Friday, November 28, 2008

Not for Me

Black Friday is just not for me. I just cannot play with the big dogs. I cannot function at 4 and 5 in the morning. I cannot plot out and attack a Christmas list with the excitement and verve like most women in their hottest sweats and pony tails on this blessed of all shopping days. I want to... really I do. For years I have pulled out the newspapers, gone on line, circled and fantasized that I too was going to have my entire Christmas list checked off by noon on the last Friday in November, and then that damn alarm clock goes off and rather than bounce out of bed, I bounce the alarm clock off the farthest wall in my bedroom.

And it is not just the early hours. It is the hunt. This day is reserved for the queen bee shoppers of all shoppers... the cut throat deal makers and breakers... you know, the women when you compliment them on their outfit they reply with the cost and location of the kill?? That is who is successful on these days. You can take no prisoners and being polite is for the lame.

I once went to Tuesday Morning on an opening day. For those of you who do not know, Tuesday Morning is a store that sells high end home decor type items discounted. They used to only be open for small periods of time. They would stock up on deals - have an opening day, sell for a few weeks then close again. Well, when I was moving into my first new house, I decided I wanted to go to one of the opening mornings to get some things for the new house. They opened at 7 AM. I decide, this is important to me, so I am gonna pretend this is high school and I am camping out for George Micheal or Def Leppard concert tickets and get there before the store opens - 6:30. Funny girl.... the line was already wrapped around the store. Okay - no problem - this is a big store, I am sure I will get some things on my list from the mailer. The doors open at 7:00 and it was very similar to the running of the brides at Filene's Basement. I was slightly overwhelmed that the old lady behind me shoved me in the door on her way to the oriental rugs. Okay.. here we go.... gotta get the bed spread... gotta get the bed spread.... turn down the aisle and the neatly stacked comforter sets are now all over the place. I dodge to and fro around flower patterns and twin size princess comforters and see my prize - in king size - I reach up to grab my beloved comforter - the base of my entire room decor - when a women a foot smaller than me jumps in front of me, leaps up like she is slam dunking and grabs the damn set. She was so small that she couldn't control it and it hits me on the way to the floor. She proceeds to protect it like Gollum protecting "precious" while hollering for her shopping partner to come look. I politely ask if she chooses not to purchase it, I would really like it, to which she scoffs - "Uh, Yeah, NO!! I WANT THIS ONE!!"


I walk away - not sure what just happened, but way too polite to start a smack down fight at 7:00 in the morning on a random Tuesday over a comforter. I start walking through the store looking for other things I had placed on my list, but my casual "window shopping" stroll did not match the all out hunting techniques of the women in the store. I was so overwhelmed, I just put the few things I had found down and decided I would come back. If they were still there, then it was meant to be. I have never been to a "opening" since.

So you see... I admire all of you black Friday shoppers, really I do.... and I would love to join your ranks almost as much as I wanted to sit at the cool kids table at lunch, but I am much better suited with my own kind - the "Damn it, it is Dec. 24th and I have bought nothing and nothing is wrapped, and shit I am never going to get to sleep tonight" clique....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Mommy High.....

A new mommy high.... or low depending on your perspective....

So Max is my boundary child. He is the child who constantly tests my limits and then pushes them juuuuust that much further to see if mommy's head really is going to explode. Luckily, to this point, his scientific theories on mommy's relative patience have only resulted in minor time outs, lack of TV, and puddles of tears and snot from amazing performances in the total meltdown hissy fit catagory.... mostly my tears, snot and meltdowns, but that is a different story.

What is the number one fight in our house?

Following directions - the FIRST TIME.

What is the tippy top item on the list of things asked of him?

Get dressed.... by yourself... everything from underwear to shoes.... NOW!!

I will admit that this morning's fiasco started with my poor decision to allow them to watch TV while I was getting dressed. I was being "nice" since this morning was technically a holiday for them and even though they were going to daycare, a little morning eye candy couldn't kill the morning routine THAT bad, could it?!?!

"Max get dressed...."

I pass the TV room on the way to the kitchen to put the waffles in the toaster

"Max get dressed....."

I pass back past the TV room on the way back to the bedroom to finish getting dressed.

DAMN DIRTY APES... forgot my pants hanging in the laundry room!!

"Max... I am serious.. get dressed"

Pass one last time on the path from laundry room to bedroom...

"Max... if I come back in here and you are not dressed, you will lose your TV privileges for the day, do you hear me?!?"

Blank TV stare nod.....

Several minutes later I reappear from the bedroom looking like "Leave it to Beav's" mom ready for my day... and guess what I find in my TV room.... a half naked child with nothing but underwear on.

"That's it! (march over and turn off TV) You have lost your TV privileges!"


