Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking Forward

I wrote this incredibly eloquent and sweet, adorable post about the last decade. And scrapped it. It was so damn boring. So, I'll just keep that one for me. Here I am preparing for the next 10 years and I cannot believe where the time has gone. I'm a little older, a little wiser and (frankly) a little wider than I was in 1999 at this time. I'm also a lot happier. Happier than I ever thought I'd be. Ok, getting sappy again. Just saying, it's been a good 10 years. I will end the decade waving at 40....almost there. It's so hard to believe. I will say this, though, I've got great skin and pretty good genetics so I'm not fearing aging in that sense. It's kind of fun watching everyone else get wrinkles and stuff while my skin is still looking nice and taut. LOL! But I kid, I kid. Ok..maybe not that much. I figure if I've got it, I may as well enjoy. It's not like I have a butt you could bounce a quarter off of anymore. The quarter bouncing butt was so fleeting I hardly remember, though I do wish I'd worn sluttier clothes while I still had the bod for it.

So, where am I going with this? Not sure....but stay with me. By the next decade, Bam-Bam will almost be a teenager. Wow. That's a freaker. I wonder if he will have any zits? So, we'll end this decade with Bam-Bam just getting ready to start wearing his Wonder Pets underwear (it's his New Years' resolution) and we will end the next decade with zits and girls and hormones. Oh my gosh! It happens so friggin' fast, doesn't it?

And this decade went in a flash. 10 years ago, hubby and I were living in sin in my little house in Oak Park. He was unemployed and had just passed the bar exam. I'd just completed the worst year in my life died, got mono (which screwed me up permanently), I bought a new house and then lost my job a few months later....yeah, it was a suck year but by year end things were back on track.

I would characterize this decade as the greatest year of change for me. I learned a lot about myself and had my strength tested many times. Happy to say that I passed the test. I've been way up - getting married, having a baby, great career, nice new house - and way down - felt suicidal, lost more people to cancer. All in all, I learned that I can handle just about anything that the universe can throw at me. I say that respectfully and in no way in a "bring it on" tone, lest the universe and God decide to throw more shit storms my way.

I am looking forward to watching my son grow into a young man. I'm looking forward to being married to hubby, even if he NEVER learns how to shut the back door when it is 25 degrees outside or never gets his underwear into the hamper....I'm looking forward to a fulfilling career, but with a good life balance.

I'm simply looking forward.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How I Celebrate Christmas

This fun little meme came from one of my favorite blog writers, Maria over at Mi Ennui. And thank God, because my blog was getting a little depressing!

These are some great questions about what I do during the Christmas holiday. Maria added some and since I don't know which ones she added, I will just use them. No tagging, but feel free to grab this if you like.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

I'm going to go with Hot Chocolate, though quite honestly I can't say I'm huge on either. I do like egg nog flavored Silk (soy milk) and hot chocolate with marshmallows after playing in the snow is somewhat appealing.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Both. This is the first year that Bam-Bam understands the concepts of Santa so we're excited to see how he reacts. But there will be presents that will be both wrapped and just placed beside the tree. We have a cool art easel that will be set up and a toy car (the kind where he uses his legs to push it, not the motorized kind...not that there's anything wrong with that.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

We have 5 trees in the house of all shapes and sizes and some have colored lights, some are white. Gotta say the colored lights are winning me over this year. They just seem more whimsical. In the past it was always white. Funny how we change.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Do you know that it never even occurred to me? I probably won't next year either.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

The weekend of Thanksgiving. I'm one of those fortunate people who have a four-day weekend, so I use it to put up Christmas stuff. I turn on the radio to WNIC and sing Christmas carols while doing it. (Wow, me too!!!!)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?

Breakfast on Christmas morning. Doesn't even matter what it is, though this year it will be buckwheat blueberry waffles and home fries.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?

The year my dad made me a doll house. That was amazing to wake up to. Unfortunately he forgot to scale it to the size of a Barbie, so I never really used it as a doll house. LOL! But I loved it anyway and it is the one and only toy of mine that I still have.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I was a VERY precocious and almost overly mature child. The Christmas that I was four years old, I calmly turned to my mother and said, "I don't believe in Santa. It's impossible." She asked me who I thought brought the presents. I said, "You and dad, of course." She fessed up.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Sometimes. But each Christmas Eve we go to my Aunt and Uncle's house so there are enough presents to go around there to keep us contented till Christmas morn.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

We keep it pretty simple. We have some simple but colorful bulbs and our main tree also has these icicle bulb things. We're also accumulating some cute ornaments because of Bam-Bam. We figure we'll have lots by the time he is grown.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Love it! I enjoy Christmas even more when it is white.

