Monday, December 17, 2018

Weekend Recap

Before I talk about this weekend, I need to back up and mention W’s first school Christmas program.  I knew he’d been practicing songs for weeks and I was so excited for the program.  I also knew he’d be dressed as an angel.  Is there anything sweeter than kindergartners dressed as angels?  Gah.  I have not been to many kids Christmas programs (ok, none… I’ve been to none aside from the ones I was in as a kid, and I distinctly remember suggesting changes to the program, which I’m sure my teacher was thrilled about, but I digress.)  W’s Christmas program was fantastic!!  I’d never heard most of the songs, the backdrop was beautiful, the kids were adorable.  I just loved it so so much.  I’m regretting not ordering the video.

I took Friday off and spent much of the day wrapping presents at my mom’s house.  Susana stopped over with her kitten, we ordered pizza, it was a great day.

Saturday, we attended a service for my great uncle who’d recently passed away.  This is the fifth family member I’ve lost this year.  I’m including my dog in that, but FIVE.  I’m mentally done with 2018.  On the bright side, we went out for a late lunch with my mom and I ordered a margarita so there’s that.  Saturday night, A and I decided we’d drive around with the boys and look at Christmas lights like we used to do as kids.  We made popcorn (which is now scattered throughout my car), had hot cocoa, and listened to Christmas music.  We even found “Christmas Lane”, a street in which every single house is decorated with Christmas lights.  I really enjoyed it and we discussed going out again to look at even more lights.

In an attempt to keep it real, I’m just going to say that Sunday sucked.  There are some days in which parenting is just plain hard and defeating and this was one of them.  It started right as we were leaving for church when I realized that one of the boys had (ink) stamped W’s Kindergarten class picture.  It broke my heart.  I get very attached to photos and I had planned on saving this one forever.  His first class picture.  It didn’t help that when I asked, no one had any recollection of stamping said photo.  Our return address stamp must have just magically appeared on the picture.  I tried to wipe the ink off to no avail and then A tried a magic eraser, which took off all the color from the photo and made it way worse (I know A was trying to help).  I realize that this may seem relatively minor, but I still have my grade school class photos in a book my mom put together for me.  It had sentimental value that can’t be replaced.  So I was on the verge of tears at 8:30am.

The rest of the day continued in the same frustrating, exhausting manor with hitting, pushing, messes, multiple timeouts, food thrown on the floor, talking back, arguments, spilled lemonade, and so on.  There were a couple bright spots – everyone ate AND liked the lemon and crème chicken and linguine I made for dinner.  A rarity.  W cleaned his room (though he also rearranged his furniture), but I appreciate the initiative.  We ended up sending the boys to bed at 6:45 because we didn’t know what else to do.  I know, I know… the days are long, the years are short.  But those long days… whew… they aren’t for the weary.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Weekend Recap

We had quite a busy weekend!  But I think every weekend lately is a busy weekend…

Friday night, W had Craft Night at his school.  I will admit that I was dreading this.  It had been a long, busy week and all I wanted to do was relax.  But W had expressed interest and any opportunity to expand his social skills is worth exploring.  We ran into W’s teachers and had a chance to say hi to them.  I swear, W’s teachers are ALWAYS at the school – they are so incredibly dedicated.  A few of W’s classmates said hello, which I thought was so cute.  The crafts were lots of fun (albeit messy) and the boys had such a great time.  I’m happy we went.

Saturday, we headed to Chicago.  I think I mentioned that we wanted to gift an “experience” instead of presents for W’s birthday.  We arrived at Navy Pier and grabbed lunch at Harry Caray’s restaurant.  After that, we headed to Winter Wonderfest.  My honest opinion: it was just ok and I wouldn’t do it again (but now we know).  The boys tried ice skating (emphasis on TRIED).  W made it around the rink – barely.  S made it about 3 feet.  Poor guy just couldn’t get the hang of it.  After we got off the ice, they both said they wanted to try again so I admire their perseverance.  There were lots of inflatable slides and rides to go on, but the lines were long and it was just really crowded.  We went down a few slides and went on the carousel and eventually decided to head out and go on the Ferris wheel.  Once we got outside, S declared he was scared and refused to go on.  W didn’t want to go on without all of us so none of us went.  I was disappointed – the Ferris wheel is the one thing I wanted to do at Navy Pier (and the ride was included in our ticket), but that’s the way things go with a toddler.  We grabbed a soft pretzel (W) and cupcake (S) and headed to our hotel.

The hotel/staff were really great.  The location was right off of Michigan Ave and the Christmas lights were so pretty.  We found a little Italian restaurant down the street for dinner.  I think S ended up wearing most of his spaghetti.  W got the cutest bunny shaped pizza.

