Tag Archives: Holidays

#mostannoyingpostever #seriously

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Happy New Year! 

Yeah, yeah I know we’re already eight days in but one of my resolutions is to just be a little more relaxed about always being EARLY for everything. (Actually, that’s a lie. I would NEVER be able to change that about myself. Sorry KJ, how excited were you for a second there?)

Tomorrow is the SECOND anniversary of Who Needs a Nap? so thank you for continuing to read and comment (…even though most of you don’t. Maybe that could be your New Year’s resolution? Just saying.)

I’m gathering my thoughts for blog posts right now. I’d like to write about some “bigger” parenting issues that interest us (or is it just me?) like…

  • Simplifying our lives and why that’s a challenge
  • How much should we push our kids? (Academically, athletically, etc… this just seems like a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately.)
  • and THIS (very thought-provoking article about philanthropy)

… and of course, I’ll continue to make light of our parenting struggles (by which I mean, I’ll make fun of my kids). As always, I welcome your input. As long as it’s positive and complimentary, I’d love to hear your feedback. And ideas. And insights. And knock-knock jokes.

BUT given that I don’t have any coherent thoughts on any of those big things right now, I’m going to share some of my random thoughts about the holidays and about winter in general. And in honor of Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show and in general, being my favorite person right now, I’m also going to hashtag the hell out of them.

(You have seen THIS, right? If not, go ahead… I’ll wait.)

So, we’re one week into 2014 and I feel like all I’ve done is put Christmas presents and decorations away. #lookspretty  #itsovergetitout  #holidayrecoveryisbrutal

I had a SERIOUS fight with our tree this year. I was determined to take it down and it was determined to KILL ME. As I told my friends, I ultimately won the war, but I still have some battle scars to show for it.  #shouldhavewornshoes  #brokenornamentswillcutyourshitup  #boycottingarborday

We had a really, really great holiday season but I swear it does take a long time and a lot of effort to get the house back to normal. Last year, we had presents on our dining room table in MARCH, so I vowed to be better about that this year.  #presentfreebyfebruary!   #diningroomsfordining  #notreally  #onlyonceayear  #butstill

#notthisyear

This photo was taken last March. #notthisyear

So, the weather has been WEIRD… am I right? We had a white Christmas. Then we went to Florida and it was chilly. Then we came home just in time for the snowstorm. Then the next day it was 50° and rainy. Then it DROPPED 50° and now it’s hovering around 12°. #wtf  #thatglobalwarmingshitsreal  #butitsnotalwayswarm?  #shouldbecalledcrazyassweatherinstead

My kids went back to school yesterday after two weeks off and the angels sang. #hallelujah  #hallelujah  #hallelujahhallelujahhallelujah

The Loud One will tell you that her favorite Christmas presents are the giant stuffed panda from Santa and her two new hermit crabs. Yes, we got more pets. #atleasttheyrenotrodents

But the evidence shows that the only present she REALLY likes is the stuffed puppy from Uncle Tom and Aunt Susan. She’s played with it non-stop since Christmas Day. She even hid it in her backpack to bring to school yesterday. #plushcontraband  #stuffedisbetterthanalive

The Nibbit opted to donate most of his Christmas presents this year. Lest you think it’s because he’s so selfless in nature, you should know he said, “I’m giving these all away because I only like to play cards and games and chess.” #areyoulisteningsanta? #powerrangerswereawasteofmoney #imeanelveshardwork

Happy Dude continues to play ONLY with cars and trucks. Santa has learned an important lesson this year. #kidhasonlyoneinterest #carsandtrucksforever!

It’s just a year-long vicious cycle… every morning I’m either fighting with my kids about sunblock or mittens. #parentingequalsgroundhogday

I had to order Happy Dude a new winter hat immediately because his doesn’t fit anymore. #hugenoggin #hasownweathersystem #soimarriedanaxemurderer #suchafunnymovie #dudehowoldareyou?

