Friday, December 31, 2010

Where Princesses Live

Daddy: "How was school today, L?"
L: "GOOD!"
Daddy: "Who did you play with?"
L: "I dunno."
Daddy: "Was Ellie in school?"
L: "Yup!"
Daddy: "What about Eitan?"
L: "Yup."
Daddy: "What about (insert all the kids name in her class)?"
L: "Yup."
Daddy: "What about Buzz Lightyear?"
L: "NOOO! He lives in Toy Story!!!!"
Daddy: "What about Jessie?"
L: "Which Jessie?" (She does have a little girl named Jessica in her class.)

Daddy: "You know, with Bullseye?"
L: "NOOO! I told you, they live in TOY STORY!"
Daddy: "What about Cinderella, was she at school today?"
L: "NOO, Daddy! Cinderella lives in the Cinderella castle. And in my underwears!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Addiction to Merry & Cheer

I've been MIA and I can only attribute it to my addiction of holiday cards, for real people. It's a true alibi.   Truth time: I totally use labels and I don't write out greetings for all - which I know isn't very personal but I am only one woman. I STILL haven't finished sending all of our cards out yet. It's complicated, there is cross checking, always running out of stamps, just remembering they are in the back of my car to be dropped in the mailbox. Anyway, that's where I have been... working with Santa on the whole presents thing and addressing holiday cards.  To be fair, it's not just holiday cards it's mail of all kinds.   This year's Thank You cards did not disappoint (in my not so humble opinion). Seriously? Can you stand it? 
(front)
(back)
The pressure was on for the holiday cards this year. EARLY on with the magic of picnik, I thought this would be our holiday card:


Can we take a time out and give big ups to the ball and chain? He humors my need for a laughable and fun holiday card so much that homeboy is in living rooms across the world in tights. To be fair, it's knee highs - but still. Knee highs or full on tights - he deserves a standing ovation for his cooperation and commitment to THE holiday card mission. 

Long story longer, the card I thought we'd be able to do wasn't possible when I uploaded the edited image. I'm sure there was a more expensive way to make my dreams come true, but it wasn't in the cards this year (pun intended). 


Then an opportunity from Shutterfly came about. Write the truth and 50 free cards are yours. So I whipped 
this up - and whored it up for the love of holiday spirit.  Truth be told, the quality of the holiday cards did NOT disappoint. The free cards were awesome, but 50 doesn't really cut it for our holiday list (if I have your address, basically you get a holiday card, I can't help it - I want to share the joy). We ended up going with additional variations of the following OR going with photos that didn't include the ball & chain in tights. You know, mix it up and all. Plus, he's only so understanding.  I don't really want to prove how crazy about this I am, take my word for it.  I won't show all the variations we had.  For the most part we used the same images (except for the one variation minus the tights). 


I don't know, I might be biased, but another year, another success in providing our family & friends with some holiday cheer! So folks that are lurking about,  to you we wish you the happiest of holidays! We truly wish you a magical holiday season & the very best in the new year.  Love, Peter Pan, Wendy & Tinkerbell... if you couldn't tell. 

Check it out, I'm not the only one who has a love for the holiday cards. Phew. Having some company in the madness sure is nice! Check it out. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

wordless wednesday

(comment: I don't know.. Santa seems to be a little too jolly about all of this? Doesn't he?)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Traditions- The Tree Hunt

This year was our second annual trip to Geer Tree Farms. Last year the tradition began, and I am fairly sure it will be on the agenda for years to come.  The scenery is breath taking and despite being true city folk in our heart - we like the hunt of the tree. 


Geer Tree Farm


And while we aren't huge fans of having to cut a tree down with a saw, luckily we had a visit from BoBo who hit the tree with chain saw.  He knows us well, we had our pictures so why sweat it out?

BoBo getting the tree down & ready to go in seconds vs. our saw workout.
Measuring the tree - want to make sure it's tall enough, but not TOO tall!



On the hunt
L helping.

L & her buddy - he's serious business
Having fun with Liza while the tree gets wrapped & ready to go!

