Thursday, December 21, 2006

You know what is ironic? That my nice 4 wheel Drive Trailblazer with the $700 worth of new winter-road-ready tires is sitting in the shop today while it is snowing for the first time in a month. And my rental car is an itty bitty piece of crap with a hamster under the hood and bald tires.

It’s not “I sold my hair to buy you a watch chain” ironic. But I’m just sayin’…
~Clover

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I thought that laughing was supposed to be a cure for all ills. I know it burns a ton of calories. Right up there with sex. (Too bad laughing during sex is frowned upon.) Anyway, I’m a little bummed out right now, because I actually laughed myself right into a headache this evening. Although it was probably because I was in the middle of a very serious game of “Hide and Peek” and so I was trying to stifle the laughter. Which, in hindsight, was really stupid. Considering that the reason I was laughing was because my Hide and Peek partner, who I had neatly tucked into a laundry hamper, stood up the moment she heard her father coming and started screaming, “I’m right here, Mommy is behind the chair.”

Clearly she doesn’t get it. Which is too bad, because she’s so tiny she could probably hide for days in this house if she wanted to. She has Hide and Peek Champion written all over her. No, I’m serious. In blue Crayola marker. Thank God they make those things washable now. I guess I should be glad I don’t have to spend a half hour every morning searching through drawers and cupboards. And, even if she had kept quiet the dog standing directly in front of me barking may have been a giveaway.

M on the other hand is an expert Hide and Peeker. In fact, on one turn he actually showed up at the front door, and I still can’t figure out how he did it. Impressive.

Off to watch “Lost in Translation”. Hoping it makes up for the other night’s disappointing “I Heart Huckabees”.

We love Netflix.
~Clover

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I am so on top of things this holiday season I can hardly stand myself. I wrapped the last of the gifts today. I’m not in charge of cooking anything. The house looks great (we had our company party here on Friday night.) It’s like I can…RELAX or something. Only I suck at that. So instead I’m obsessing about whether or not I really got everything done.

And so, rather than obsess on my blog, I’ve decided to indulge my inner Christmas Junkie and post my answers to one of those email thingys going around. I would love to read other people’s answers too. So if you post yours, leave me a comment and let me know.

1) Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate – Both. I even have some Egg Nog flavored Cocoa powder around here somewhere. Before I lost 25 lbs and then cared about what my hips look like, M and I used to buy that Holiday Nog stuff starting in mid November. Yum.

2) Santa, discuss. – Santa is all we talk about around here right now. Ok, well, and Baby Jesus. Which is cool, but I can hardly take credit. Sweet Pea is very into babies, Baby Jesus specifically. She makes me tell her the Christmas story every night. And she makes me sing parts of it. And then she says, “I love Baby Jesus.” Which is good. I can use all the help I can get.

As for Santa, she is still slightly terrified of sitting on his lap, but she sat up there long enough to whisper that she would like a Cinderella dress thankyouverymuch. It strikes me as odd that I spend 11 months of the year keeping her away from strange old men with candy, and in December I prep her for the occasion like it’s the Bar exam. But whatevs. When Santa visits our house he will leave 1-2 choice items and a full stocking by our fireplace. The rest of our gifts get wrapped before Christmas and go under the tree. He brings things for everyone in the house too. Including Moi, and the dog.

3) When do you put your decorations up? – After M’s birthday on December 5th. Usually about the 2nd weekend in December. This year I was a little early because we decided to have our company party at our house. We moved into this house in October of last year, so I didn’t really get into Christmas. This year my house looks fantastic. Says me.

4) White lights or multi colored? – White on the tree. If I had any shrubbery in the yard there would be some multi colored lights on them. But alas…

5) Favorite holiday memory from childhood – Probably just spending the holidays with my family. My mom and grandmothers always made Christmas really beautiful and special. And even though we didn’t have a lot of money, there was always something wonderful under the tree. I remember Santa bringing me a bike, or a special Barbie…every year there was something exciting. One year I was in N. Idaho spending Christmas with my dad’s side of the family, and my cousin Sarah and I got out of bed at 2:00 in the morning to play in the foot of snow that had just fallen. I was probably 16 or 17, my aunt took pictures of us making snow angels in our matchy matchy Nordstrom Christmas pajamas.

6) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? – Wha? I don’t understand this question. BELIEVE.

7) Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? – Depends. If we spend Christmas Eve with M’s family, we exchange the gifts from his mom’s side. Everything else we open on Christmas day. As a kid it seems like we opened a few gifts at my Grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve, but not all of them.

8) How do you decorate your Christmas tree? – The aforementioned white lights, and lots of ornaments that we have collected through the years. Our ornaments are very sentimental. There are lots of “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments dating back to 1973 and 1974, plus the truckload that Sweet Pea got in 2004.

9) What tops your tree? – An angel that moves her arms and wings. My mom has had a very similar angel on her tree for as long as I can remember. We lovingly refer to them as the Aerobics Angels, because they look like they are doing that old, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” exercise.

10) Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? – Giving. Half the fun of the holidays is having an excuse to shop like a madwoman. And I really try to think of interesting and thoughtful gifts. I want everything to be a fun surprise, and avoid shopping off a list if I can.

11) Snow, love it or dread it? – Love it. LOVE IT. Hate driving in piles of it, but love it just the same. Lots of snow means lots of water in the lakes in the summer time. But in April the snow has to be gone. Got that? April = spring. Or else I get a little “all work and no play makes Jack batchit crazy.”

12) Do you remember your favorite gift? – I can’t think of just one favorite, but several stand out. I have a doll that my mom bought me at St. Vincent’s the year she and my dad got divorced. The doll was wearing a hat, and was wrapped in cellophane, so she couldn’t see that some previous owner had cut all her hair off. On Christmas morning I unwrapped her, tore the hat off and looked at my mother wide eyed. Without missing a beat she said, “Mrs. Santa Clause picked you out to have that doll, she knew you would love her even without hair.” Last week Sweet Pea named that doll Alison. (My SIL did a little detective work recently and found out that “Sister” doll is 43 years old.)

13) What is your favorite holiday tradition? – I’m pretty sentimental about the holidays, but I don’t know that there is a hard and fast tradition that we have always stuck to. Some years I was with my mom and (step)dad, some years I was up north with my other dad. So, I’m totally over the top about Christmas. But there’s not one thing…Getting out all the decorations is really the part that makes me schmoopy. There is a lot of history and tradition in those boxes. I am sitting right next to my Great Grandfather’s Nativity right now. (Or as Sweet Pea refers to it, “BABY JESUS’ HOUSE!!”)

Happy Holidays!
~Clover
I hate making Christmas gift lists. Hate it. It makes me feel all, demanding. And materialistic. Plus, I want to be surprised. So I never feel like I ask for what I really want. So, here goes. Too late to do anything about it, what I want for Christmas:

This book that I saw yesterday at Craft Warehouse and I was all, “Oh! I have a link to her blog on my blog!” As though that made me cool or something. But the book looks like the schiznit.

I did ask M for a new Nano. Which is funny, because I have an Ipod Mini that is broken, so you’d think I’d want something more reliable. But, nope. I want a Nano. So that I can pretend I am still cool, and that my playlists aren’t made up entirely of jazzy/punked out versions of toddler songs.

Effortless hair. Meaning, hair that looks good even if I just pull it back into a ponytail, or wash it and let it air dry. And while I’m asking for the impossible, how about world peace?

Some new black shoes. Like those crunchy granola Mary Janes that look funky and yet orthopedic all at the same time. And some new red FMP’s, maybe with a rhinestone buckle. And something to wear the red shoes with. Maybe a little black dress.

A subscription to a scrapbooking magazine would be kind of fun. Since I’m all cool like that. With my awesome Wiggles edition Nano and my comfortable Mary Janes.

A trip to somewhere warm and tropical with a spa package.

A new watch. Maybe one with some bling.

A thousand dollars to spend at a nursery this spring on plants for my bare front yard. And a landscape designer and some guys with shovels to go with it.