Before I bought the hat, I decided to actually measure his head. I used this measuring tape; it was my Mom’s and it really makes me smile. But the strangest thing is that it’s always where I need it to be. #ghostmommovesstuff?  Oh and also, #kidhasagianthead

#deskdrawerbasementkitchen #younameititsthere

#deskdrawerbasementkitchen #younameititsthere

I hope everyone’s 2014 is off to a good start. Personally, I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions. I’m perfect just the way I am. #mymomtoldmeso  #32yearsagobutstickingtoit

#thatsalligot

#pleasecommentandtellmewhatyoudliketoseeonwhoneedsanapin2014

#ifyoudoipromsetostophastagging

#ishashtaggingaword?

#shouldbe

#bye

#lolololololol

#lolololololol

PS. I wish my desk chair had a seat warmer like my car does. #hasthisbeeninvented? #willsomeonebuymeone? #myassiscold #ispendtoomuchtimeinmydeskchair

#thatsreallyall

2013: Year in Review

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Happy Holidays!

We’ve never been a family who includes a holiday brag letter with our card but we’ve been so ridiculously accomplished this year, it seemed unfair not to share it all with our loved ones. Please read on…

Let’s start with our youngest, Happy Dude (age 3). What a star he’s turning out to be! Why just this week, he broke his own previous records for nighttime tantrums AND hours logged on an iPad prior to 6:00am. He can name 18 of the characters from the Monsters Inc. franchise as well as EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER to EVER appear in a Cars movie!

We’re also proud of his ever-expanding palette. In the past week alone, he’s tried chocolate in seven different forms: bar, Santa, ice cream, hot, milk, Kiss and Teddy Grahams. And you would be truly impressed with the enthusiasm in which he protests fruits and vegetables. He’s managed to not [knowingly] ingest one single thing of nutritional value in the past twelve months!

Happy Dude started a few extracurriculars this year including Spring “Playing in the Infield Dirt” and Fall “Resting on the Sidelines.” Of course he received a medal for each which we took to mean he was the absolute BEST at both Dirt-Playing and Resting.

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HD’s other accomplishments include: organizing his impressive collection of toy cars by color on a weekly basis; saying KA-CHOW! a lot; and making this face:

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Onto the Nibbit (age 5)… The Nibbit’s ability to push, pull, pinch, tickle, tackle, wrestle and generally bother anyone in his immediate vicinity remains strong; his consistency and dedication to being what we have labeled, “Nibbity” is admirable.

Our middle child did try a bunch of new things this year… he started soccer and we later heard from the coach that “those elbows will serve him well in later years.” He played flag football, opting to ignore the whole “flag” part and tackle at will. And he continued to play baseball… which is not USUALLY a full-contact sport, unless you’re playing with our Nibbit! He also played a LOT of Wrestle Baby.

The Nibbit remains the biggest game-player in the house, as well. In fact, this past year he has established a full-blown addiction to a card game called Palace, which we’re told, in certain circles, is also called Shithead. (Those would be, DRINKING circles. So we have THAT to look forward to.) He also excels at Uno and War. You know, life skills.

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His other accomplishments this year included: learning the words to the popular Taylor Swift song, “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” and wiping his own ass.  Also, learning the word ass. (Thank you, Home Alone.)

The Loud One (age 7) spent most of 2013 in her own happy head, as usual. She wrote and illustrated countless animal stories, in which animal characters found themselves in unusual predicaments and then other animal characters rescued them. Sometimes an unexpected ending presented itself… and the animal died.

In a surprising twist of her own, LO has become a fan of the urban sport called Parkour these past few months, which involves jumping off of high platforms, flipping on trampolines and spinning around scaffolding bars. We can only guess that she likes it more than gymnastics because she doesn’t have to wear that damn leotard… and she can yell as much as she wants.

Loud One also surprised us on the soccer field this year by actually playing.

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She is successfully navigating the turbulent waters of 2nd grade; in fact, her math knowledge has officially exceeded her mother’s, which makes homework time frustrating for everybody! Yay!

Her other accomplishments include: developing an ongoing written relationship with the Tooth Fairy; catching and trapping bugs and other small creatures; and mastering the Rainbow Loom.