Family Photo - PRE Tree

Another GUnit tradition that continued this year was the tree trimming. We had visitors, ate and was merry. The tree got lit up and the ball & chain got LIT. Daddy may have hit the wine a bit too hard there was some ricochet, but all survived with minimal after affects the next day. I'm working on a little video on how that all went, but the indecisive girl in me, can't decide on a tune. You'll have to stay tuned for that. The result of our hard work (and many bottles of wine that met their maker?) is a perfectly decorated tree. If we could have the tree all year long, I'm pretty sure I would. 

Happy Holidays are HERE!


Family Photo - Post Tree Trimming

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Be Scarred for Life

Dear L, 

Remember when you were unfazed by the horrifying nature of the crazy man in red? Maybe his belly made you think of your mama? Who knows, but year one you were calm, girl.  Those. Were. The. Days. 

"What's all the hubbub about?"
Last year, we went to the same Santa. You would have thought we were throwing you down the highway to hell. Sure we took a year off, in-between the seemingly enjoyable experience, maybe you didn't remember you had a chill time the last time? Last year, what a different reaction. Sure, I am a horrible parent for allowing Santa to pin you down as I laughed (and cried) on the sidelines to capture the shot. I think I was trying to prove a point to Nana Lu, who insisted on these dang pictures. This is what she got for pressing the Santa issue.  This is what I get for giving my mother a hard time. Side note: don't do this to your mother, ever.

 "Get me OUTTA HERE!"

This year. OH this year.  I thought it would be different. You've been wanting to see the big guy for weeks. You were ready to sit on his lap and tell him all of your hopes and dreams (that we carefully placed in your head as parents we are licensed to do).  It was going to be magical, to watch the magic (not horror) in your eyes. Despite a rough night out on Saturday, Mama & Daddy pulled ourselves together with one mission for Sunday: see Santa.   


We waited on an (almost) 2 hour line to wait for the same Santa that you had been with for the last two years; he's legit. As soon as we got there, we realized either Santa got a serious surgery to shrink himself by 35 elves or a totally different guy altogether. You waved to Santa, you didn't notice.  You had a great time on the ridiculously long line.  It didn't hurt that the adult to you ratio was 4:1.  Nana Lu & MyUncleChris came and entertained you for the 2 hour line, but all was looking up. You wanted to review all the things you were going to ask for, you were READY. As the line twisted and turned around the mall all was well. There were smiles, laughs, giggles, dancing; it was holiday time magical.  We turned the corner and it was your turn to talk to Santa.  As we turned that magical corner, we entered the vortex of Christmas year's past. Last year to be exact. 


You held on to me as if I was about to jump out of a plane. I could barely pull you off of me to throw you on the Southern Belle of a Santa before us - but pull you off and throw you I did. If faced with a choice - I would take a warm & fuzzy picture showing you having the time of your life.  Mama didn't have that choice. My choices were limited. 


My choices, as I saw them were as follows:


A) Sit down in the picture with you.  First of all, Santa may have been Southern, but he was no gentleman - it's not like he scootched over.  Secondly, and really more to the point, with the night Mama just had it isn't even fair to put this as a choice because this was not an option, Mama looked like a
hott tranny mess. 
B) Bag the picture altogether. See talk of 2 hour wait, not an option, Sweetie. 
C) Throw you on Santa and hope for the best (worst) picture to add to our collection.

"No. No. No. NO. NO."


You see my dear, childhood scarring aside, Mama had no choice. Throw you I must. I hope you get what you want for Christmas, kinda a missed opportunity here - not getting the big man's ear when you had the chance? (see last week's post - I'm channeling Rudolph's dad here).

Next year, we'll try again if you want - it's your choice, dude. But know this:  if you are going to have me wait on a line like that, I'm going to get a picture out of it.  Adorable or horrifying - that's up to you.

Love,
Mama


P.S. Don't worry. I put in a good word with Santa, turns out you are getting EVERYTHING you want and more.  Mama used a little bargaining when I had the chance. Santa had some choices too.

A) Give you all that you are dreaming of. 

B) Leave you there with him.

He decided on A - spoiling you. You appear much more unruly than you really are. Way to go girl. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sometimes lurkers aren't up to no good

When it was time for the kid to get a bike (thanks Santa), I went to the store, ill prepared. Let this be a lesson to all parents - those looking to purchase a bicycle and those being stared at by another in the bicycle section. 

