Monday, December 17, 2012

Time to update. It's only been ages!

Well here we are again at Christmas time. Feels like it comes around often.  I have to admit, I am not a fan. Now please don't get all upset. I know why we celebrate Christmas. I get it. I don't need to be reminded.  However, how many people really celebrate the "reason" anymore. Sure, there are lots that still do, but mostly I find that they don't.  It is an afterthought.  I am not very religious. I barely have a religious bone in my body. So this isn't a preachy post.  I just find that a lot of people wonder how you can't love Christmas.  I can think of many reasons.  Let me see here. I book the appointment for the photo shoot for the cards. I pick out the three matching outfits for the cards. I get the kids to the appointment and threaten them to behave and smile naturally so we can get a good photo. I then spend days looking at various sites that have a million and a half different cards. I have to test so many cards with my picture. Once I finally settle on the picture, then the card, then I have to play with the wording. Then the fonts. Get my point? It is endless. I wish I could just take any old picture and slap it onto a digital card, say "Merry Christmas" order 80 cards and be done with it. I can't. I take pride in my cards. I agonize over them. I know people think it is silly, but I am what I am and I doubt I will be changing any time soon.

So in addition to the cards, I do a few other things. I do all of the shopping whether it be in the store or online. I do mostly online now. I shop for my husband's mother who is 84 and needs nothing.  I shop for all of my friends that I exchange with and I shop for the kids. I am Santa.  I am not Mrs. Claus. I am Santa.  I do all of the wrapping. I do all of the Christmas card addressing. I make all of the holiday plans with friends. I search out all of the events that we attend. I book the reservations and find out where Santa is going to be anywhere between New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Why see the big guy once, when you can go twenty times? I am an overachiever. I can admit it.

I am the elf mover.  We don't have the "Elf on the Shelf." Frankly, he is ugly.  He is scary looking. Devious looking.  So I got us a cute elf.  I move "Christopher" every night.  Me. Not my hubby. Me.

So there you have it. I do it all. Here is what I like about Christmas. The goofy and sappy Hallmark movies. Love them.  I love the music. I love the decorations.  I like the decorations at other people's homes both inside and out. Personally I hate decorating my house because I can't decorate it the way I want to decorate it. I have three small children and four cats. Enough said there? I want a beautiful home with gorgeous decorations. I don't have that. Not sure when I will get that back. Mind you I prefer what I have to having a beautifully decorated house.  I don't do all of the decorating. I do most of it. Sure the kids hang the decorations that I nicely unwrap. My husband puts up the fake tree, strings the lights and supervises the kids while they put on our delicate ornaments.  We have too many decorations. However, they are nice and so we can't just get rid of them.  So we have too many, but we can't thin them out. Quite the issue for me.

I will say that if we have a party to go to, ninety percent of the time, it is my husband that makes the cookies or whatever we are bringing. That is his thing.  It may be my cookie party, but he is making the cookies. By the way, I always give him the credit.  I never lie and say that I made them.

It is the 18th of December and we have a week left. I will survive. I don't have sugar plums dancing in my head. I have dreams of putting away the decorations dancing in my head. I know that may seem odd, but it is the truth and I am a truthful kind of gal.

So what have we been up to since I stopped in here last?  Well let me see. Got to retrieve the calendar!

On Friday the 29th of November, I took the kids to school, went for a walk and then picked up Manny at 11:00 am. He had a therapy appointment. I dropped him off after that and headed to lunch with my girlfriend Christine. It was so nice to see her.  The rest of the day was spent at home. I only went back out to take Yamira to Daisies.  She has Daisies every other Friday night.  She loves it. I love that she loves it. I don't love the night or the hour that she attends, but that was what was available, so what can you do?  I was supposed to have an appointment with a gentleman that wants custody of his son, but he couldn't be bothered to show up. That was very disappointing. I am a CASA worker and I made an appointment with him two weeks ago. I called him several times the night before and this day, but he never returned my calls. Not good for him as I note that on my paperwork, mention it to my supervisor and to the social worker.  Bill was on call this evening.

Saturday was a crazy busy day. The Brownies were doing a craft at the library. I took Ping to the library at 10:30 am and stayed with her till 12:00 pm when Bill joined us with Yamira and Manny. We then put our name on the list to sit on Santa's lap.  I think we finally did that around 1:00 pm or so. It took forever. We then headed over to Shrewsbury to see another Santa, but he was outside and the line was very long. It was really cold and snowy this day. The kids did not have any desire to wait, so we left.  So we went home, had lunch and put Yamira and Manny in for a nap. After their nap, we headed to Hebert Candy Mansion and took a picture with their Santa. I was afraid we would have to wait in line forever, but we were in and out. We then headed to Vive Bene with our Groupon to have dinner. The woman said we would have to wait about 30 minutes before we could be seated. So we sat down on a few chairs and prepped ourselves for the torture of three kids milling around us.  However, the woman said she would sit us immediately in a booth by the bar. There were 5-8 open booths.  I don't get why she didn't sit us there immediately.  Very odd. Anyway, we sat down. Service was very poor. The food was okay. We won't return as it wasn't our favorite.  It wasn't bad, just not really kid friendly. However, I am not dying to go back as a couple either.  Glad we had a Groupon.

