through my night time congestion that the kids have been so generous in sharing, and I woke up this morning feeling like someone had forced me to sleep against my will. Heavy-limbed this morning, and not particularly rested.

But I had to get up and out early this morning so the doctor could tell me that J. has a double ear infection. Of course she does.

After a month hiatus, I am covering the meeting tonight. The good news is that means tonight is Tuesday, and I am going to try to steal an hour beforehand to shop for, (dare I say it aloud?) Istmas-Chray. I am determined not to pay full price for any item this year. I'll let you know how that goes...

I also need warmer clothes for J. because the closest thing she has to pants looks like this, and I can't help but think of Madonna in the "Papa Don't Preach" video every time I see her in it.

Either that or baby prison.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

No more whine, please

I just realized I had taken a leave of absence from the blogoshere without even asking anyone to water the plants or take in the mail. How rude of me. I didn't even get you a lousy T-shirt.

So just to get everyone up to speed in the last 4 days I've:

1) Not fixed the school system.

2) Drank a lot of wine for the benefit of the school system.

3) Drank a lot of wine for the city of Safety Harbor.

4) Completed 3 student projects for the school system.

5) Won these from school system:

So as you can see, I've been busy. And drunk. No, I'm kidding of course. Only slightly tipsy but with a killer headache. Here's to a new week. (No wine, please.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day

First off, let me just express how happy I am today. With the total absence of smugness, and only with genuine and sincere happiness and pride, I feel a big wave of good Karma spreading. I haven't felt that in many years, and I know I'm not alone in that feeling no matter who you voted for. Time to unite and fix our country together.

And on a more personal front, we begin a new chapter around here today as well. Sean has officially announced his resignation from the Lightning effective next month.

We don't know where that next opportunity will be yet, but I know it will be the right thing for our family. I am so proud of what he's done here, so only good things come after something this special. He is going to take Christmas off, and then drive me crazy for a week before he gets tired of changing light bulbs and diapers and considers our next adventure. He jokes that Suburban Diva will be the new breadwinner, but for the $4.05 I bring in monthly, it's going to be pretty crappy bread.

Send him an email if you want. You know he's going to want to hear from someone other than me yelling for him to refill my martini glass all day long...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Just hoping it ends soon

Like many of you, I've been looking forward to this day for a very looooong time. I feel like I'm well-informed, confidant in my choice, and somewhat excited to have been active in this election.

But last night I got a wake-up call to the ugly side of this process, that has me nauseated today rather than excited.

I am used to political disagreements. In fact, I honor that as part of the democratic process. We should always have an open forum for disagreements and different points of view. That part is healthy. But last night and continuing today, I find that open mindedness is really not widely practiced around my particular neighborhood. There are some that not only thing I'm wrong (which is their right) but told my child that I'm doing something criminal and morally unforgiveable because I'm voting for the Democratic candidate for President.

It is absolutely the lowest form of voter intimidation I've personally ever experienced, and all the wind has been taken out of my sails as I struggle to maintain my composure after having my child be subject to bullying because of who his mother is voting for. My heart is breaking right now knowing that I live in a place of such reckless intolerance--to me, but moreover, to children. I am an adult, I can handle differing opinions and even respect them, but it's hard today knowing I can't trust people in my community to do the same.

My wonderfully smart, gifted potically sensitive boy said he was going to vote for Mickey Mouse in his school mock election so he didn't get in trouble.

I have never heard anything so horribly sad in my entire life.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Vote for Election Day!

Today, it’s all about the election for me. Preparing for tomorrow when we can end this campaign season and can shelve phrases like, "I approve of this message," "Change the Maverick," and lipstick on anything.

Because no matter who wins, the campaign has to be over, and we have to move on. We need to stop talking, and start doing. And I need to seriously get a life far away from election coverage.

So tomorrow is a historic day on that front. I am dedicating the day to the act of voting, blogging about voting, and then standing sentry at my television set as I watch the returns come in whilst eating hot dogs and apple pie. I think I will pair a nice merlot with patriotism...Hopefully, by the end of the evening--fingers and chads crossed--we will have a new president, Congress, and new local landscape.

I will be participating in the Motherhood’s Mom’s Call in the Vote. I’ll be reporting from my polling place, and I urge you to do the same! This is a big deal, as the BBC reports here. Sign up today, and call in tomorrow. Let America know what your experience is, your thoughts, what you observe. I think that it is so important that we Moms are active and vocal in elections for the sake of our own little future voters. So, please participate and I’ll post updates tomorrow!

And this post from my dear friend Zen, and his early voting experience over the weekend seriously made my heart swell.

Go Vote!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, Stevie!

It's official--I am old. Because I am now a mother to a bona-fide teenager. Stevie turned 13 today, and I must tell you, this isn't an easy one.

I don't know exactly why this one's just a little harder than most, but it is. He's such a young man now, and I wonder, how did that happen? Wasn't I just giving him a bottle yesterday or taking him to his first day of preschool? Oy, I know this makes me sound like one of those crazy mothers that I swore I would never become--the ones who fail to rejoice the lives of their children because they are too busy mourning the past milestones and ordinary passage of time--but I can't help it today.

I'm so very proud of him already, but also for the person he will become.

Bah, enough. I am tired--there were 7 of those newly-minted teens here last night who didn't sleep or let us, and I've picked up that nasty cold that everyone's been sharing so generously, so I must be extra mushy today.

But here's a picture of my two older men...