Here's how it went down. Santa wanted to bring something for his best little girl special, so bicycle it was. When I went to go do Santa's dirty work (truth: it's not elves that are working around the clock, it's overweight moms like myself. Not quite the picture you expected, huh?). I got to the store and in typical fashion - I'm checking out the style.

She loves pink. I hate pink. But I won' t be riding this bike - so pink it is. I checked out the selection on pink, and it was character based or neon. I will bend on the pink thing, but I can not, will not, get character based apparel (though I have) or toys (though I have). It's your typical parenting conundrum. You say you won't do something, but you do. I decided to pass on Barbie and go for a Tony Hawk neon pink "racing" bike.
Too much. Apparently.
Just enough. Turns out.


I'm hoping she "fits" the bicycle, because of course I learned something new on my shopping spree. Size matters.  I didn't measure her before I left, nor do I know really how tall she is. I basically just stood in the section awaiting children running by looking for someone "her size" so I could ask that parent if they knew how tall their child was. 


Yeah, nothing weird about that - at all.

Ruldolph's Dad is D*ck & Other Holiday Discoveries

Like a scene from a holiday classic, often times the holidays can throw me into a mood. Are you picturing sugar plums fairies dancing in my head? Don't. 

At different points within the holiday season there is serious stress. There is the gift getting, traveling, working out where we will go and when, figuring out work vacation, traffic, transporting said gifts through the said travel to where we figure out we'll be and sitting in traffic covered in bags. Multiply that by 3 and get BACK from said visits through traffic with more stuff than we left with - it gets me quite a mood, indeed.


This year the kid really 'gets it.' What fun! It's the first year we'll be home for the holidays and Santa is coming to TOWN, our town.  I've been
hoarding collecting things through out the year so there can be a HUGE pile of goodies under the tree.  Santa is going to BRING IT this year.  It's going to be awesome. The best news? Whatever she asks for - I am 99% sure Santa has it covered. How can I be so sure?  The kid has brilliant parents, if I do say so myself.  We may or may not have been planting giving her "ideas" to ask Santa for.  These 'ideas' just so happen to match up to what I have it on good authority Santa already has packed in the closet already wrapped cause I'm unseasonably and oddly prepared like that his sleigh. 

Dad:
"L, have you been a good girl this year?"
L: "Um. YEAH. A real good girl. I'm three."
Dad: "Yup, you are. So, we are going to see Santa next weekend, what are you going ask for?"
L: "Santa coming tomorrow? After school?!"
Dad: "Nope, not yet - we have to tell Santa what you want for Christmas - what are you going to ask for?"
L: "I dunno. Barbie? Horses?"
Me: "How about Barbie ON a horse?"
L: "YEAH! BARBIE ON A HORSE! And Princesses."
Me: "Awesome, what about a princess puzzle?"
L:  "Yeah! Princess puzzle!"
Me: "And maybe some games and videos?"
L: "YEAH!"
Me: (Insert the rest of the gifts in the closet in Santa's sleigh.)
L: "YEAH! I wantta all of those things! Mama, can you help me?"
Me: "Sure, with what?" (we were eating dinner at the time)
L: "Mama, when I talk to Santa, will you help me tell him??" 

CAN you STAND it?  Things were looking up over here on Happy Holiday Lane. All this Santa talk made my heart grow three sizes that day. I had stashed away a DVD box set of Holiday Classics: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and more.  I thought I would break it out, we were all in the mood.  It was awesome. We snugged up on the coach and watched Rudolph together. I admit it. I nearly teared up. 

Fast forward: 1 week later. Things on Happy Holiday Lane are going great. The tree is amazing (more on that later), the house smells like the spirit of Christmas, we are done with presents for the kid and thanks be to major sale sleuthing we didn't really spend that much money and a last minute MAJOR purchase is going to be tear jerking if she has the reaction I think she will.  There is one small exception to this wonderful life.

Rudolph, that god dang bastard, is practically on replay. I don't know if you've re-watched it lately but it's serious. How did we not have more issues with bullying growing up? These elves are little bastards. They are so cruel to Hermie.  The head Elf is a cranky little B and all he does is tear down Hermie who is the only elf that doesn't look like the rest (with the exception of one random tall elf).  It's probably hard enough to not look like everyone else - what kind of world were we living in where everyone looked the same and that didn't raise any red flags? Beyond his Farrah Facet quaff in the front of his face he appears to be wearing lipstick and wants to be a dentist.  I'm not sure what kind of euphemism dentistry is supposed to stand for, but the whole thing is uncomfortable to watch (on re-play, no less).

