Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolution Version 2012

Here is my 2012 New Year's Resolution (singular): Survive.

I was thinking about how the last couple of years I have established a New Year's Resolutions goal on this blog and how that's actually helped me remember it/them and have a desire to keep on keepin' on. Well, I have nothing that I feel particularly driven by right now other than to survive. To forget a new everyday. To create something that hasn't been before. And, to be happy about it.

It's a busy, momentous time for me and us right now. My new job is one of survival. Every day with a 2-year old, packing and planning and coordinating, is something of a survival mode. And with the second little bean on the way, I'm pretty positive that there's going to be some survival adjustments to be made by us all there as well.

Therefore, my goal this year is not just to survive but to thrive and truly be happy in the life that we are molding for ourselves. It is what it is around here, and right now, that's okay.

So, here goes...!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to survive the holidays when you can't remember anything

I've never been known for having an outstanding memory, though it mostly seems to be lacking around my mom. In other words, I *always* forget something when we go up to stay with my mom and dad. Yet, I personally think that I'm pretty darn good at remembering at school, a work environment that pulls my attention 100 different ways every minute. Maybe it's a learned behavior in both situations.

Either way, pregnancy brain has struck again--BIG time! This is especially problematic in December, which is non-stop between school and the holidays. I'm just used to needing to make a couple of trips to the store and forgetting things on my Christmas list, even with lists. To his credit, the boy doesn't get frustrated with me about my forgetfulness. He's a good sport and rarely complains, even if it means that he has to make a flying trip to Meijer in order to save the recipe that I'm half-way through. But the latest BIG flub is both totally my own doing and one that I'll remedy myself, though it's the last thing that I want to do right now.

I went gift card style for lots of family and friends this year, mostly because I'm at the stage in my life where those are up at the top of my Christmas list. I don't really need (or want) most stuff, but food is entirely another matter. I LOVE me some food gift cards! And I do also appreciate the freebies that places throw at you right now if you buy a gift card. I wholeheartedly admit that I can be a sucker for gimmicks and advertisements as long as it serves my purpose. I don't really care if I'm giving a gift card from steakhouse A or B as long as I have something that the person is going to like. So if it's 6 of one and half dozen of another, then why not go for the one where I get future date night money in return? A week ago, I went on my gift card shopping binge and plunked down something like $150 just for gift cards, but seriously, that took care of everyone with some freebies for me in return.

The time came this week, early in the morning during the pre-school-getting-out-of-the-house rush that I needed to stick the first 2 gift cards in gift bags to send to the sitters. I grabbed them and life was grand. Actually, life was great because I actually remembered to send them unlike the week before when I just completely forgot. I had a free pass on this one of sorts, so I was just glad to make amends for my earlier miscue. Except...

...a couple of days later, I realized that I gave the wrong gift cards to the wrong people. While the ones that I gave to our sitters were perfectly acceptable, those were actually intended for my siblings, who don't live in Kokomo. I did have a couple of gift cards ready to go for the sitters, who do live in Kokomo, for one of the few quality, non-chain restaurants in Kokomo. What I have left at this point are 2 gift cards for a restaurant IN KOKOMO for 2 people who DON'T LIVE HERE. Which means...

...that I have to go out and buy 2 more gift cards at a time when I'd rather not spend more money on presents, thanks very much. Granted, the two gift cards that I have will be just fine sitting here and waiting until the end of the school year for another little thanks-so-much-you-guys-are-a-lifesaver moment for those 2 fantastic women who play with, teach and encourage my child every day. I guess that I just have to suck it up and pay now rather than later. And really, those 2 gift cards for the local restaurant are still going to have to survive the next semester, which could be an unprecedented time of confusion and upheaval for us.

I guess what I really need for Christmas is a personal assistant for the next 5 months. That. Would. Be. Amazing. Except in my case, the devil wears maternity clothes. :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A festival of lights

I never really enjoyed driving around to look at Christmas lights when I was younger, which I remember doing a couple of times as a pre-teen/teenager. It's not like we did it every year, but I distinctly remember doing this a couple of times with my parents and grandparents, who seemed to really like it. What I distinctly don't remember is either of my brothers coming along, so my guess is that this happened in that period of time when I was still forced to come places but when my brothers were old enough that they were off doing their own things. Truth be told, I didn't hate it, but it was frankly pretty boring in my opinion.

Imagine my surprise when I totally enjoyed it tonight with my little family! While driving home at night with my little munchkin the other night, it came to me that she'd really enjoy driving through the park where they have a pretty nice (per Kokomo standards, granted) holiday display set up. Ben was groovy with the idea, so following an early supper, we did the bath routine and jammied up (all of us!), loaded in the car, brought some Christmas cookies, and set off. We jammed to lots of great Christmas music and just generally chatted and looked around with the perspective of a 2-year old. On at least one occasion, this caused me to annoy the car behind me when I realized I was only driving 20-miles an hour. But worth it! We were out for about an hour and ended up going through several neighborhoods as well at a snail's pace. And, one house was even synched to the radio, so we stopped there for an entire song. Fun! Abby even convinced us to let her lick on a candy cane and later determined that her "skin was sticky." That was definitely true.

This has been a fun Christmas for all of us so far with Abby's growing interest in Christmas-y things without the burden of consumerist impulses manipulating her young mind. I think that she's still going to have much fun receiving the socks that we already stashed in her stocking. She wants to get Ben a teddy bear for Christmas. But she also wants to get me a teddy bear for Christmas, and undoubtedly that's on her wish list for herself as well (her little friend must be privy to these Christmas yearnings because that's exactly what he gave her, and it's now always with her). And Ben has decided that secrets will be ignored this year as he is utilizing Abby as his little Christmas elf and having her help with secrets for me...secrets no more! She's pretty good about telling what's in the presents without prompting.

Abby gave us a break and was happy by herself for a while, which allowed Ben and I to cook supper together in the kitchen (a rarity!), followed by our festival of lights excursion, which means that overall, I'm still in the happy little family glow. Times like these sometimes just pop up, and those warm fuzzies are the best!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zogurt & such

Once upon a time, I went to a wedding by myself when I was 9 weeks pregnant, and it was down in Fishers/Indy, an hour from my house. I ate lunch before I left (wedding was at 2:00), but as soon as I got in the car, it became inherently obvious that I would need food before the cocktail hour began. That little granola bar wasn't going to cut it. I missed one Arby's. I missed another Arby's. Life was looking grim. I wasn't looking forward to a wedding of indeterminate length with nausea inducing hunger. And then, and THEN, a heaven sent Zogurt appeared before me at the last corner, on the last road, about a block from the church. My car must have had some GPS tracking device that guided it into a parking space in a fantastically quick fashion.

Zogurts, as the bored looking guy explained, is all about gluten-free, sugar-free, and other free frozen yogurt. And it's delicious. And, you can sample the flavor before you buy it. AND, you control everything! Portion size...toppings...everything! So I dug into some white chocolate macadamia nut frozen yogurt. With a few well placed brownie chunks, and Oreo pieces, and pecans, and hot fudge, and caramel, and coconut.

That Zogurt kept me so happy until cocktail hour began. What a wedding day miracle!

And in other news, I'm on the down slope with the nausea (oh please, OH PLEASE). This has been w-a-y worse than the last time. A boy this time?!?