30 December 2012

Auld Lang Syne

One more day until we tip our hats and say fare thee well to 2012...ringing in 2013.  I don't know if it's the impending year end that has me feeling blue or the fact that we are already entering year 3 with our sweet sugarplum and has me wondering, where is the time going?

Today was a hard day.  I hardly write about the hard days...they aren't as much fun and I rather soon forget them asap.  But they happen.  They happen when we're cranky and have had too much time together.  They happen when we don't get our way and our stubborn Taurus instinct rears its nefarious head.  They happen for no reason at all. But man, do.they.happen.  

We've been off since the 21st, Garrett and I.  And we've left the house maybe twice. Why feel the need to always be somewhere, go places, when there's plenty to do at home and now, with all the snow, plenty to do outside?  But cabin fever has set in, and I think he's sick of me.  How do I know?  Because of the incessant asking for Daddy every five minutes.

Anyway, earlier today I had a moment that I've read countless times in some expert baby site that a parent (particularly emotionally frayed mom's) should never ever do in front of their tot...and that is show an emotion other than an even-keeled, cool, calm, and collected self.  I bawled. I don't even remember what triggered it.  Oh wait, yes I do.  I wanted to drink my coffee, savoring the delicious warmth, while watching my favorite Sunday morning show, CBS Sunday Morning, curled on the couch with a kitty or two, while my playful tot sat quietly nearby entertaining himself.  I haven't been able to watch it in ages.  Someone else wanted, no, demanded that he watch Sesame Street.   But he doesn't say Sesame Street, he says "I want Cook!" because Cookie Monster is his idol.  And the demand kept getting louder, more whiny and bossy.  And admittedly, something inside me just snapped and I started to cry.  No crocodile tears from this gal.  I'm talking full-on sobs, wracking through my whole self, and once I started, I couldn't stop. Briefly, though, in a split second of clarity, I do remember thinking to myself "Oh no! I'm scarring him for life by letting him see me react and cry!" Yeah, right.

And sometime during this spectacle, he got up, gathered his three favorite loveys (two Pooh bears and a well-worn Giraffe), and quietly brought them over.  He sat them next to me, got up on the couch, and put his arm around me, lightly patting my shoulder. Then, I heard the softest "Hi, Momma".  Of course this only made me cry harder.  I peeked at him through a glaze of salty tears and he was smiling at me.  I melted in my already slushy pool of despair. (For those wondering, Daddy was at work, and missed this delightful display of self-pity.)

Somehow I was able to compose myself, smile pathetically back at him, and gave him a hug.  Or rather, he hugged me and I just sort of clung to him.  Who's the needy one now?

Later, as we were watching "Cook", and he was standing there, counting along, singing by heart to his (and mine!) favorite skit of the number 4 with Feist , I reached a little perspective. These moments, like the early days of sleepless newbornhood, are fleeting.  These tantrums, moods, demands, etc. are all part of toddlerdom, the terrible two's so to speak...and one day, when he's grown up and living his own life, and mom is feeling blue once again, he probably won't be around to share his stuffies with me or pat me on the back with his precious little hand. 
Savor it! Relish it! As a wise friend mentioned recently, these moments are but a tiny blip in the long line of things we will go through and experience with our children. And in the grandest scheme of things, it's really not that bad.   

So on the eve of New Year's eve...while it's been a hard day, my wish is that the year ahead is filled with more recognizable precious moments, and less arduous ones.

27 December 2012

So this is Christmas.

And just like that, Christmas is over.  As usual, the anticipation and build up last for weeks, while the actual day zooms by in a blink. Radio stations go back to playing the regular stuff and fridges are stocked with leftovers from parties and gatherings. This year, Christmas was at Chez Keegan-Prescott.  Our family came to visit, and after several days of looking out to see brown and green pastures, we were delighted by a quick and heavy snowfall that glistened and made everything sparkle.

Christmas Eve...our sugar plum was in bed and tucked in tight...but not before he left cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.  

As soon as we knew he was asleep, we set about wrapping, putting together, and wrapping some more.  Sometime after nine we were done.  Now all we had to do was wait for morning to hurry up and arrive.  You'd think we were the ones getting all the presents! 

At last!

Once all the presents were done, and overwhelming amounts of paper and ribbon had been disposed, someone laid down on the couch for a little relaxation and quiet time.  A nap was attempted but after an hour of just talking to himself, we realized it just wasn't going to happen.  Meanwhile, we were busy with food prep for our guests.  Just after one, Grammie and Grampie arrived and then eventually Aunt and Uncle and the cousins. Let the fun begin!

And now we're on vacation...a restful break spent playing, reading, being outside, watching the snow fall, and seeing friends.  Soon it will be 2013! Until then, we'll enjoy these last few days of 2012. 

26 November 2012

Hakuna Matata.

Remember the 'Friends' episode when Rachel takes Joey to a silent auction and he bids on the sailboat, thinking he was just guessing as to how much it costs?  In reality, he ended up, of course, with the highest bid, and perplexed as to how that happened, even though he fully knows that he wrote his name and bid down.  I'm feeling a bit like Joey, but on a much less dramatic (and costly!) scale.  (Oh, and Garrett, someday we'll watch old 'Friends' episodes together which will be the only way you understand this reference.)