A trip to NYC with all my girlfriends.

The in shape body that I had a year ago back for good. With the ability to eat chocolate chip cookies and French fries whenever I want. (Santa Baby, I’ve been an awfully good girl…)

A new gas stove.

Time to cook on my new gas stove.

A cute little cabin in the woods.

Flawless skin.

Patience.
Season tickets to our summer Shakespeare Festival.

More closet space.

Downtime.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fair warning to the 5 people who read this blog.

Last night I caved to my guilty conscience and agreed to make a brief appearance at a Christmas party. There was free booze, and suffice to say my brief appearance turned into a big night out complete with dirty dive bar karaoke. As a result, I’m having a hard time stringing words together into complete sentences. And I am also swearing like a trucker. So. My point was…Shit. I don’t remember.

Anyway, there is this burning topic that I have been wanting to address here for at least the last week or so. And I know that you will be so glad I finally put fingers to keyboard and let ‘er rip. Because this is important. IMPORTANT.

Have you ever seen that cartoon Max and Ruby? It’s on Noggin. (we loooooove Noggin at our house, esp. the Upside Down Show which is like the best present a Mommy could ask for. Because brothers Shane and David mesmerize two year olds for 30 full minutes, and if you can get past the toddler mesmerizing antics, that Shane is pretty hot. David is cute too, but something about the air guitar playing bald brother melts my butter. There is a cute Wiggle too, but those guys annoy the crap out of me.)

What was I talking about? Oh, right. Max and Ruby.

So Max and Ruby are a brother and sister bunny duo. The intro song tells us that Max is Ruby’s “little” brother. And their clothes and toys would lead one to believe that these are bunny children. But if you watch the show for long enough, say, every morning during breakfast for a few months, you start to notice some really odd things about those rabbits.

For starters, Ruby is destined for sainthood. She has never kicked, hit, spit on, or yelled at Max. Ever. And he is the kind of little brother that would drive any normal person batshit crazy. His toys are loud and annoying. He is uncooperative. He runs off in the mall. He is stubborn and slow moving. And he’s into gross things like worms and mud and gooey sticky candy called Jelly Balls. But she never gets upset with him. She has never even yelled, “Moooooooooooooom, Max put worms in my tea set again.” Probably because there are NEVER any parents at their house. In fact, Ruby is the most maternal sister I have ever seen in my life. She makes breakfast, lunch, and dinner for that bratty little brother, takes him shopping for clothes, cleans his room, worries about his nutrition and hygene, navigates her way around town on public transportation…way more responsibility than a young bunny should have to bear if you ask me.

UNLESS…as I suspect, these are not in fact bunny children. Stay with me here, because I think I might be onto some big breakthrough. I think, that Max and Ruby just might be, and I apologize for my lack of political correctness here, adult bunny midgets. And Max is some kind of savant.

That would explain why someone who looks like 6 year old would be left to care for someone who looks and talks like a 2 year old without the help of any adults. There is a “Grandma” bunny character who lives down the street. She occasionally drops in on Max and Ruby, but not to parent them in any way. Come to think of it, her behavior is suspiciously SOCIAL WORKER like, if you ask me.

So, that’s my earth shattering Max and Ruby expose. Do with it what you will.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ok, my friends are probably really sick of me parading this around. But, it's my first big digi scrapbooking project and I'm kinda liking how it turned out. And since I have something in my profile about scrapbooking, I thought I should make good on my word. Here it is:













I am so cold.

That is such a stupid thing to whine about, given that I am sitting here with electricity while the entire Midwest shivers in the dark.

But since when is this blog about me being selfless?

I am so cold.

I would be willing to be that I will continue to be cold through the month of May.

Sigh.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to M. The best husband a frozen little icicle girl could ask for. Love you.
~Clover

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don’t you just love a great weekend? The kind that’s fun, and relaxing, and yet productive enough that you don’t feel like you need to take a day off to catch up on all the crap you still have to do without the aid of house elves and helpful little fairies.