We really wanted to go to Zoo Lights, but by the time dinner was done, it was already around 7:30pm.  Back to the hotel we went.  I always try to find a suite with a sleeper sofa if possible.  It works out great because the boys can go to bed early and A and I can have some downtime.  The boys loved the room and kept talking about how the hotel was their favorite part of the trip (I’m not really sure why – the did have their own bed, refrigerator, and tv so maybe that had something to do with it). 

Sunday, we walked to nearby Holy Name Cathedral for mass.  The boys repeatedly told me that being in the city and seeing the church reminded them of New York City – I love that they made that connection and will continue looking for opportunities to visit new places.

I’d really like to make this an annual tradition, but skip the Winter Wonderfest and instead let the boys swim in the hotel pool and visit Zoo Lights.

Friday, December 7, 2018

S Says...

A and I have often joked that S will be the one we’ll have to worry about in school.  Not because he isn’t brilliant – he is, but because we’re certain he’ll be the class clown.  He keeps us laughing every day.  Here are a few recent favorites (keep in mind he's 3):

A:  Goodnight, S.
S:  Goodnight, daddy.
A:  I love you.
S:  I love you.  See you later, you sly dog.

S in time out…
A:  S, what could you have done differently?
S:  Silence.
A:  S, what SHOULD you have done?
S: Closes eyes and pretends to snore indicating the conversation was boring him.

S:  Mommy, when will I be born again?

Baby-sitter:  S, I like your sweater.  You look very handsome.
S:  Thank you!  I’ll buy a bigger one for you on Amazon.

S:  Can we go to Starbucks?  You can drop me off so I can get a gift card.

S:  What’s this horse’s name?
Me:  Well, the tag says Fanning.
S:  Let’s give him a different name.
Me:  Ok.  Hmm… How about Clyde?
S:  How about Octavian?!?
Me:  ?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sign Me Up, Scotty!

There are many things I have no trouble declining…

Do you want to attend a conference on packaging? No thank you.
Can you attend the after work team building event?  No.
Do you want to travel to Indiana and observe production?  Hard no.  (Sorry, Indiana.)

But when it comes to volunteer opportunities, I can’t help myself and I say yes to EVERYTHING.  To the point where I am certain I am losing my mind (as if there was something left to lose) and I’m even more overwhelmed than usual.

Can you create and send out invites for the preschool holiday party?  Sure.
Can you drop off the gifts for our adopted family? Sure.
Can you spend five hours shopping for gifts for homeless families at our adopted school?  Sure.
If we don’t have a volunteer for the Kindergarten Christmas party, we’ll have to cancel.  Can someone help?  I took off that day so SURE (never mind that I took off that day to catch up on ALL THE THINGS).

Volunteering is so rewarding for me.  But when it comes to these opportunities, there is a fine line between rewarding and exhausting.

Someone send me a drink… and more hours in the day.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Weekend Recap

If only I had the power to make weekends slow down.  That’s how I feel every single Monday.  Time just continues to fly by.

On Friday, we headed over to my mom’s for dinner as we’ve been doing every week.  My mom asked if she could give W his birthday gift ahead of his party because it was gigantic.  A and I said sure and my mom gifted W an enormous Thomas the Train Super Station that he’d requested after seeing numerous commercials for it.  Marketing at its finest!  Unfortunately, that meant A had to put the thing together.  We headed home and A proceeded to assemble the monstrosity for the next hour.  I have to admit that the boys are enjoying it, but it also feels like my house is being taken over by toys.

Saturday was W’s 6th birthday party.  We’ve been celebrating his birthday early for the past few years to avoid all the busyness that comes with the holidays.  This year, W asked to have a party at his favorite pizza restaurant.  No cleaning or making food!?  I was totally on board!  W had a great time and received too many wonderful gifts.  Instead of presents this year, A and I decided to gift an experience.  So next weekend, we’ll spend the night in Chicago.  W has asked to go ice skating and we’re planning to attend a winter festival.  I’m looking forward to it and more importantly, W is excited.

Sunday, we attended breakfast with Santa.  S has never wanted to be near Santa and I usually can’t even get him in a photo.  Prior to the photo, S told me he didn’t want to see Santa and asked me to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas.  I told him he didn’t have to go near Santa, but I was not relaying his Christmas list.  W walked up to Santa and I believe he asked for a joke book, miniature garbage cans that resembled the real thing complete with logos, and a jet pack so he could fly.  I’m screwed.  And then, shockingly, S stood there, posed for pictures, and requested some type of city with bridges and traffic lights.  So I’m doubly screwed, but at least the pictures of S have me cracking up.