Friday, December 30, 2011

Taking Down Christmas

Take THAT, Christmas!
No, this isn't about me tackling Christmas head-on and coming out the winner - though that would be fun, wouldn't it?

No, it's about removing all the bits and bobs that made their way into our house and onto our walls and every other surface in the month of December.

It's at this time that I'm reminded of a few things:
- What goes up must come down
- Pine needles stick to *everything*
- My house is going to look rather barren and pathetic very soon

I'm looking around at all the things that, while putting them up, seemed like such a fun and festive idea. And they were - it's been a blast decorating our new place for Christmas for the first time, finding spots for things and getting a lot of new things to adorn the shelves and knobs and window sills.

But now... I have to take them all down and put them away, and they seem to have multiplied in the past few weeks! Do you think I can get away with leaving up everything red and silver, and calling them Valentine's Day decorations??

I also have to resist the urge to organize everything. Once I get in that 'clean up, clean out' mode, nothing is safe. I'm going from room to room, pulling things out of closets, going through drawers finding things to purge,basically making a big mess and not getting any further ahead. Meanwhile the Christmas decor will still be up. So instead I will resist the organizational purge and just get rid of all the red & green I see everywhere. And it is *everywhere*. Here I go. Any tips for me?? (Besides forget it, get a glass of wine and put my feet up - because I tried that and it didn't work!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post-holiday Hangover

Christmas Dinner: if it weren't for my hands,
my face would be on the table
(and I didn't even cook!)
Phew. So that's it then. It's all done. The lists, the shopping, the wrapping... Sending of packages, filling of stockings (not that I did that - it was Santa), eating of cookies and turkey. I must say, a week of staying up past midnight and drinking all that wine (I was forced) really did me in. Clearly I am not the partier I once was! So I was all too happy to send the kids off to daycare today while I stayed home, albeit feeling a *little* guilty about it. Apparently we were one of only four neglectful families to send their kids off to the daycare today. Hey - one-on-one time with their teachers. That's what we're paying them for. (Thank GOODNESS they are open this week!!)

To assuage the guilt, I made a list of things I wanted to get done while the kids were gone all day. Now, I did have to work from home this morning, so really it's just the afternoon.
  • put away new toys, clothes etc. Meaning: find somewhere to cram them, or find toys to give away to make room.
  • take down decorations
  • finish laundry
  • clean the kitchen for the umpteenth time this week
  • vacuum tree needles from the living room floor, couches, and various other nooks and crannies that they find their way into
  • organize closets and dressers, since we've been living out of laundry baskets for weeks and finally got all the clothing put away and realized half of it doesn't fit or is out of season
  • various painting projects that I've been ignoring for, oh, years
  • print wedding photos (long overdue)
  • begin work on a few websites

What I've actually gotten done so far:
  • eat lunch

Next I plan to take a nap, then maybe shower and get dressed. Guilt Schmilt; it's my day off.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Must be some fire!", or - Mom Fail: Holiday Edition

As this holiday season marches on, it's becoming more and more clear to me that I am mising the plot. I am adding things to the to-do list faster than I am crossing them off, and having a hard time keeping up with all the things I'm supposed to be doing as The Mom at Christmas time.

This past weekend, Sunday morning rolled by and as we were scrambling around trying to get a few things crossed off The List, the Hubs and I heard sirens outside. Lots of them. And then we heard them again. It was strange, because this is such a quiet neighbourhood, and we both commented that it must be some fire. I shrugged, half thinking about how awful a big fire would be right before Christmas, and went back to searching on-line for LEGO that I would be paying $$$ for express shipping because I am not on the ball enough to order things in advance.

There's no bigger reminder of your shortcomings as a mom, it seems, than the holidays. Everywhere you look, there are things that you aren't doing, but Other Moms are. Experiences that Other Moms are bestowing on their children, and that your poor deprived children are missing out on. Santa photos, holiday trains, advent activities. Baking, snowflake making, carolling, general merriment. Live action nativities, various goodwill volunteer activities. Don't even get me started on all the wonderful things I'm supposed to be making 'found on Pinterest'. Meanwhile we're barely able to keep up with the laundry enough to ensure clean clothes for the family (I say 'we' because The Hubs does try to help on the laundry front. See? I can't even get that done!). My kids have never visited Santa, except at a pancake breakfast put on by their daycare, which doesn't count since I really had nothing to do with it except to show up.

In a moment of holiday guilt, I finally set aside some time to do some holiday baking with The Boy. I can't tell you how many things got spilled, dropped, or squashed. I can tell you I burnt two entire trays of carefully rolled-out and subsequently mangled angels and stockings, and there might have been some muttered swearing and outright yelling. But, there was Christmas music playing in the background! That has to count for something!

All in all I'd classify my disasterous participation in the holidays this year as Mom Fail: Holiday Edition.

Oh and that big fire? Turns out it was a Santa Drive-by, put on by the local fire department. Ohhhhh... that explains the sirens. And, doh... add that to the list of holiday events that I knew nothing about until after the fact. We were supposed to run to the end of the driveway, wave to Santa, and then run back into the house for hot chocolate.

