Friday, December 31, 2010

So about those resolutions...

Last year I made two respectable resolutions. The first was to get all of my photos into albums before the new baby came. Not so much. What I did accomplish was weeding out 8 million pictures from my "artsy" phase of flowers, zoo animals, and old barrels. Note to self: Never, ever, ever take another picture of an animal at a zoo. No one cares. I also tried to organize the 10,000 or so pictures from Eli's first year, gave up, and reprinted them. Uber helpful. So now I have a nice, neat Shutterfly envelope of pictures waiting to be put in an album, a box full of pictures waiting to be put in an album, and poor Syd. None of her pictures have been printed because I haven't even bought her album. So Resolution #1? FAIL.

Resolution #2 was to deal with The Crazy. This one went much, much better. The Crazy is what happens when I get too stressed out. I think about it like this. Most people have an "issue." This could be their kid's safety, their weight, how clean the house is, car repairs, whatever. Mine's money (I know, I know). So the point of the issue is to have a place to focus your attention when your life gets too stressful. Rather than think about, worry about, or deal with the actual stressors, I focus on our bank account. It has at times gotten so bad that I'm compulsively balancing our accounts in my head 24/7. I wake up thinking about what checks have cleared and what bills are due. I check our accounts on-line many, many, many times a day and have near panic attacks every time. Then, in order to keep my "issue," I'll go shopping and spend money we don't have. It's a vicious cycle.

There's no reason for me to freak out so much, but it's my "issue" and it keeps me from having to worry about the real problems. This resolution went much better. I still feel the urge to focus on money when life gets crazy, but I know what I'm doing and I can usually keep it in check. My debit card got hacked and our account was cleared out right before Thanksgiving and I was remarkably calm about it. I don't do the tight fist, tight fist, shopaholic cycle anymore. I've become a lot more egalitarian with C and our shared money. And I feel like I've done a much better job of identifying the true issue and dealing with it, rather than burying my head in our bank account. So Resolution #2? TOTAL WIN.

I am so excited for 2011. Possibly more excited than I've ever been going into a new year. I just got licensed. C and I have a solid plan for getting ready to get ready to think about buying a house. C's got awesome plans for the next year, and we're finally in a position where they're feasible. The kids are amazing, and will both be super cool ages this year (Syd'll be 1, Eli'll be 5). It's just going to be awesome. So I'm not making resolutions. There are things I want to do. Pay down/off credit cards. Lose weight. Be healthier. Get those damn pictures in an album. Be a better mom and wife. But mostly, I just want to remember what an awesome time in our lives this is, slow down, and enjoy it.

And maybe get a family picture with all of us smiling at the same time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I've got a great Christmas wrap-up in the works. Seriously, it's got sledding, new bikes, adorable sibling moments, puking, the works. The problem is that I've become totally addicted to Angry Birds and so haven't "had the time." So in the meantime...

Friday, December 17, 2010

What not to wear

I'm totally cheating by back dating this post. We color outside the lines around here.

So the test. Tuesday night I managed to completely paralyze myself and convince myself I was going to fail the test. And have to wait six months to retake it. And lose my job. And die of shame and ignorance. (Dramatic? Me?) Wednesday I woke up feeling slightly more optimistic, but not much, which I'm assuming is why my superstition kicked in so strongly. Suddenly it was extremely, life or death important that I find the perfect test-ass kicking outfit to wear. And I did. Dark wash flare jeans, black grandpa cardigan, black cami, black wedge boots, and my dog tags with the kids' names on them. Casual but pulled together. Comfortable. And I felt confident. In short, the perfect ensemble. The only snag was that I couldn't find my favorite tank top (the one that hides my "two kids, the last of who was over ten pounds" belly and makes the girls look awesome) in the Kilamanjaro of laundry and had to settle for the way too clingy, low-cut, and a bit too shiny one. No matter, I buttoned the sweater and moved on.

