Happy New Year!

December 30, 2005

No New Year’s Resolutions. No fabulous Year In Review.

Just a simple wish for a safe and happy New Year, and a cute little link to make you smile.*
*Update: That link has sound, so turn your speakers up (but not too loud, if you’re at work).

Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you for making me feel a little more connected this year. God bless you all.

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Only 364 Shopping Days Until Christmas!

December 26, 2005

Christmas was wonderful, but exhausting. My brain has turned into a pool of primordial ooze; so, instead of trying to form a series of coherent thoughts, I bring you Photos!

Christmas Eve, sprinkling Reindeer Dust on the lawn:

sprinkling reindeer dust
Big Boy, The Drama Queen (foreground), and Miss Attitude (pink shirt, background).

sprinkling reindeer dust-coloring book
Miss Attitude (left) and The Drama Queen. This photo has a coloring book effect, to protect my sweet daughters.

Yesterday was a flurry of wrapping paper and gifts. Deputy Dad ended up working most of the day, to my great disappointment. He generally just takes calls (as opposed to being out on patrol) if he’s working on a major holiday, which is what he did this year; only, he kept getting call-after-call-after-call. I wanted to scream, “Listen folks, It’s CHRISTMAS, fer cryin’ out loud!” We did eventually get all the gifts opened and all ten hundred million plastic ties cut off of the toys. Everyone got everything they could possibly want and then some.

Tonight the girls and I finally had a chance to make Amber’s brownies. YUM!brownies 12-26-05
Can’t you almost smell ’em?

I was almost glad I hadn’t had a chance to make the brownies until tonight, because it gave me the chance to use my new stand mixer Mother-In-Law got me for Christmas. (The screaming you heard was not the lambs, Clarice. It was the sound of me mourning my old stand mixer’s recent, unexpected passing.)

stand mixer
Ain’t she purty?

Now, I wouldn’t normally use the word sexy to describe a kitchen appliance, but this one IS. I mean, just look at the rack on her!
mixer rack
ROWR

Also functions as a mirror in a pinch. Not covenient for travel, however.
mixer reflection
Oooh, Shiny!

Oh, yes. Back to the brownies. Did I mention YUM? Miss Attitude’s words were, “MOM, these brownies are DELICIOUS!”

Indeed.
brownie aftermath
Did you know if you cut brownies with a plastic knife, they won’t stick to it? Makes a smoother, prettier cut. Seriously. Try it.

Thanks again for the homemade brownie mix, Amber!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. And I hope your Tuesday doesn’t feel too much like a Monday.

Speaking of Tuesday, please do me a favor and go send great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to Kit, my birth mother and dear friend; and to RazDreams, one of my favorite blogging buddies.*

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIT!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAZ!

*Turns out I got a little over-zealous with the birthday wishing. Raz’s birthday is NEXT Tuesday.


A little Joy for a change

December 23, 2005

The kids are feeling much better. We’ve decided to be positive, and just be thankful they got sick on the 20th and not the 24th. Hopefully, everyone will be feeling fabulous by Christmas.

I’ve always loved Christmas. The sights, the smells, the sounds. I love Christmas music. I love the feeling of joy and anticipation in the air. I love the spirit of the season…everyone is a little more polite, a little more generous, a little more forgiving. People smile a little more, give a little more, hug a little more. I love Christmas hugs.

I never knew, though, just how joyous the season can be, until I had children. Experiencing the Joy of Christmas through your children is……what words can possibly describe it? The innocence. The wide-eyed bewilderment. The sheer, absolute joy when they see that one special gift, the ONE thing they’d most hoped for. And then, of course, the squeals of delight at the other gifts, the ones they didn’t even know they wanted.

[Side note: Last week the girls were watching the video from Christmas morning two years ago. At one point in the video, the girls call the in-laws to tell them what they got from Santa. Miss Attitude says, in her sweet little excited-five-year-old-girl voice, “I got some slippers from Santa! I didn’t even ask Santa for slippers, but I got some slippers anyway!”]

I love going shopping and exchanging knowing looks with fellow moms shopping for their children. It’s just fun to be “in” on the secret. It’s such a…well, a privilege to be able to do something special for your children. It makes my heart full when they’re happy.