Our family enjoyed several vacations this year including a trip to Turks & Caicos where KJ spent the week hobbling around on crutches and kmac sustained a water slide injury that to this day prevents her from doing push-ups. (Bummer!) Other travel adventures included catching fish, eating fish, catching lizards, feeding sharks and catching the uptown bus.

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Remember the cute Batman? Best Photobomb of 2013!

KJ continues to claim that his independently owned business is doing well, but kmac suspects he may be secretly playing golf 3-4 times a week. As long as he’s not home messing up her kitchen, she doesn’t care. His crown achievement this year has been successfully supporting the Yankees, the Jets and the Notre Dame football team without teaching his kids the f-word. (We are aware that the season is not over yet, so there’s still time.)

Kmac is proud to have become a living cliché by participating in all the usual school volunteer gigs and spending her days in yoga class pants. She writes a blog with a readership estimated at approximately 23, an 8% increase from last year. (Well, she thinks it’s about 8%, but she’s not really sure.)

Well, that about sums up all of our family news. Overall, it’s been an incredibly productive year, full of proud accomplishments, a fair amount of angry yelling but also, lots of laughter.

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We wish all 23 of you a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you all the things you desire – which, if you’re anything like us, include Margaritas and a LOT more sleep.

It’s the Most Wonderful To Do List of the Year!

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I should write a post. I should write a post. It’s now been over a week since my last post and I vowed to write at least one post a week. Damn. What should I write about?

Should I write about how little time there seems to be to do everything we want to do this time of year? How making gingerbread houses, EVEN just the kind that are ready-to-assemble with frosting-glue and then decorated with the entire candy aisle of CVS take my three kids an entire afternoon and how we can’t seem to find the time to get them done? And about how we colored cookies and packaged candies to give out as a random acts of kindness a week ago and STILL haven’t given them all away?

I bet you’re DYING to see these week-old cookies colored by a three-year old in your mailbox tomorrow.

I bet you’re DYING to see these week-old cookies, colored by a three-year old, in your mailbox tomorrow.

Should I write about how with every present I buy for the kids, I remind myself that it’s JUST. TOO. MUCH? Yes, I’ve read about the “One thing I buy, one thing I need, one thing to wear and one thing to read” strategy and I love the idea of it. But I just can’t commit to that. For reasons that I can’t articulate but that I’m sure have something to do with my warmest, fuzziest memories of Christmas morning involving a tall stack of presents and yes, even as I type that I’m very aware of how spoiled it sounds. 

I could write a whole book about how hard it is for ME to remember the true meaning of the holiday season (family, generosity, love, and if you’re Catholic, the whole “Happy Birthday Jesus” thing), never mind convince my kids that it’s not really about the presents. But I don’t have the time to write that book. Because I’m too busy shopping for presents.

Should I write about how during the month of December I feel the need to have this out on my counter?

It needs to be full at all times. You know, just in case a random holiday party breaks out in my kitchen.

And it needs to be full at all times. You know, just in case a random holiday party breaks out in my kitchen.

Hey, maybe I won’t actually write anything… I’ll just share my Holiday To Do List! So you can read it and scream “YES! TOTALLY! ME TOO!” at the computer and we can be cyberly-bonded holiday BFFs! OK, here it is:

