Thursday, December 18, 2008
I feel like we have been going non-stop the last 11 days. We had friends in from out of town unexpectedly (although it was delightful!), we went to Piper's and Cade's school program, we went to Jason's brother's graduation, we went to Micah's school program, we had some friends over for dinner 2 separate evenings. PLUS, I voluntarily, um, volunteered (allow myself to introduce...myself) to bake brownies for Micah's program, cookies for Cade's party, cupcakes for Piper's, and fruit and cheese for Micah's (the last thing I almost forgot until JUST NOW. And it's for tomorrow). P.L.U.S. I still have gifts to wrap for this weekend when we have Christmas at my mother-in-law's house AND pack. I'm freakin' going insane!!
My mantra is that, technically, the hustle and bustle will be over with by Sunday. Which leaves me with 3 glorious days to enjoy Advent/Christmas. Basically, 3 1/2 weeks of Christmas bliss have been whittled down to 3 days. But, hey, at this point, I suppose I'll take what I can get.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I checked to make sure all the strands were still connected. They are. I thought about using the excuse that it's too close to Christmas to fix it, but since Christmas is still over a week away, I don't think that lameness is going to fly.
Therefore, it appears that I will have the distinct pleasure of taking every decoration off the tree, de-lighting it, connecting some lights that actually shine and then completely redecorating the tree. The thought of this somehow does not make my heart flutter as it did the initial time we decorated the tree.
Why is it that decorating the tree one time is a wonderfully anticipated occasion, but doing it twice in the same season is considerably less appealing? Now it's more like a nagging chore, just one more thing I have to do this season. It's sort of like the thought of wrapping, unwrapping and rewrapping the gifts under the tree, just for giggles. It's kind of cool the first time you wrap them, considering the excitement and surprise the recipient will feel on Christmas morning (or whenever you exchange gifts), but it's not so fun that we want to do it over and over again. The first time is enough.
Oh what a heavy burden I bear. ;)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I totally heart Google reader b/c it keeps me organized and current with all the blogs I follow, including a little bragging blog from my college alma mater keeping me abreast of how wonderful they are and all the amazing things other alumni that aren't me are doing. And reminding me that I should send them money. Seriously- the most recent email I got from them said to "Click here for a holiday surprise." So I did, thinking that maybe they were going to mail me a check for like 10% of my 4 years of tuition which might, like, pay off our mortgage or something. But no, the "treat" was that I could pay THEM. How does that work exactly? In this case, while I love my alma mater, the gift is not in the giving. The giving is OVER. Because even though I obtained a very expensive degree, I'm not really seeing the pay off in my current career. But I digress.
So yesterday I go to check the university's blog and what to my wondering eyes should appear? A friend of mine from COLLEGE is now a 2-day winner on Jeopardy! And it's not University Week. He's a real adult. And I'm a real adult. And I realized it's been OVER 10 YEARS since I last saw him.
When I was a sophomore in college, my 3 roommates and I lived in an apartment next door to 3 guys who were seniors. We all got to be pretty good friends, as 1 of my roomies and I were in an organization with 2 of the neighbors. We spent alot of time watching The Simpsons and King of the Hill together, spelling threatening messages with candy corns on on one another's front porches, and eating burritos at a hole-in-the-wall that had previously been closed for "remodeling" (but suspisciously didn't look any different when they reopened).
Mr. Jeopardy Winner was a buddy of the neighbors. Although he didn't live there, he spent a lot of time hanging out. He and I sang in a small choir together and had some other mutual friends. That year was a blast for many reasons, but partly because of our neighbors and their buddies.
Since that year, all the neighbors, plus Mr. Jeopardy Winner have gotten married. My roommates and I are all married. I have 3 children, including one who is too quickly encroaching upon 7. 7!!! As in YEARS OF AGE! Several of us have lost touch, but a few have reconnected through the miracle of technology that is Facebook.
It was really cool to see this guy winning on Jeopardy yesterday. Until I actually calculated the math and realized how long it's really been since I saw him last. Which took me a minute because I'm terrible at math. Then I got online to price Polident and Preparation H. And I'll throw in Centrum Silver for good measure.
When did this happen?!?! How did an entire DECADE go by and how can it possibly still feel like it was YESTERDAY? YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!
Since the 2nd anniversary of my 28th birthday 14 months ago, I've had a hard time with "growing up." I don't "feel" like a middle-aged mom of 3 kids. Does that ever happen? When is life going to slow down and let me catch up?