12. Can you ice skate?

Heck no. You wouldn't even get me on a pair of skates. No way, no how. (same here)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

See #7

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Making it special for my son. My Christmases were always filled with chaos - divorced parents going to a bunch of different places...and let's not forget about the lovely drunk driving fest every Christmas Eve. Not a fun backseat to be in - parents please think of that before you drink and drive with your kids in the car. They are helpless. Anyway, for me it is important to make Christmas about him and seeing Christmas through his innocent eyes.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Do I really have to pick one?

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

I've created the tradition that we must spend Christmas day here at home playing and hanging out in our PJ's all day, eating and enjoying each other. We don't go anywhere. For me, that is the one thing I never got to do. I think every kid should be able to play all day long on Christmas day.

17. What tops your tree?

One has a star, one has an angel and the others are bare.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

Giving - duh! It's so much fun to see the look on people's faces when you know they really like something.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

My all time very favorite is "My Favorite Things" by Andy Williams....and pretty much anything else he sings.

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?

Yuck. They do nothing for me.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie?

I love all the Scrooge movies but the best is the one from the 50's with Alastair Sim.

22. Saddest Christmas Song?

The one about the little boy buying shoes for his dying momma before she meets Jesus. I hear that and...Niagara Falls!

23. What's the one thing you really hate doing at Christmas time?

Listening to people bitch about Christmas. I used to be one of them. Now they annoy me. Lighten up people! Life is too damn short.

24. Is there anything that you swear you'll do differently next year?

Can't think of anything in particular. Maybe next year I'll be a millionaire.

25. What's the one thing you think gets lost in the season of Christmas?


I know it's probably bad to say, but while I am respectful of the baby Jesus part of Christmas because of what the birth of Christ represents, it's not necessarily my first thought. It is, however, an important reason for the season...not to be cheesy. Too late? Ok. Regardless of all general, I think people need to remember that Christmas is a time of hope and wonder and innocence and is important to children. It's not about partying, giving the best gift, or asking for exactly what you want. No matter where a person is spiritually, we can all remember the be a little kinder, a little more selfless, more loving, more giving, more charitable. If not once a year, all year long.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Visit From Nana

Believe it or not, I invited my mom to come and spend some time with us to attend our annual family get-together. I know, crazy. Total moment of mental failure. If you don't know the back story, we are estranged for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is her repeated abandonment of me during my lifetime. In other words, I don't trust her so I keep her at arms length. Our arrangement is that she and I communicate via email. Rarely on the phone. I made this arrangement after Bam-Bam's first birthday. And I'm not going into the entire story except that I decided I would give her one last chance to actually try to act like a Grandmother (or Nana as she insists on calling herself...which annoys me.) To my surprise, she decided to come here and stay with me. I warned her before her visit that this was just a very small step for me and I needed her to chill out about thinking we were all made up. I think she got a little overly excited.

On top of all of that and the fact that we have this estrangement, she is also a really annoying person. Let me give you the comical description of it so you can understand just how fun my weekend just was.

She follows me and my husband around the house while she's here. I am not exaggerating. I will go to do something and feel a strong presence behind me. I turn around and there she is. I have to say "excuse me" to get around her. Hubby, normally a pretty patient guy, can only take about 24 hours of this and then he gets a little crusty.

Everything, and I mean everything, is about her. If you tell her you knew someone that is a midget with one leg and a parakeet, by God so does she. Oh, and her story is much more interesting.

She likes to make "suggestions" constantly. My hubby came home from a shopping trip to Costco after having spent a lot of time vacuuming in preparation for our Sunday Christmas party. When he returned she said, "It's so nice and sunny outside, I bet you could take the dog out for a walk now and then you wouldn't have to take her out when (Bam-Bam) goes to bed." Hubby said, "No, I don't think so. I'm tired." And of course she had to come back and reiterate why it's such a good idea.

She flatly refused to sit on the couch for most of the time she was here. Instead she sat in a less comfortable chair, from which she seemed ready to jump from at any moment. She would absolutely never relax.