It is hear that I normally match the ear screeching decibel that my child has magically created, but today.... no.... today I was done... D-U-N!! I calmly walked out of the room and headed to the kitchen to complete our breakfast on the go and my lunch. During this time, Ben (my first class ass kisser) is following me around with, "Max is really having a bad day, huh, mommy? I'm dressed, SEE?!?! I got all DRESSED... I am ready to go!!"

I complete the tasks in the kitchen, gather our stuff and escort Ben out to the car. I then wander through the house turning off lights and making sure doors are locked, all to the sweet soothing sounds of my 6 year old SCREAMING/CRYING at the top of his lungs: "WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I WAAAAAANNNNNTTT TTTTTTTVVVVVVV!!!!WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!"

Once the final house check is complete, I grab Max's clothes and get behind him and nudge him to the door.
He starts to walk, giggling at first, because clearly mommy is playing a joke, I am not dressed yet.
Nudge - push further to the door
Nervous twitter, wait, we are at the door.
HOLY PATOOTERS BATMAN!!, She is NOT joking!! MAY DAY!! MAY DAY!! I am leaving the house in underwear!!
"Mommy, what are you doing?!?!"
"MOMMY!! It is TOO COLD outside!!"
"Then you probably should have put your clothes on when I asked you!"
PUSH-SHOVE into car
(Panic crying) "MOMMY, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!?!"
"I am not doing anything to you. I told you 5 times to get dressed. You now have until we get to daycare to get dressed or you will be going into daycare half naked!"

Daycare is less than 1 mile from our house just outside our neighborhood.

Magically when I opened the door to the backseat, I had a fully dressed 6 year old with a tear streaked face, but smiling from ear to ear.

Careful, when you play with the big dogs, son, you might get bit......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy 8th Anniversary, my love....

There is no greater gift than waking up next to you, holding me tight, and whispering "Happy Anniversary" first thing this morning...

I love you, Tatala....
Princess P

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Uhm... hi.....

How are ya?

Yeah, Hi, Kettle.... this is Pot..... I was just calling to tell you I am so very black. I cannot believe how very black I am.....

Facebook, so yeah...problem. Suddenly my life has slammed into one huge dash down memory lane creating a huge jumble of dreams were suddenly I am at cocktail parties sharing drinks with friends who were never friends in the first place. I find myself in dreams at a wedding from someone in elementary school, running into someone from college, being waved to from across the room from someone in high school, while simultaneously trying to keep my 3 yr old from head butting my thigh while explaining to someone else that no I am NOT babysitting, this is MY CHILD.

The rush of names, pics, stories and clever "what are you doing now?" posts are overwhelming. What is even more strange is that this is not just limited to Facebook:
- With the passing of my grandfather, I spent a lot of time going through old pics putting together a family memorial for the funeral events - that included visits with long lost relatives you only see when people get married or die.
- Recently, I have run into friends who have moved back to town, which then causes the "did you know about so and so and so and so and so and so".
- My friend Allison asked me to help her on a career day to discuss theatre to 4th graders, complete with production pics and such so now I find myself going through old pics, with old faces, old stories, then you slam them together with Facebook, and I am in a very strange webisode of "This is Your Life".

And the one thing I have to say about it all is well.... I am blessed... really really blessed. Even through all the crap and sucky times, the foundation is really great. I may not have it "all", but I have a lot and I love each and every part of it. I have this incredibly unique opportunity right now to stop and look at myself as if I am in a panoramic 360 degree movie. I am not looking in a mirror, I am not painting a picture, I am getting a whopping 360 degrees of information - past present and future - all delivered like a present with a tight pretty bow right before the holidays. It is a wonderful world of "who cares?" and "everybody cares!" Who cares that the best I could do was Ramen noodles for dinner after a long day at work? Who cares? Nobody - Who cares to know about my two greatest creations in the making, Max & Ben? Everyone cares!

I am very present right now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Facebook or not to Facebook....

... that is the question.

Well, thanks to constant prodding from by dear best friend ( AND the least technologically advanced person I know), Ms. Allycat, and then the eventual push off the cliff from my dear soul sister, Tiff, I created a Facebook account. This is something I have been stead fast against along with Myspace because it was just another thing for me to have to figure out and then have to check, and quite frankly, I am REAL happy just talking into this black hole, and those of you who stop by, GREAT!! Gravy on top of my instant mash potatoes!

I was always curious though.... terribly curious at what those other sites did. What was different? Other than the social networking aspect of it, which, let's be honest, I ain't that social lately. I have always wanted to delve deeper into this website and blog abyss with fancy websites and cool unique backgrounds and links... lots and lots of links..... hey they even say there is money to be made from those stupid google ads..... you never know WHAT I could do with that extra 15 cents a month! For years I have wanted to create an educational website for my mother's company... this is really cool shit to me. But I have never had time, and lately I just don't feel like fighting for the computer with my dear sweet husband who, by the way, was almost served divorce papers because of the amount of time he is on his damn "EVE" game.