That's a long time. And in many ways, not that long at all.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I wanted to share something very concerning to me as a consumer and occasional "maker of children's articles." On February 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is passing a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in order to cut the use of lead and phthalates and children's products. While I'm TOTALLY FOR stricter standards to decrease or even eliminate lead and phthlates in children's products, the new ban will have a devestating effect on our economy. In a nutshell, any producer of items intended for use by a child 12 or under, including CLOTHING manufacturers, will have put each component of each item through stringent and EXPENSIVE testing. Basically, home-based businesses will go under. Any mom (or dad) who makes children's items will not be able to afford the amount of testing that will be required and they will have to shut their doors. Besides putting millions out of business, the new regulations for testing will drive up the cost of these goods TREMENDOUSLY! Consignment shops, thrift shops, ebay and Craigslist, yard/garage sales will be but a distant memory, as items without a certificate of testing can no longer be sold.
Here are a few links to other blogs discussing this same issue and it's serious effects:
Please consider taking action and writing or calling your representative regarding this action.
And now back to my regularly scheduled slacking...
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
In celebration of Christmas, I decided that I want to post my very own favorite things list. I do not believe Oprah corners the market on favorite things, especially considering that the song "My Favorite Things" was written when she was approximately 5 yrs. old. If anyone corners the market, it's probably Rogers and Hammerstein. However, she does put my own Christmas budget to shame. So, no, I won't be purchasing all of my favorite things for all my bloggy visitors. So sorry.
To admit a touch of hypocrisy on my part, it really grates on my nerves that the song "My Favorite Things" is heard only at Christmas time, because I don't consider it to be a Christmas song at all. Sure there are some references in the lyrics to gifts and snow, but it's no more a Chrismas song than that Nelly/Tim McGraw duet should be considered country.
Be that as it may, I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite things this season!
To start with, I wanted to share a few of my favorite Christmas CDs! While I'm totally in LOVE with Pandora.com and the Christmas music station on our digital cable, it's nice to retain some control over my holiday playlist when I'm in a specific mood. SO in no particular order:
I'm ASSuming this album is new because I've not seen it any other year at Christmastime. I'm sure a cursory Google search could settle this, but alas, I'm too lazy. Anyway Shane and Shane bring the perfect amount of acoustic style to some traditional Christmas carols. Nothing is too dressed up or rearranged to the point of anoyance where the original tune is detroyed (example: Point of Grace's rendition of O Holy Night. Ugh! (Did I just reference Point of Grace?? Yes. Yes, I did. That was hip music. Last century. )). I recently downloaded it on iTunes. It's a keeper!
Next is Amy Grant's Home for Christmas. This little goodie has been out about 15 years give or take. Man, I am getting OLD. I actually owned this once upon a time. On cassette. Remember the little plastic contraptions with the 2 holes and the thin thread of film running through them? You put it in a player and when you pushed play, the spokes on the player turned moved the film through and music came out? Remember? And it took 15 years to rewind it when you wanted to hear your favorite song again? Good times. Anyway, I love this album! It's become a classic of mine!
I've never owned any Carpenter's album in any form, if that redeems me from the old-before-my-time category, but I have heard all the songs on this album and I don't know why I haven't downloaded it on iTunes yet. Maybe because the focus of our holiday budget revolves around our 3 little angels. So now we're broke. But Karen Carpenter's voice is like buttah! No one can sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" like her. And even though Jason hates it, I kind of have a soft spot for "Merry Christmas, Darling."
Finally, I've included Michael Buble on my favorite things list. I'm normally not a huge fan of the jazzed-up jazzy song from the jazz genre, but something about Michael Buble's arrangements just does it for me. They're jazzy, but not unrecognizeable. And I can still sing along. Which is good because I'm a fan of singing along. Unless there are actual other people around with ears. Although, I've been plugged into my ear buds at work with Christmas music being piped straight to my brain all week and it's requiring a TREMENDOUS amount of self control to refrain from bursting out with "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland" or something similar.
I'm sure I've forgotten some. These are just the ones that came into immediate recall. Feel free to post your own favorites in my comments section! I'm always looking for quality holiday tunes!!
And as a bonus (and a nod to Oprah, in case someone were to think I were blatantly ripping off her idea, which as I've mentioned was not hers to begin with) Oprah is giving away a free holiday CD! It's available for download here. Thanks to Couponing101 for posting this to your site! Enjoy, everyone!