And, of course, she had a meltdown in the car on the way to the airport Monday morning. I was honest about my feelings for her (or lack thereof). Seems she was expecting some miracle to occur with our relationship. It didn't. I was glad she came so my son could actually experience what it was like to be with a grandmother. But I didn't magically just get over things. It doesn't work that way. For some reason she thinks I should just forgive 36 years of emotionally abusive behavior. It just isn't that simple. Anyway, she accused me of being "unkind"...which is her favorite way to say "stop speaking the truth because it hurts."

When we got out of the car to get her suitcase, she hugged me and told me she loved me. I said, "God damn it, I love you too. Why do you think this is so hard?"

I still don't think she gets it, though. I think she was actually just hearing me reciprocate the "I love you" and decided that everything is ok. She's delusional like that.

And now, I need a drink.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A New Blog

I've started a new and separate blog to vent about my sons picky eating. If anyone has an interest, please happen by.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

To Be A Strong, Black Woman

I would like to come forward and admit right now that I secretly want to be a strong black woman. The realization came to me recently. Hubby and I were discussing my affinity for programs on BET (Black Entertainment Television to those who are not familiar). Here are a few things that (culturally speaking) I am not supposed to like (I guess) because I am white:

1) Queen Latifah
2) Mo'Nique
3) Phat Girls
4) Beauty Shop
5) Big Momma's House
6) Madea
7) Sweet potato pie
8) my butt

The list gets longer but you get the picture. Once I posted on Facebook that I was watching Madea Goes To Jail....the response that I got was - Why?

Ok, here's the thing, and I totally mean this without being a smart ass whatsoever...there is something about the African American culture that I love. And something about it that makes me want to be a part of it. If you knew me you would probably laugh your ass off. I am about as white as they come. I'm so white I'm almost see-through. I have blonde hair (most of the time). Most of the clothing in my closet comes from Eddie Bauer. I am sooooooooooo white! But there is an openness, a closeness, a sense of pride, a sense of "I know I'm alright".....that the black culture has that my culture just doesn't.

So I want to be a strong, black woman. And I don't care if you think I'm weird.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fabulously Random

It's Saturday and I am home with a feverish toddler while my dear hubby works the AM signing warrants and detaining bad guys.... And yes, Bam-Bam has a fever that seems to be hovering in the 103-102 neighborhood. I got called out of work yesterday at about 10:45 to come and get him. And as much as I like the winter (I know, crazy) I do not like what it does to my darling boy because this is his third winter and he always, always gets sick and feverish during this time. Took him to the doc yesterday. Doc was very stressed and not very friendly with us. She did a quick nasal swab (after my hubby insisted) and ruled out H1N1 for the second time in two weeks.

At this point I'm basically looking up at the sky to God or whoever the heck is up there and saying, "really, are you f-ing serious with this?" I know, not nice to swear when you talk to God but I'm sure she has better things to do than correct me for my language. So I figure, this is life. So, as he watches his 10th installment of Wonder Pets while he relaxes wearing his slippers and Mickey Mouse ears on the couch with his pillow and stuffed animals, I will type a totally random post. Here goes...

1) Ever since Thanksgiving last week I am dying for more sweet potato pie. I know it's wrong but I just want to take the whole thing and eat it like a cartoon character. You know, shove it in and you can see the pie shape in my neck, then a gulp....

2) This morning I am doing my very first online grocery shopping. I have dreamt of this day ever since the day I made my first online order some 10-12 years ago. Another way to be lazy...I love it!

3) I'm getting kind of sick of Wonder Pets.

4) I'm starting to wonder if my boss is going to get pissed at me for missing so much work with my sick little man as well as me being on my death bed last week. Well, my attitude is that there is nothing I can do about it and I am not going to leave my kid with some stranger while he is sick. He needs his mother. So I guess I will cross that bridge if I come to it. Bottom line - the kid is more important than the job. If she fires me, we will deal with it.

5) I kind of wonder if Bam-Bam's fever is because his two year molars are coming in. He will not stop chomping on his hands. They are constantly wet and cold.

6) I should probably get off my ass and do the dishes, start some laundry, etc. But I just can't seem to muster the strength.

7) The Wii Fit that I bought my husband for Christmas is really mine. I need to find something else to get him that will be a surprise. Any ideas?

8) Due to recent circumstances, the hubby and I have not had occasion for nooky in a VERY long time and it is beginning to annoy the piss out of me. I'm not ever sure I remember how it's done.

9) I want to move down south where people are friendlier, the weather isn't bitterly cold and causing fever symptoms all the time and the economy is good.

10) Now I AM going to get off my ass and do some stuff. I can feel it spreading as I type.