Tomorrow night, we’ll open the gifts under our tree (we always do our tree on Christmas Eve, since we have Santa, and then Nanny and Poppy’s tree on Christmas morning). Then, as they always do, the girls will leave cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for his reindeer. (Note to self: must stop by the store for baby carrots on the way home from work.) This year we’ll also sprinkle some “reindeer dust” (a mixture of dry oats and glitter) on the lawn. Then we’ll tuck the kids into bed and hope against hope that they can suppress their excitement long enough to drift off to sleep so Santa can visit. The girls will be up LONG before sunrise Christmas morning, an early start to a day full of smiles and laughter, wrapping paper and bows, family and food.

Want to know a secret? I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tomorrow night, either.

I’m way too excited.

May this Christmas find you surrounded by the people you love most, who make you the happiest. May you find Joy wherever you go.

Wishing you lots of Love and sending you big Internet Hugs, from the LadyBug house to yours.

God bless you all this holiday season.


Post-Pediatrician-Visit Update

December 20, 2005

First things first: Circus Kelli commented on my Christmas by the numbers post:

“Oh, hon… I’m so very sorry… you must not have heard, so I’ll let you in on a little ditty I heard on the radio just today:“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEARRRRRRRR!!!!”

Now, go forth and spread that holiday cheer! If that doesn’t work, try copious amounts of egg nog after the kids are asleep… you know. If they go to sleep.”

Let me just go on record as saying the guy who declared Cold and Flu Season the “MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEARRRRRRRR!!!!” most certainly did not have school-age children. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say the guy was probably not married, he was gay, and he never once had to wipe his lover’s snot-crusted nose or force a bulb syringe full of bubble-gum flavored antibiotic down his gagging gullet!

Now, onward and upward:

Brief update, as I’m on Puke Detail right now…

Three sick kids. Three doctor visits. Three prescriptions.

The Drama Queen has strep throat. Miss Attitude has an ear infection.* And Big Boy has strep throat AND an ear infection.

*Actually, it looks like Miss Attitude probably has strep throat AND the ear infection, just like Big Boy. They didn’t swab her throat today when they checked The Drama Queen’s and Big Boy’s, because the doc said the antibiotic he was giving her for the ear infection would take care of strep if she had it. But her throat’s been hurting pretty badly, and she got out of bed and started vomiting as I was typing this entry. So, more likely than not, all three of the kids have strep throat. Could someone just shoot me now…..please?


Christmas by the numbers

December 20, 2005

Number of school Christmas parties attended this morning: 2

Number of times in the last two weeks I have said to Deputy Dad (or anyone else who would listen), “I think Caller ID was invented by someone trying to avoid the Room Mom who was planning the class Christmas party!”: 6482

Number of children in Miss Attitude’s first grade class: 17

Number of parents who helped out with Miss Attitude’s class Christmas party: 4

Number of dollars spent on Miss Attitude’s teacher’s gift “from the class”: 30

Number of children who actually brought the requested $2 to help cover the cost of the teacher gift: 7

Number of dollars that makes: 14

Number of dollars currently in my checking account: minus 300

Number of times I have rolled my eyes in disgust as I attempted to plan Miss Attitude’s class party, buy and prepare party favors, organize parents, purchase gifts, etc.: eleventy kerflillion

Number of children in the LadyBug household who were sick last week, and are still recovering: 1

Number of children currently sick: 2 3 (See Update)

Number of medications given to the children this morning: 6 (3 for Miss Attitude; 2 for Big Boy; 1 for The Drama Queen)

Number of children seeing the pediatrician this afternoon: 3

Number of parents escorting those children to the doctor: 1 (guess who. hint: it’s me.)

Number of times Big Boy woke up crying last night: 5 or 6, at least

Number of times I’ve almost started crying, myself, in the last 24 hours: hundreds

Number of hours spent IM’ing with kalki last night: 1

Number of times I have grinned over that conversation since we said goodnight: thousands

Number of days until Christmas: 5

Number of times I have SWORN to myself that, in spite of everything crappy going on right now, I will NOT lose my Christmas Spirit: dozens

Number of times I have been thankful not only for this space where I can vent and rant and just generally get everything off my chest, but also for all the wonderful, kind people who visit here, and who have become such an important part of my life: countless

* * * *

Note: I got this completely typed up and edited, then realized the format looked…..really familiar. I did a little searching and discovered I totally stole this from kalki! I mean, I copied her title and everything. But I SWEAR I didn’t realize it until I had it all typed up! SWEAR IT! And I do NOT have time to go back and change it all up right now. So I’ll just have to give credit where credit is due. Let’s call it….”inspiration,” shall we? (Sorry, kalki!)