Beyond the elf leader, Santa is a real D.  He puts down the elves when they try to make a new song for him, alienates Rudolph, is passive aggressive to his wife and Rudolph's dad - just a real a*hole.  Why, after viewing this as a child, did I want to visit this cranky old bastard and put hope that he would make my dreams come true? 

Finally, Rudolph's dad perpetuates a feeling of the opposite of unconditional love.  After a quick google search, apparently this is conditional hate (duh). He hates his kid because he is different. Um, how is this a feel good holiday movie again? In addition to him being a real jackass, he is also sexist. Well, maybe Sam the Snowman is because as he narrated a pivotal scene in the movie he dropped a bomb I seriously do NOT recall ever hearing. What am I going on about? Let me lay it down for you. 

As you may remember, Rudolph runs away because everyone hates him because he is different.  Despite a youth of being taught to hide who he is (thanks Dad) the breaking point is when the reindeer coach specifically instructs the other kids to "not let Rudolph play in their reindeer games."  The love of his life, Clarice (creepy fact all I hear is "Why, hello Clarice" when her name is mentioned in the movie) chases after him, proclaims her love for him and accepts him for all that he is.  He is feeling better about life until Clarice's red-nosing hating dad come by and crash their dreams. No daughter of his will be spending time with a red-nosed freak. Crushed, Rudolph runs away. 

Now this is where I freaked. As Sam tells the story and Donner (Jerk Dad) & the mom (don't speak unless spoken to woman) realize that Rudolph is gone Donner has buyers remorse and tells the little woman he's going out to find Rudolph. Of course the mom wants to come to, probably realizing if Rudolph is as smart as she thinks he is there's no way he's coming back with this idiot. The response?  

"NO. This is mans work." - Donner, Rudolph's dad. Not only a hater but a sexist. Don't believe me? I'm serious. This happened. 




The story continues on to say, "And no sooner did the man of the house leave..." (Seriously. Is this serious?) basically Clarice and mom decide to rebel again THE man and go find Rudolph on their own.  Maybe the lesson here is "Girl Power!" as long as the man of the house is gone? Geesh.


I've heard of things looking different looking at them through a child's eyes (see magic at Disney), but being horrified after the fact looking at something with adult eyes? This is news to me. Have you ever seen something after the fact and wondered HOW you didn't notice it before? I get to relive this nightmare everyday, at approximately 6pm once the kid requests another round of Rudolph the FREAK Nosed Reindeer and the Dysfunctional Family of the North Pole. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bong Bong (Opening Scene of Law & Order)

Many moons ago (after 2002 before 2005 - somewhere in the middle) it was a freezing cold day in Boston. The kind of cold that if any part of your skin was exposed to the elements it meant possibly loosing that part of your body forever. Frigid doesn't begin to explain it.  During my lunch break I braved the cold and went to the mall, which was across the street from the office I worked in at the time.  It was right after Christmas and hundreds of dollars of gift cards (ironic) were burning a whole in my wallet.  I got my monies worth at the buy 2 get 1 table and had a good sized bag of mindless books to read over the course of the next few weeks. 

I left "early" for work that day, right at 5:30 pm. This was pretty legendary, as I was (am) known to stay past 7pm most nights. I was excited about curling up on the couch and reading one of the said mindless books.  Plus I believe I was still suffering from post-holiday blues. I set on my way, out of the office and over the bridge that connected to the train station. It's a bridge that has cars and pedestrian walkway, not a sole connection bridge.  The bridge is actually called "Prison Point Bridge." Catchy name, huh? It's also called Gilmore Bridge, but I only learned about that when I was trying to find a picture for this here post. 

Serious Snowboarding Mask
Stick 'Em Up Mask
Anyway, there I am walking over Prison Point Bridge, with my gigantic bag of books heading over to the side I'd pick up the train to my apartment at the time. As I started to make my journey, in the distance I could see two guys walking toward me. They were completely covered with a face mask. Not a straight up, stick 'em up mask, but a bottom half we're going serious snowboarding mask.  One guy may have had a bandanna covering the same section of his face, both had hoods and hats on - they were ready for winter and like I said it was freaking freezing. This kind of get up was NOT uncommon in Boston at this time of the year so I have no idea why the next thought and plan came into play.