Anyway, so Garrett and I went to the FeZtival of Trees on Saturday and along with the raffles and craft fair, was also a silent auction.  Some big ticket items like gorgeous hand-carved birdhouses and a stunning rocking horse quickly drew bids into the triple digits.  The one set of items that caught the eye of my very observant two year old was a beautiful, lush, oh-so-soft-and-cozy blanket featuring the impish Simba and his pal Nala from The Lion King, a giant coloring book also featuring said lions, a box of 24 Crayola colored pencils, and an adorable lion from the Build-a-Bear workshop. So sure, I put my name (and bid!!!!!!) down, never thinking I'd win. Ok, win is the wrong word.

Yep. I got a call telling me mine was the highest (!!!) and honestly, my first thought was channeled back to Joey-what? I actually have to pay for it? I thought I was just writing down my name and a number. A guess. Ha! Not really, I knew what I was doing, and it's really sounding a lot more dramatic than it actually was.  And it IS a nice haul, having picked it up today on my lunch hour.  How convenient for me to work but a two minute drive from the Kora Shrine.  Why couldn't I have won one of the raffled trees?! But seriously, the blanket is beautiful, soft, and will no doubt keep our tot comfy and cozy during the long winter, while occupied with the pencils and massive coloring book.

Oh well, that's 4 insta-gifts that will not need to be worried about until wrapping commences on the 24th of December. Speaking of wrapping, and putting things together on Christmas eve, listen up, Garrett--I'm so excited about one of your gifts this year, that on Sunday, I couldn't help but open the box it arrived in, (while you were napping of course) just to make sure that all the parts were accounted for (they were!). Of course it was all I could do not to assemble it then and have it waiting for you when you woke up.  I restrained myself, but that doesn't make me any less excited for Christmas morning. No, no...not giving anything away here.  Let's just say that I hope this provides you much entertainment on the snowy days of winter ahead. The countdown begins...

25 November 2012

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

I have a confession.  There's something innate within in me that is like a switch automatically turned on the moment Christmas music is available.  I'm not talking about the stores that start playing it around Halloween. I'm talking post-Thanksgiving, when you realize in a panic you only have 30 something shopping days left, and you're scouring past emails for that 20% off something or other.  You need background music to get you through it.  Queue up the holiday classics! 

There's a local station here known for its 'light rock' that I refuse to listen to any other time of the year. However, the moment Thanksgiving passes, it's the only station I tune into from then until December 26th.  It's the one time of year I forgo my NPR morning and evening commute and revel in listening to the songs I've heard a zillion times, singing along at the top of my lungs (sorry, Garrett). Sure, I could do without Alabama's "Christmas in Dixie" or any Karen Carpenter song, but I listen anyway, hoping to hear the few songs that for me, truly mark the beginning of the season.

For nostalgic reasons, two holiday songs that get me in the spirit are Wham's "Last Christmas" and Band Aid's "Feed the World (Do they know it's Christmas)".  I hear "Last Christmas" and I think of my sister and I lip syncing to George Michael, using hairbrushes for mics and sashaying across the room, pretending to be cooler than we actually were.  We still go nuts every time we hear it, whether we are together or not.  And Band Aid...well, as a child of the 80s, that's all that needs to be said.

Two songs that always tug at the sentimental string are "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", but ONLY the Judy Garland version, and the Ray Conniff Singers medley of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas/Little Drummer Boy". *sniff*

But there's one song that truly sends my Christmas spirit soaring and it's the kind of song that no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I picture myself twirling round and round, arms flailing, feet skipping.  Don't laugh.  Ready?  Johnny Mathis' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".  Yep, I love me some Johnny Mathis. I can't explain it, I just do.  And so, on this first official holiday weekend, no one in my household is spared from listening for these iconic Christmas songs and it's made everything else we do so very festive.

Friday night began with the annual Brunswick tree lighting.  A little crying, a little hot chocolate, arrival of Santa by firetruck...all pretty normal.  Saturday, Garrett and I went to the FeZtival of Trees put on by the Kora Shriners of Lewiston.  We went for the first time last year, and while very crowded, it's lovely and fun, and Garrett had a blast.  

Upon walking in, Garrett immediately wrinkles his nose, tugs at my hand and questions, "Popcorn?!"  Yep.  Let's get some.  

Next, it's heading upstairs to where all the trees are.  Here's how it works.  Each tree is decorated by a company, business, or organization and hanging on the trees are gift cards galore, or items donated by the company to win or under the tree, are big ticket items like stuffed animals, sports stuff, ride-able toys, etc. In other words, it's a feast for the senses of both young and old.  If you want a shot at any of these items, you must buy raffle tickets and send the ticket spiraling down into a candycane holder along with your hopes that your ticket could possibly be the lucky one drawn.   We bought 20 tickets.  

We really wanted this car. 

And this elephant.
Santa is squishy.

Another pitstop for popcorn shoveling.

Ooh pretty!

Look who someone spotted!

One of the many candycanes we dropped our tickets in.

Next up for today was a trip to our favorite playground.  It was almost bitterly cold because of the wind, which would explain why we were the only ones there! However, that did not stop us from a little ball play.  Future basketball or soccer player in the making?

Have I mentioned how much I love my winter coat?

Finally, a little playtime on the slides and then we called it a day.

The rest of the day was spent as any Sunday during the holiday season should be--napping (him, not me), making delectable pumpkin breads (me, not him), and dancing to the soundtrack of the season.  Let the festivities begin!