Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

The kids have spent half of the morning making over-sized paper ornaments for the tree. I am secretly hoping they will fall off and get swept up with the needles at some point, but it is keeping them busy so I won't complain (at least not out loud). That may be one of the toughest parts about being a parent... it has made me into a perpetual liar... "Oh, honey, that is the most beautiful bird I've seen!" "Mom, it's a fish." "Oh." And then finding some way to sneak it into the trash. I think everything my kids make is "special" but our house is small and there just isn't enough room to store or display their creation. Every now and then one of them will open the trash and say, "Hey! Why is my drawing in the trash?" No clue honey. "Someone" must have "accidentally" thrown it away. So I fish it out only to sneak it back in at a later time. My next house will have to have a studio space for the kids. Our dining room table is perpetually covered with paper, markers, crayons, etc. I clean it up about ten times a day, and ten times a day it gets recovered with stuff. There is no keeping up with these kids. A studio space would be nice. And a bigger living room for a big Christmas tree. And a gate around the tree so no one walks into it. And an automatic vacuum cleaner in the gate to pick up the needles since we won't be able to water it because of the gate. At the end of it, we'll end up with a Charlie Brown type tree that will require no work and no gate. Perfect.

'Tis the season...

As Ella says, "Chrismis time is hear". Ella and I ventured out to Home Depot to find the first ever, real Nichols Christmas Tree. I am not sure I knew what I was getting into. Dave and I had decided on a tree that was between 6-8' but closer to 8'. Ella and I browsed through the various types and decided on one. They ran it through the net and the man asked if I needed help taking it out to my car. Being the strong woman I think I am, I declined his offer and said I could handle it. Why I said that I am not sure. I couldn't even carry it over to the checkout place on my own, let alone drag it half way across the parking lot to my car! Someone must have witnessed me attempting to put it in the van, and after they recovered from laughing hysterically, they offered to help. In went the tree and we were set to go. Our friends from across the street were there as well, and having trouble fitting the tree into their mini mini-van. So I offered to take their tree home. Between the Home Depot man, our neighbor, and me, we managed to shove another 8' tree into our van... and then realized there was no room for Ella in the back. Priorities, priorities... Ella would have to hitch a ride home with someone else. My car was inundated with the smell of pine. Could be worse. Could be a poopy diaper? Actually, one summer the car reeked of something... after much searching, we located a sippy cup burried under a chair, filled with curdled chocolate milk. Thanks, Hanna. In addition to the smell of pine, it would seem that at least half of the needles loosened and had turned my grey floor carpet into a prickly green turf instead. The car seats were all wedged into the front seat and there was absolutely no visibility out of the side or back. Hmmm, should be interesting.

Made it home and after merely getting the tree into the stand, I am already regretting our decision to get a real tree. We'd been fine with our pre-lit Target clearance tree for years, until last summer, a large rodent took up residence in the box and decided to feast on a delicacy of wires and branches. Not to mention the poop that resulted from it. The tree went out to the dumpster this year. Pine needles are all over the floor. I sweep at least five times before realizing this will be my routine for the next month. Every time someone hangs an ornament, more needles fall. The tree is enormous for our tiny living room. Every time someone walks by, they inevitably brush by the tree, and more needles fall off. Watering it is pain, and the natural asymmetry of the tree bothers my perfectionist side. I was once told that beautiful people, the models, have perfectly symmetrical faces. Since mine is not, I will learn to bond with the tree over our imperfections. 

Diminishing returns... fact or fiction?