But back to Facebook... so I created an account. I have no clue what to do with it yet. As far as I can tell it is a way to throw props across the internet to people you may have lost touch with long ago, play catch up, then well, probably lose touch again. I only have two friends (see above) and neither one of them have very advanced sites, but I can't really see how advanced it gets. I started to dabble and then gave up because retyping those stupid distorted key codes, that honestly sometimes I can't read, every time you want to ask permission to be friends with someone was getting old and it is late and and and and and.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Max!

Max, Max, Max, Max.....

Can I tell you something? Can I? This is an inside joke as you ask me and everyone else this question about a hundred times a day. And why, do you ask this question? Because every new thing you learn you want to share with others. You are so interested in learning how things work and why the work and what we need them for and on and on and then once you find out the answers, you have to tell everyone else about it!

You are doing so well your first year in big boy school. Your first report card came back with all E's and S's meaning you have exceeded or satisfied all the required curriculum at school... and this is in SPANISH!!! I just can't get over it. You have adapted so well to learning this new language and you flow between the 2 so easily. You are still very shy to share what you know outside of our immediate family, but at home, I hear you casually go back a forth between shoes and zapatos or Buenos noches, mama, I love you. I have to admit, even though it is still very early and the words are very basic, but I love that we have our own secret language. Daddy and Ben don't know Spanish, so when you and I snuggle together to read a Spanish book, or if we are working on homework, it is like we have our own special little bubble for just Mommy and Max.

That red hair is certainly not going anywhere. It is actually getting darker and redder the older you get. This is the only difference between you and your brother since his is getting lighter and more strawberry blond. Your smile is infectious and THANK GOODNESS you still need to crawl up into my lap or jump into my bed to snuggle. I worship each and every time you do, because I know it is only a matter of time before you become too big to need mommy's snuggles and kisses and hugs.

Six years..... six years ago today that sweet angelic face came out of my tummy to love and kiss on and thank God every day for!

Happy Birthday my sweet angel pumpkin!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you

Thank you all for your comments, emails and calls. I really do appreciate each and every one of them. Please accept my apoligies for not getting back to each of you yet, but I have yet to find my feet from the weeks events. When my grandfather died, I was in the middle of a conference, so as soon as it was over on Wednesday, I went home, did laundry, packed, and then we headed out on Thursday. My grandmother has come back with my mom so the past few days have been getting her settled in with my mom for an extended visit we hope turns into a more permenant situation... but my grandmother is stubborn ( I wonder where on Earth I got that from?) and she prefers her stuff in her place with her independence, so we will see how it goes.

My grandmother is a very stoic woman - not cold - just a nuts and bolts kind of woman. You do what you need to do when you need to do it and there is not alot of drama or fluff around it ... just do it.... with perfect hair, make-up and clothes, FYI. So when she said her final goodbye to my grandfather at the viewing, I have never cried so hard in my life. Not even when my dad died. She leaned her fraile 89 yr old body over his, said something in Czech and said something like, Goodnight and goodbye my sweet handsome prince. I have loved you for a long time and I will love you forever. My mother, sister and I just cried, cried, cried.

Another interesting bit of info - my grandparents burial plot is near Selena. Yes, the latin singer made even more famous by Jennifer Lopez's portrayal of her in the movie. We were heading into the cemetary to bury my grandfather when we passed her elaborate grave. We all chuckled that they were in the same cemetary, but then the car started slowing down and we realized that their site was right across from her. My simple grandpa - hanging with celebrity.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A bitter sweet goodbye....

The sweetest, most gentle man I have ever known - the one man whose sole purpose in MY world was to be the best grandpa he could be, passed away tonight at the age of 92.

I wish I could say this was an easy goodbye, but no goodbyes are ever easy. He has been slowly declining for the past 3-5 years, but the final straw was when he fell and broke 6 of his ribs this past March. He just never recovered. This past weekend, he stopped eating, stopped responding, and slowly, peacefully passed this evening while my mother and uncle sat with him.

My grandmother is okay - she is the queen of denial, so we were worried the stress of the event would be too much for her brittle diabetic 89 yr old life, but she seems to be taking it very well. They have lived apart since his fall, so I think she has had some time to prepare for this inevitable moment.

I gotta tell you - my grandfather lived the hell out of that 92 year life. He went from a poor Czech speaking family to a successful family man and farmer. He and my grandmother had 68 wonderful years of marriage filled with 2 great children, 4 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.

(I'm the little one... don't ya love the wall paper??)

He was the best dancer I have ever had the pleasure of being lead around the dance floor with. He could polka and waltz you across the room and you would swear he had put roller skates on YOUR feet - he just knew how to lead a woman - and his number one woman is my amazing grandmother. As I was looking through pictures over the past 2 days preparing for this very sad day, it was very difficult to find a picture that did not include the two of them side by side - because that is how they have been for 68 years - side by side.

I am going to miss you, grandpa - so so very much.