We had a great weekend. M is turning 33 tomorrow. So I threw him a little family birthday party. It’s a very delicate thing, observing the birthday of a December baby. It has to be All. About. The Birthday. So I decorated the table in a rainbow of colors. I wrapped gifts in birthday themed paper. I used balloons as centerpieces. It was hideous. But it wasn’t so much about what it was. It was more about what it wasn’t. There was not a single Christmas decoration on display anywhere in our house.

After dinner we sat around and polished off three bottles of wine (Remind me someday to blog about my utter mortification each and every time we go to the recycling place, with the exception of last time when empty Scotch bottle guy showed up. Thank you empty Scotch bottle guy for being a bigger lush than I am. I only wish that you too were toting a toddler as you disposed of the evidence.)

It was just as my parents were leaving that Sweet Pea decided to share with them her new obsession.

Sweet Pea: “Grampa, you sleep inna big girl bed?”

Grandpa: “Nope, I sleep in a big boy bed.”

SP: “Oh. Hmmm. You a big boy?”

Grandpa: “Yep, I’m a boy.”

SP: “Girls have a gina and boys have a penis.”

Grandpa:

SP: “PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS.”

Oy. I mean, you know. I want her to be comfortable talking about her body. I want her to use the right words. Blah blah blah. But how come the one word she says absolutely clearly has to be penis? Oh, and shit. Yeah, come to think of it, all of her new favorite subjects and phrases give me a moments pause. “Oh my GOSH!” “Darnit!” And, “Shit!” Again, clear as a bell and in perfect context. Every time.

We put our Christmas tree up yesterday. (No, she didn’t swear at any point in the decorating process. Bad transition, sorry.) We have a fake tree, for hilarious reasons***. So M and I assembled it and put the lights on while she was taking her nap. I think for the first time in Golightly family history, there was no Grinchyness on the part of my husband. He did state several times that there was no way we were going to get all those ornaments on the tree, but he does that every year. So it’s kind of a Christmas tradition at this point. He even helped me hang the garland and wreaths on the outside of the house. And it was COLD. Gold star for M.

When Sweet Pea woke up and came downstairs her whole entire being lit up brighter than the tree. THAT is a good parenting moment right there. She was so excited to put the decorations up, and waited patiently all through dinner and cleanup. Then she helped, carefully hanging about 35 ornaments on 3 branches at the bottom of the tree. After it was done we all had hot chocolate around the tree and M read her a story about a snowman. It could not have been more perfect. Seriously.

So other than my paranoia that daycare is going to call any minute to address the problem with Sweet Pea’s language, this may be the least stressful start of the holiday season that I have ever experienced as an adult. Yeehaw!

~ Clover

***The story of why we have a fake tree is this:

We had been married for 2 months at Christmastime in 1998. We had a brand new house with a lot of nice presents in it, lingering tans from a honeymoon, and that was it. We were poor. There would be no tree. Sob sob, sniff sniff. Oh the tragedy. Someone call Hallmark to make a movie.

Then about 3 days before Christmas we got a check in the mail from our not-for-profit auto insurer. A dividend of $80 – a Christmas miracle! Wait, did that mailman have a long white beard? We immediately went to the tree lot and picked out what appeared to be the nicest tree they had left. It was $10.00. You can imagine what it looked like. (insert Charlie Brown Christmas theme music)

We got the tree home and set it up in the designated spot, where it soon became clear that our tree was frozen in such a way that created an optical illusion. It was not, in fact, a Charlie brown tree. It was a hugeass balsm fir with 20’ branches that were dropping one by one as the tree thawed. I think it actually got taller too. Within about 20 minutes it was that scene from the Griswald family Christmas, but in slow motion. There would be a crackling noise, and then a giant branch would drop down crushing anything in its path. Windows were blown to bits, small animals scurried about, muddy ice and sap dripped all over our new carpet, Cousin Eddie got all nog drunk…It smelled nice though. The tree, not Cousin Eddie.

Alas, my brand new carpet was ruined. And we bought a fake tree the next year. I love my fake tree.

The End.