Big Boy (17 and) 18 Month Newsletter

December 18, 2005

Dear Big Boy:

Today you turned 18 months old. At your checkup today, you weighed 24 pounds, 15 ounces, and were 32 1/2 inches tall. Because your Daddy is The Best Daddy In The World, he took both you and your sister to the pediatrician today, since I had to work. And because I am The Worst Mommy In The World, I didn’t get your newsletter written last month, so I have two months’ worth of updating to do.

For Halloween, you were the cutest little rootin’-tootin’ cowboy we ever did see. You didn’t mind the costume at all, especially since it was just jeans, a shirt, a bandana, and a gun holster. But you would NOT wear the cowboy hat…not even long enough for a picture.

Shortly after Halloween, you reached another milestone, one we really could’ve done without: your first hospital stay. What started as a rash that looked like a group of mosquito bites spread over your entire body and face, and you were hospitalized with Erythema Multiforma.

We went into the hospital on Sunday afternoon, November 6th, and they started you on an antiviral medication right away. By Tuesday morning, you were doing well enough to go home. A few days later the rash was gone completely. And we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.

We went back to the pediatrician for your post-hospitalization, follow-up appointment on the day you turned 17 months old.  That day, you rode the kiddie rides at the mall for the first time, and I was glad we had the fancy-schmancy camera phone to document yet another milestone.  Our trip to the park a few days later found me thankful once again for the camera phone, and also wondering why it never occurs to me to bring my camera with me.

You’ve grown and developed so much the past couple of months, Big Boy. You’re now climbing everywhere and getting into EVERYTHING.  You’ve become quite the little troublemaker. The words you hear most often these days are, “No,” “Get DOWN from there,” “NO,” “Leave that alone,” “[Big Boy], NO,” and “Not in the mouth.” But it’s almost impossible to get angry with you, because you just smile that sweet little grin of yours and turn on the charm.

Your favorite activities these days are climbing, falling, getting back up, and climbing again; reading your books; playing with Mama’s hair and your sisters’ hair; pushing buttons (any buttons – TV, VCR, telephone, doesn’t matter); and wrestling with Daddy. You’ve also recently developed an addiction to Band-Aids, and will beg for one (well, TWO, actually, one for each arm) whenever you see a box.

You can follow simple directions, feed yourself with a fork (Mama and Daddy usually help get the food on the fork, then you put it in your mouth.), and snap your fingers. On request, you will point to your eyes, ears, nose, head, hair, mouth, tummy, hands, feet, legs, or arms. (Daddy said Dr. S. was very impressed when you did that for him today.) You’re also getting better and better at letting us know what you want, usually by pointing and snapping.

Big Boy, I think I say this in almost every newsletter, but you really have been such a joy, such a sweet and perfect addition to our family. Your sisters are crazy about you, and you absolutely adore them. And your Daddy and I…well, we couldn’t love you more, our hearts are so full. You’re one of our three most favorite people in the whole world.

I love you, my Sweet Boy, my Little Man.

Love,
Mama

*Believe it or not, I actually DID write this on Thursday, but am just now finding time to copy/paste/edit/post it here.


Welcome to my Pity Party. Would you care for some Whine?

December 15, 2005

My Holiday Cheer is fading fast, along with my mental and emotional well-being.

(Also, I might be feeling just a little overdramatic. I don’t know where The Drama Queen gets it.)

(Also, I’m almost certainly PMSing, but be aware that I am the only one allowed to point that out.)

(Also, I might be just a wee bit bitchy.)

(You’d probably best not point that out, either.)

Miss Attitude is sick. Asthma trouble (wheezing and coughing) and bronchiolitis. Deputy Dad took her to the pediatrician today, since I was working and he was off. He’s been off this week, burning the last of his vacation time before the end of the year.

We had big plans for tomorrow: The girls would be at school, we’d take Big Boy to the sitter, and we’d spend the day in [the town about an hour away, where we go for shopping and pediatrician appointments], finishing up our Christmas shopping for the kids. We’ve been looking forward to it all week. Our first time to spend the day together without the kids since before Big Boy was born EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO. (I figured I needed a combination of bold, italics and ALL CAPS to emphasize how much Deputy Dad and I need to spend some child-free time together.)

But of course now our plans have pretty much been thrown out with Miss Attitude’s snotty tissues.

Sigh.

And Deputy Dad goes back to work on Saturday.

Sigh again.

And by the time he gets to his next scheduled day off (next Thursday), the girls will be out of school for the holidays.

So. For those of you taking notes:

Sick kid + cancelled plans + PMS + meds adjustment + holiday stress = |MomWhiny|

S
I
G
H.