How to all the Other Moms find out about this stuff? Is there a secret Other Mom newsletter that I am not receiving? Or, did I receive it, and it's sitting at the bottom of a pile of papers "to go through" somewhere in the house?

I'm not sure what's worse - knowing about things in advance, adding them to The List and just not doing them, or not knowing about them at all. Thankfully the kids are none the wiser - they are still too young to know about all the wonderful things they are woefully missing out on because their mom sucks at The Holidays.

Until next year, when I will be on the ball, have all our gifts ordered in November, holiday baking (with help from the kids - and my good friend Spiked Eggnog - to add to the magic) done with a smile and a song, and every event attended with joy and posted to Facebook. Next year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the dentist we go!

We had a Family Outing this morning to visit our friendly neighbourhood dentist. Oh, what fun it was.

In the days leading up to this magical event, I'd been telling the kids how AWESOME and FUN it would be, how they'd get to ride the chair! And show the dentist our teeth! And pick out a sticker! I even went so far as to tell Matthew that going to see the dentist was even MORE fun than going to see Santa! I was practically shaking pompoms about it to get everyone excited, and mostly to try to avoid the limp-noodle effect when we tried to remove them from their car seats to head into the office.

It worked! They totally bought it! They both went happily in the car, excited about our Family Outing. Emily said, "See Santa?" and then shook her head no. "No Santa. See dentist! Dentist say, 'Ho Ho Ho!'". Hmm. Well, not usually, but maybe if we ask nicely?

We filed in there a full 5 minutes early, and proceeded to rummage through our purses (well, mine) and pockets (his) for insurance information and health cards. By the way we were scrambling to locate these things you'd think we'd never done this before. "What? Insurance? Cards? Huh??"

Matthew was up first and after the requisite tears and running away, he hopped up into the chair like a champ. Okay, so it took a threat of his sister going first for him to get in there but, meh. Whatever works, right? He got his teeth cleaned and polished like a pro, did everything the hygienist asked and dutifully opened wider when the dentist came to 'count his teeth'. I was a proud mama! (And tried to avoid the question as to why he hasn't had a cleaning yet... umm... because we're bad parents?)

Then it was Emily's turn. WELL. She wasn't having ANY of it. She was quite pleased with all the stickers and the new toothbrush... but sit in that chair? Open her mouth? Are you kidding me?? She screamed and cried and flailed about as if we were attempting to strap her into a torture machine. We did get to 'brush' her teeth (sortof) and the dentist wrangled her into submission long enough to count her teeth, so I count it as a success. She was laughing and playing in the waiting room a few minutes later, so hopefully she's not permanently damaged by the experience.

Now I'm just wondering if I've played the "It's super fun, trust me!" card one too many times, and the kids will never believe me when I tell them how AWESOME something's going to be. Maybe next time I'll just tell them we're going to see Santa.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mom Brain

You have no idea how often I say the phrase "Mom Brain" as a way of explaining my sieve-like brain. Something happens the moment you get pregnant for the first time - your brain turns to mush. Like, actual grey-matter mush. Apparently, this phenomenon never really goes away, since I heard my own mother say the other day "I have a brain like a sieve!" And she's right - she does. It's the kids; kids kill brain cells, it's a fact, and you never, ever get them back. It's a wonder I can find my way to work every day - though I have arrived without my laptop and had to drive all the way home to get it. Mom brain. You just don't have enough room in your brain for everything, so mother nature thought it would be cute to give us the ability to remember the most mundane facts: registration date for swimming lessons, show and tell day, bake sale volunteer list, but not the most important: where your keys are, what day it is, your own cell phone number.

With that said, I was reminded once again of my Mom Brain tonight. In my excitement about getting the blog revived, I published my last post with a nice shout-out to my June Moms (you know who you are) but totally neglected my September Mommies (you know who you are). So sorry... Mom Brain! I know you all know how it is! I kid you not, I actually lost my computer for a good half an hour tonight. Not entirely my fault, as it was moved by someone (ahem), but it still took me a full half hour of looking for it, thinking "WHERE could I have put it??" before I found it. Mom Brain.

I'm baaaaaack!

I was thinking the other day that it would be really nice to revive the old mommy blog, dust it off and start posting again. So, here I am! New look, new site name, new mission: to share my mommy wisdom prowess stuff with the blog world. Okay, the real mission is to share all the kooky things that happen in our house and hope that someone out there has been there too. Maybe get some advice about how to manage a full-time job, commute, two kids in daycare, weekends crammed with errands, a hubby, a cat, a house... Maybe give out some advice of my own. I've got lots of ideas of how the world should be run - if only everyone would listen to me, everything would be perfect!

That said... let me ask you this: what's the ONE piece of advice you would give to a new mom? The one thing you think a woman should know before embarking on her journey into the mommyverse?

My one piece of advice? Find a group of like-minded women with kids around the same age as yours. No matter what happens with your child, what situations arise, here's nothing more comforting than sharing what's happening and having a bunch of other women say "I've been there!" or "I know what you mean!" -- even if you don't get any answers, you know you're not alone. I don't know what I would have done without my "June Moms" (you know who you are) but I would surely be more insane or more drunk on a regular basis.