I
nner monologue: "If these guys try to rob me, I'm going to use my book bag as a weapon and hit them with it and run."

As I approached the two my life flashed before my eyes. This is where I blacked out and imagined someone going for a morning run, under Prison Point Bridge finding my body like in an opening scene of Law & Order. Bong Bong.

The two jokers pushed me up against the side of the bridge sticking SOMETHING in my side. I won't say it was 
definitely a gun, because I'd like to believe if it was really a gun they would have taken it out of their pocket and that I'm not that stupid. A gun is definitely what they were gesturing was in their pocket; they weren't happy to see me - they wanted my bag. I don't know what came over me but the following dialog happened, there are no exaggerations to the following.

Joker 1:
"Give me your wallet."
Me: "What?"
Joker 2: "Your wallet. Your bag. Your money. NOW!"
Me: "(kind of laughing) Are you serious? I don't have any money, I work over there." (pointing to the building I work, because truly, I was barely making rent)

Joker 1: "Your BAG!"
Me: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" somewhere in the NO I got away and started BOOKING it back toward my building screaming, and again - no joke: "Fire! FIRE! FIRE!" I think I saw an Oprah that said people are more likely to help you if they think there is a fire.  There I was listening to O screaming fire, running. 
I don't run. I say, I try not to run unless I am being chased. I guess it is the damn truth because I was, in fact, being chased.


At some point, I turned to see if I had lost them despite it being a straight bridge passing, where I would loose them, I'm not sure. I turned around, as I continued running, and as I did my arm went back. Joker 1 or 2 not sure - grabbed my arm. I wrestled him off and kept going. By the time I got to the other side of the bridge and into a crowd of people they were GONE. They weren't behind me, I couldn't see them anywhere.  I can only assume they ran back toward the train, as there is only one way to go. 


I remember freaking out, almost 
hyperventilating and running into a group of people I recognized that worked in my building, but I have no idea who they are. I told them not to go the way they were going and that someone just tried to rob me. There was one guy in the group and I remember telling him what happened. I also remember him looking blankly at me, not saying a word, and continuing to walk toward the train. 

That guy is a dick and I saw him on and off for the next few years, always hating him after that - though not knowing his name. I found out at some point that there were two guys that looked 
exactly alike that worked in the building, so I'm pretty sure that an innocent guy that looked like the dick that ignored me got a bum wrap, but what can you do? Guilt by association. 

I get home, exhausted and spent from the whole thing. As I walked in I was greeted by my boyfriend at the time. 

Me:
"I'm sorry I'm home late. I got held up."
Him: "Whatever, it's fine - you are always held up at work. No surprise."
Me: "No really, like held up by thugs, likely by gun point, held UP."

Fast forward - I call my mom. Don't know why I would worry her post hold up - but I did.  
At the point where I start screaming "Fire FIRE fire!" in the story she interrupted me.
Mom:
"Why would you run? Just give them the bag!! (insert something about wallet, money, isn't important - your life is more valuable something or another)
Me: "Mom, I had my debit card, keys, phone, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD - everything I own in the damn bag. They would know where I live, what would I do? Oh my god, also hundreds of dollars of gift cards!!!"
Mom: Insert some kind of curse and sigh.

As I continue the story and I get to the part that I outran the bastards she interrupts again.

Mom: "Wait? You out ran them? You got away? You ran faster?" (complete and utter disbelief) She proceeds to scream out to inform her boyfriend: 
"RICKY SHE OUT RAN THE BURGLARS!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??!?!?"

I can't be sure, but I think the pride and disbelief that I can actually move quickly erased the fear and stupidity of me not giving up my wallet. 




*Today has been brought to you by the number 35, 61 & 62 of the "100 Things" List about little old me. 

35. I hate to run, I try not to unless I am being chased.

61. I was once a victim of an attempted robbery.
62. At one point, while my life didn’t flash before my eyes, I envision some idiot taking a morning run would come upon my body – like the beginning of Law & Order.
(c) 2007 all rights reserved. aka don't be a D and swipe any content, photos, etc - sucka. Should you be tempted, let me know so I can be flattered and then give me something write about.