  • Drag up the heavy boxes of Christmas decorations. Damn, those nutcrackers need to lay off the Kisses.
  • Spend too many hours designing Christmas cards. Not one picture of three smiling kids. Time to get creative.
  • Make this year’s gift list. Woah. Grows every year.
  • Send kids’ requests to grandparents and aunts and uncles.
  • Bring a holiday craft to the preschool classroom.
  • Buy 15+ gifts for nieces and nephews. Luckily, teenagers like gift cards.
  • Design annual family photo album.
  • Refill the Hershey Kiss bowl. Can’t disappoint my imaginary guests!
  • Think about writing a blog post about the holiday season and how busy it is.
  • Forget. Sorry.
  • Buy gifts for parents. You’ve heard of the Man Who Has Everything? They named that guy after my Dad. Luckily, he gave me some ideas this year. No siblings, I’m not sharing them.
  • Decorate the tree. Argue with the kids about the lights. White is always always always better than colored.
  • Decorate the rest of the house.
  • “Build” gingerbread houses. Prepare for the inevitable ugly sugar crash. And it WILL be ugly.
  • Make homemade ornaments for Grammy.
  • Buy presents for multiple Secret Santas and close friends.
  • Unpack the twelve Amazon boxes that are coming in everyday. Open box, throw gifts into the basement, breakdown cardboard. Hope that wasn’t breakable.
  • Take inventory of whose gifts I have and whose I don’t. Wow, am I still missing that many?
  • Surf the web for the perfect ________ for _________. Do this for a hundred, million hours.
  • Get cupcakes for another preschool party. Get annoyed by all the nut restrictions and then remember that it’s my kid that has the nut allergy.
  • Set up my new Christmas village.*
  • Refill the Hershey Kiss bowl. Wow, did my imaginary guests finish those again?
  • Research air hockey tables.
  • Research bikes.
  • Research hermit crabs. I know, we’re suckers.
  • Address the Christmas cards. For three days.
  • Prepare hostess gifts for multiple parties.
  • Realize I have nothing to wear to any of those parties.
  • Plan the Nibbit’s birthday party – need invite, goody bags, gifts, food and a cake. DO NOT FORGET THE NIBBIT’S BIRTHDAY.
  • Think, “Oh yeah, I still have to write that holiday blog post!”
  • Forget again. Sorry.
  • Organize gifts for teachers at multiple schools and activities, coaches and various other awesome people in my life.
  • Remember that I need to shop for KJ, too.
  • Google “beer gifts” and “ugly Jets stuff” since those are his favorite things.
  • Finally write that blog post. Yay! You are HERE.
  • Unpack more Amazon packages. Open, throw gifts in the basement, breakdown cardboard. Oops.
  • Bring paper products to the second grade holiday party.
  • Tackle all the stuff in the basement: final inventory of whose gifts I have and whose I’m missing. Shit. I still have a LOT of shopping to do.
  • More research. More surfing. More buying. More boxes.
  • And then, we wrap.
  • And wrap.
  • And wrap and wrap and wrap and wrap.

I bet this list looks pretty familiar, huh?

But wait, it could be worse for me… here’s what I’m NOT doing:

  • Throwing my own holiday party. Hats off to you holiday hostesses… I’ll happily drink your egg nog.
  • Moving an Elf on the Shelf around every night. Told my kids that they were so well-behaved that Santa didn’t think we needed one. Also told them that he’ll be EXTRA disappointed if they prove him wrong.
  • Making gifts that involve craftiness of any sort. Nothing knitted. Nothing sewn. Nothing crafted with fabric, jewels, yarn or glitter of any sort. Someday, my sewing machine will get the attention it deserves. But that day is not today.
  • Organizing or even participating in any type of cookie exchange. I may actually get through the month of December without baking one single cookie. Wait, I hope that doesn’t mean I don’t get to eat any. 
  • Writing long, meaningful blog posts about the true meaning of Christmas. Blech, boring… right?

So, if you’re doing any (or all, you goddamn overachievers) of the above, I commend you. You are exceeding holiday expectations in a big way, so congratulations.

Now, please bring me some cookies.

My new Christmas village was just founded last year, so it’s still a small village. Although, the Loud One helped with its development with a "village school" of her own.

*My new Christmas village was just founded last year, so it’s still a small village. Although, the Loud One helped with its development.

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PS. I hope you know that all of my bitching is done fully in jest. I actually really, really love the holiday season. I love the spirit and the energy and even the stress, which I obviously keep in check with chocolate. I love the 24/7 Christmas carols on old-school radio 106.7. I even love my To Do List. It’s the most wonderful time of year! I hope you’re enjoying it. 