On Sunday we headed to WPI to make dumplings with the "Dumpling" group.  There were only a few of us with our kids, but it was a perfect amount. The kids had a ball and it was so great to see the adults and to chat for some time. The students are fantastic. They love the kids. They get right in there and help the kids out.  I love to witness it all.  We then went home and gave the kids showers and put them to bed.

On Monday, Bill had to work from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Long day for him and a long day for me with the three. I dropped the kids off and did errands.  Spent the rest of the day at the house. I got Manny at 11:00 am and the girls at 3:00 pm. We did homework, had an early dinner and then I took Ping to Brownies for 7:00 pm.

On Tuesday, Bill had to work the same hours. I took the kids to school, did errands and then got Manny at 11:00 am.  Spent the rest of the day at home with the exception of grabbing the girls at 3:00 pm. Did homework, had dinner and then the kids watched a movie. I let them stay up till Daddy got home since they didn't see him much the day before or this day. They miss him when he isn't home.

Bill was off on Wednesday. I had an appointment with the psychologist that is connected to the Bariatric Dept. at Brigham.  Bill took the kids to school. I slept in a little.  I left at 11:30 am for my 1:00 pm appointment.  The psychologist was fantastic. He was funny. He said I was dangerous because we got along so well. We discussed my ever expanding waist line. He said my relatives must have been resistant to "famine." I would say so!  He gave me a few tips and suggested I attend a meeting where I might meet others that struggle like I do.  After the meeting, I headed to Waltham to pick up something special for dinner and then I headed home.

The next day Bill took the kids to school if I remember correctly. He had a 2:00 pm appointment at school, so I got the girls at 3:00 pm and took all three kids to Yamira's therapy appointment at 4:00 pm. Fun, fun. Not really. We then headed home. Bill fed them dinner, I cleaned the house a little and then headed off to "The Mill" restaurant in town for a girls night out featuring ugly ornaments.  I had a great time.  I did indeed get the ugliest ornament.

The next day I slept in a little if I can remember correctly. I really can't remember this day and don't have anything down on my schedule. What is up with that?  I really don't remember what we did this day. The kids have school. I think I might have walked, but I can't be sure. I hate when I can't remember what I did!  Oh well.

Saturday we went to Boston to be with the "Dumpling" group there. The kids had a great time making head pieces, playing a game and modeling with clay. We then headed to Clinton so I could get my gel nail polish removed. We then went home for the day.  We decorated the tree for the rest of the day and night.

The next day the kids went to Sunday School while I slept in.  We then went to our friend Cari's house for her Hanukkah party. We walked down the street to see the Menorah lit.  There were a few rabbis and a couple of people from the state of MA there to help light the lanterns.  We then walked back to Cari's house to have some food and to do an adult gift exchange which had to be something homemade or a regift. It was fun.  The kids had a blast playing together. We then went home so the kids could shower and get to bed.

On Monday, I got up and took the kids to school.  I then took a walk with my friend and then I went to get Manny and headed home. Bill was home for the day.  We got the girls at 3:00 pm.  I took Ping to Brownies for 6:00 pm and then I picked her up at 7:00 pm. When I got home, Bill headed out for a meeting with the Masons.

On Tuesday, Bill took the kids to school and I went to St. Vincents to see my neurologist.  He thinks my focal distonia is not as bad as it used to be, but it is still there.  When I left there, I remembered that I never got an invitation to the "Lights of Love"which is something I go to every year. It is put on my hospice. They send an invite and you can either donate or not. I always do as it is a great cause. I attend the evening every year.  It is at a church in Worcester. They have a few people speak, a tree lighting for loved ones who have passed and people doing hand bells. It is a nice time for me to remember my parents. I do it for them. So when I got home, I called the hospice number I could find to see what had happened. Hospice had been bought out by VNA. I asked if they were still doing this special evening. They were. The problem was when hospice was bought out, they had a hard time finding everyone's addresses.  Guess when the evening was. THAT NIGHT. Thank god I called or I would not have been able to attend!!!!  They told me to bring a photo.  So that night I went alone. Last year I went with the kids because Bill was in school, but this year I could go alone.  It is sweet, but somewhat somber. It is hard to bring small children too.  They did it differently this year. I got there and immediately put down my address because they were looking for people do do that. I then had a seat. They read some poems, talked about losing loved ones and had a man speak about hospice and how wonderful they were when his wife was so sick. They had a singer who sung beautifully and then they had us go up and put our pictures on a board that had stars on it. You could say your loved ones name if you wanted to. I didn't because the woman with the microphone was busy at that exact time. After everyone attached their pictures, they lit up the board. It was beautiful. They did a nice job. Then it was over and people had refreshments. I grabbed a cookie and ran out the door so I could get home. I was tired. So glad I got to go though.