I pulled up to the testing center, a run down office complex in a run down part of town, to find an ambulance parked in front. Never a good sign. Walked in to find no emergency, breathed a sigh of relief, and sat down. Two women were in front of me, so I waited. Finally, after what felt like hours but was really about twenty minutes, it was my turn. The proctor took my ID, handed me my scratch paper, and assigned me Terminal 13. Seriously Then she asked me to empty my pockets. I dumped my keys and wallet into the file folder and turned out my pockets. Then she asked if my sweater had pockets. So I showed her inside the teeny-weeny, totally decorative little patch pockets on my sweater. And she told me I couldn't wear it in. Apologetically, but still. She said it was plenty warm, but didnt mention that the fan would be pointed right at me. I didn't point out that I was more concerned about showing my back fat than being warm enough. I was going to point out that my pants had pockets but didn't want to press my luck. So I took my test, in essentially my underwear, at Terminal 13. And passed. It's totally my lucky shirt now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So tired...

I haven't slept well in days. Last night Syd woke up coughing her poor head off at 1:00. Then she realized how awesome that was and was ready to party. For two freaking hours. Which woke Eli up. Who threw a fit because I wouldn't let him climb in bed with us (because I'm a big meany and we still just have the queen size and it was just too early for a foot in the spleen). So that was fun. The night before I just didn't sleep. Weirdest thing. I layed there all night, but didn't sleep. I've never been a person who loves sleep (in my perfect universe, we wouldn't need to sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom. Welcome to my neuroses.) but I've never had a problem sleeping. I'm blaming it on over-caffination, children, and stress. I have the last, very last, very very last test that I have to take, ever, tomorrow and I've totally freaked myself out about it. Dude. Just completely lost my train of thought. Gone. So yeah, tired. On the plus side, today I've had several sodas, two donuts, a huge brownie, and a baked potato covered in a mountain of cheese. It's all about the self-care. And elastic waist pants at the rate I'm going.

These are the things making me super happy right now, despite my delirium and anxiety.

The Portable North Pole. If you haven't done this and you have kids, GO. NOW. Seriously the most awesome thing ever. And totally free, which is even better. I could tell Eli was having a hard time buying the whole Santa thing, but he's a card-carrying believer now. He keeps telling me, "Mama, Santa's counting on me to be nice." Sold.

Syd may not sleep great (see above) but man that girl likes to eat. She's a great eater, and it's so fun watching her figure it out. We gave the school the green light to try her on some lunch foods and it's gone great. Yesterday she had tuna noodle casserole for lunch. That just cracks me up.

I did all of my Christmas shopping on-line this year. How did I not think to do this before? It's amazing! I had to go to Target last week for formula and nearly had an anxiety attack from all the people. I can't imagine ever going to a mall in December again. Seriously, couple of clicks on my lunch break, free shipping, and my shopping's waiting for me at home. And. AND. No looking everywhere for the perfect ______________. 'Cause you know what? You can buy anything on the internet. And usually cheaper. I may do all my shopping on-line.

We have our tree up and went looking at Christmas lights last weekend. This year I'm really excited for Christmas and really getting into the spirit. A couple more days and I'll be able to recite "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" word for word.

And in true disjointed fashion, totally unrelated pictures of my kids.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wishful thinking

"Ice Man shooting ice"

It may be California, but if there's a freak snowstorm, my kids are ready.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lesson learned

This is what you get when you take a "character shy" kid to see a budget
Santa set up in a trailer.

Seriously, out of about 8 shots this is the best one. The mommy-freak-out-second-kid "Oh it's all so unfair!" part of me is tempted to go pay the $20+ for the better Santa so Syd has a decent picture. The other part figures Eli will make an even worse face and I should move on. What would y'all do?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You have what where?

I think I've mentioned before (but I'm too lazy to look) that it's important to me to teach my kids the appropriate words for body parts. We have no "privates" or "pee pees" or *shudder* "front butts." We have penises and vaginas. (I tried "vulva" but that just sounded too weird.) Boobs if we're feeling crazy. I have a lot of reasons for this, including a desire for my kids to be comfortable with their bodies, but most of it stems from my mommy/prison psych freak-outs. *Essentially, it's much harder to investigate and convict abuse if the kid can't tell you what happened in words people understand.

I know I've mentioned before that Eli loves to be naked and is VERY comfortable with his body. He streaked Thanksgiving without a second thought. So tonight he tells me, very matter-of-factly, that he has two eyeballs in his scrotum. Just picture that. And I was tired and not paying super close attention to what he was talking about (MOTY, I know, but really, this kid is a 24/7 running commentary.) And I'll admit, I just didn't have the energy to explain reproductive anatomy to a four-year-old. So for now, yeah, the kid's got eyeballs in his scrotum. I can't wait for that note to come home from school.