A Love Letter

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Dear Loud One,

It’s Valentine’s Day Night and millions of people are putting roses in vases right now and cramming into crowded restaurants to whisper things like “I’m so happy you’re my Valentine this year!” and “This has been the best year month week of my life! I will love you forever!” and exchanging heart-shaped boxes of calories that the girl will probably end up devouring the following weekend when the guy tells her that he just needs some space and that “it’s not HER, it’s him” which we all know is a BIG LIE but when you’re hearing it, you manage to convince yourself that this may actually be the ONE TIME that line has been said in total and complete honesty and…

<breathe>

Loud One, here’s the thing. Valentine’s Day is a hyped-up, sort-of-fake holiday that has gained momentum over the years thanks to Hallmark, Russell Stover and Tiffany. (And Kay’s but only because we simply cannot avoid those commercials with the stupid jingle Every kiss begins with Kay’s, even thought we have a DVR. How do they do that?)

BUT. You will not be immune to Cupid’s charms. There will come a time when you yearn for the mushy cards, the heart-shaped boxes and the little blue magic box. These desires may pass; they may not. Regardless, there are a few things I want you to remember about this “holiday” and the person you choose to spend it with.

1. Your Valentine of the future MUST treat you well on this day (and all days, but that’s obvious) unless it’s been mutually agreed upon ahead of time that you will just ignore the hype and not buy any presents (in which case, he should still get you a tiny, little something anyway because you’re the best and he couldn’t resist.)

Side note: Most boys DO NOT understand that last part. Take my advice and tell them up front that what you meant by “Let’s not exchange gifts,” was really, “Why don’t you just buy me a little something?” They’re boys, honey; they can’t help it.)

2. Don’t ever settle to be anyone’s second choice Valentine. If you’re not somebody’s OBVIOUS first choice, than grab a few of your kick-ass girlfriends and open a bottle of wine/soda/chocolate milk/juice box (depending on how old you are) and celebrate your independence. This won’t always feel easy. Sometimes it will feel sad, but you’ll obviously have Ben & Jerry’s there to cheer you up because let me tell you LO, those boys will ALWAYS be there for you during the rough times. And just know… this too shall pass.

3. Don’t give your heart out to just anyone who will take it. You know how you brought 21 Valentine’s hearts to school today? And you gave one to everyone including the boy who’s not always that nice? And then everyone just stuffed them in their homemade heart boxes and some of those kids didn’t even say thank you? Well, that’s PERFECT for 1st grade; that’s exactly what is supposed to happen when you’re six years old.

But when you get older, you should save your Valentine’s heart for that one special person who’s going to open it, love it, appreciate it and not squish it into any box. They may even want to keep it pressed between two pages of a heavy dictionary or encyclopedia to protect it and take it out years later and remember how special it made them feel. (“What’s an encyclopedia?” you ask? Hmmm… it’s like a written version of the Internet.)

4. On the other hand, don’t hold back either. Always be confident that your Valentine’s heart is special and worthy. Sometimes you’ll have to take a risk and a deep breath and hold it out unsure of how it will be received. If it’s taken and appreciated, exhale and smile.

And if not? Call me immediately. You can cry and I’ll remind you that sometimes love sucks and also, because I’m your mother, I’ll probably say that he’s an asshole and doesn’t deserve someone like you. And then I MIGHT, without you knowing, find him and just hurt him a little bit.

5. Lastly, keep the faith. You’ll spend many Valentine’s wishing you were with someone… or someone else. But on some February 14th far in the future, you’ll end up on the couch, eating take-out and watching Mad Men (or some show set in the 90s) next to the Valentine with whom you were always meant to be.

Just like me and Dad.

You’ll always be MY special Valentine, LO.

xoxo,
Mom

This will probably be appropriate at some point in your life. Hang in there.

This will probably be appropriate at some point in your life. Hang in there.

PS. To the Nibbit and Happy Dude, I have some Valentine’s advice for you guys, too. Don’t eff it up. Treat girls well. Buy teddy bears if their age ends in “-teen” and jewelry if not. And if they tell you that you’re “not exchanging gifts this year,” get them a little something anyway. It doesn’t take much boys; man up.