The next day was a 1/2 a day for the kids. So at 11:00 am, Bill and I went to get the three of them and then we went into Boston to the aquarium. We first watched a movie in the IMAX theatre about whales and dolphins. I kept falling asleep. Talk about tired. We then walked around the aquarium a little. It is under construction, so we didn't stay long. However, we did watch the sea lion show. That was awesome because Ping was picked to be a volunteer. So she got to feed "Isaak"the big sea lion. She got to hold up her leg and have him copy her and she got to pet him. She had a great time. Lucky girl!!!!  We then headed home as we were all really tired.

On Thursday, Bill took the Toyota for an oil change. I took the kids to school and went for a walk. Felt great to be out.  I then spent the rest of the day at home doing things around the house.  I didn't get everything done, but made a dent in things.

Friday was a busy day.  I dropped the kids off at school, went home for a few minutes and then Bill and I headed back to the school to watch the holiday concert that Ping and Yamira sang in. It was very cute. We then went and did two local errands and then back to the school to pick up Manny.  I dropped off Bill and took Manny to therapy. After therapy, we went home and I gave Manny lunch and had him take a nap.  We got the girls at 3:00 pm.  Yamira had a bad day, so she didn't get toys or TV.  Shayla and Manny played and watched TV till dinner. After dinner, I rounded up the girls and headed out. I dropped Yamira off at Brownies at 6:30 pm and then went to the library to drop off Ping who was having her very first sleepover.  She was so excited. I wasn't. I was happy for her, but wanted her home. Today, a lone gunman walked into an elementary school and shot 20 young children and 6 adults.  It was a devastating day for our country.  Given the news, I was less happy about dropping off my oldest baby. However, earlier she kept stroking my hair while telling me she would miss me terribly and she would see me the next day at 8:00 am.  I asked her if she would stay home if I gave her a buck. She said no. I upped it to $5, then promised a stuffed animal and then I told her I would buy her an iPhone. I was joking about the iPhone. She was hell bent on going. Who could blame her. Sounded like it was going to be a blast. So I took her to her sleep over and hung out for over an hour helping out the other ladies with prepping for the evening. I then left and picked up Yamira for 8:00 pm and headed home. Bill was on call. I was grateful that he didn't have a call while I was out.  I watched some TV and then finally headed to bed after several texts with friends at the sleepover.

Saturday morning, Bill went and got Ping. The minute she was home, she jumped into bed and gave me a kiss. Best kiss ever! So glad to see her. I gave her kisses and hugs and then passed back out.  I am not a morning girl. Mind you it is nearly 1:30 am here. I am a night owl.  I finally got up and showered and we headed out the door for a roller skating party for Lucas. The kids had a ball. It was nice to see our friends. We then went to Fashion Bug for me to pick up a few tops and then we had dinner at Applebees. Was not planned. We were going to have dinner with Meri, but she was going out late and the kids were literally cooked from all the activity and the next day was going to be busy too. Best to get them home and showered and in bed!

On Sunday, the kids went to Sunday School. We then attended church. We were asked to light the Advent Candles. Unfortunately I over slept. However, I got to church on time. The kids were in the Christmas pageant. It was adorable. I read the Advent reading and Bill lit the candles.  Then the pageant took place. Once it was over, we went downstairs and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and rushed home so we could turn around and get in the car and head to Norwood.  We had a party at 1:00 pm at Ayi Anita's parent's home. We got there at 1:30 pm. Bill left to get blood work at Dedham Medical since we were in the area and he was told that blood work was needed. He was not gone long. We then sat down and had some Chinese food and then we opened gifts upstairs around the fireplace. We had a great time. Ayi loved her gifts. The kids all got candy from the Andreassi's and Ayi Anita gave us a year long membership to the Museum of Science. Yay. Something we don't have to dust or stick away in a closet.  Love those gifts!  We then headed home as it was late and the driving wasn't great. It took us forever to get home due to an accident on 495.  Once home we got the kids into bed.

Today we had a 90 minute delay. So Manny didn't have preschool. Bill took the Enclave to get the mirror fixed and I took the kids to school.  Manny and I then came home.  I did a little cleaning and then I literally felt exhausted and so I laid down. I never do that. I took a short nap so I could be energized for the rest of the day. I fed Manny, put him in for a nap and showered. I have been going since. I did a bunch of things this afternoon while Bill got tires for the car and then I got the girls. I did not do errands because of the ice. The girls did homework and played. After dinner we headed to the Investiture for Ping's Brownie troop. After that we had refreshment and came home. We put the kids to bed. I then did some work at my desk and watched a little TV and now I am here on the computer. I have to get to bed or I will never get up and get the kids to school and do the errands I so badly want to do.

I doubt I will check in before Christmas, so please have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and healthy New Year.

Mama Out!!!!!!!!!

Brownie craft
Dropping off a letter to Santa
Santa at the library
Santa at Heberts
Dumplings in Worcester
Dumplings in Boston
Our tree
Lights of Love
Feeding Isaak
School program
Roller skating with Ayi Meri
Roller skating with Ayi Meri
Santa at the rink
Our dove at church
Dove, cow and donkey
Me and Ayi Anita
Ayi and the kids
Another tooth gone
Brownie investiture