At this moment, I believe Dave just might be an angel. He took the girls out so I could have 45 minutes of peace and quiet. It's funny how being left alone with a newborn is considered peace and quiet. I guess its all relative. Silas will make these squirrel type noises and if feed or rocked before it escalates into cat shrieks, he is normally quiet. The girls, on the other hand, are going on day #3 of being at home and even though they've haven't been couped up (necessarily), they are definitely showing signs of cabin fever, especially Hanna. So, off they went to Dunkin' Donuts and they'll return with a large box of mini-saturated fat balls for me, and ring-shaped saturated fats for the rest. Yum. Of course I will completely overeat, more so than I already have been, and will feel completely disgusted with myself by the end of the day. Yet, knowing this, I'll still consume them as if the point of diminishing returns doesn't exist. There was a movie that came out years ago called "Seven"- I don't remember too much about it other than it followed seven people who died of one of the seven deadly sins... gluttony hit the closest to home for me (I guess compared to all the others, that one seems the least sinful, again, its all relative). There was a large man sitting in his kitchen eating and he was so large that he couldn't fit through the door frame. I've seen stories of people like this on TLC. They must have started somewhere and at some point decided it didn't matter anymore- if they were going to be big, they may as well just go with it. Of course, I guess genetics and medical conditions play into it for some, but there are also stories of people who have lost over 200 lbs by changing their diet and lifestyle. That seems to be the key, and yet, with much less than that to lose, I can't change my diet or lifestyle. Again, I will play the "nursing card". Nursing moms need those extra calories (though I am sure they shouldn't ALL come from Munchkins...) and carrying a growth around all day on you has to count as aerobic exercise. Holding the growth while nursing should count as toning. Therefore, I feel like I get more exercise that I did before having a baby. Excellent. Time to consume some of those extra calories.

Black Friday

OK, I'll admit it. I played the "nursing" card this morning. I browsed through the Black Friday ads and decided that most stores opened way to early for my sleep-deprived self to get out of bed at 5 am. Sooooo, I sent Dave out at 5 am to Black Friday shop for me. I painted a miserable picture: I leave at 4:45 am and the baby screams till 6:30 when I get back because he may have hit a growth spurt and be hungry all the time. Since I haven't pumped anything to store for such emergency outings, there is no back-up and he'd have to listen to Silas scream for an hour and forty-five minutes. Not exactly a fun way to spend the morning. On the other hand, some places were offering breakfast to early comers! So, not only would he be out ALONE without any kids, but he'd get breakfast and coffee as well. Everyone wins (especially me, I get to stay in my warm toasty bed)! And man, was it cold this morning. I did feel guilty watching him bundle up in his sweater and coat, but managed to return promptly to sleep once he left. One Thanksgiving, my mom, my sister, and I, decided to see what the Black Friday hype was all about. We woke up at 4:15, drove to Kohl's and witnessed a bunch of crazy people buying a bunch of things that weren't really good deals because Kohl's inflates prices to begin with (does anyone pay full price there? Ever?) and that they most likely didn't need in the first place, but just bought because it was a deal. OK, so that was us, but it really was anti-climactic. And to add to it, we were exhausted for the rest of the day. So, my plan for this year was better. I've begun to formulate a plan to convince Dave into making his Black Friday run an annual tradition. Sadly, the place I sent him to, at 5 am, had no Black Friday rush whatsoever. The place was empty and really, there was no reason he couldn't have gone say at... 10 pm because really, everyone who is into Black Friday shopping was out getting better Black Friday deals somewhere else. Oh well. I am only human. And I do make mistakes. But hey, at least he got to spend the rest of the day (and getting up at 5 am, it was a llllooooonnnggggg day!) with us:).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The sound of silence... well, almost.

Silas had a great night last night- went down at 8 pm and woke up a little after 2 am. Of course, my body was ready for him to up way before then but I slept through most of the discomfort. I am oblivious to almost everything once my head hits the pillow... everything except the sounds on the baby monitor. Those for some reason can jolt me out of the deepest slumber. Almost like nails on a chalkboard... is it bad that I am comparing my baby's cry for food or comfort to nails on a chalkboard? Probably. But I still think it. Yesterday he was difficult to please, even when being held, which is rare (yet somehow, I managed to get this cute picture of him smiling... adorable!). He cried for most of my time at Sam's and I could feel people judging me- "Why doesn't that lady do more to comfort her crying infant?" "Why is she ignoring her son's cry?" If only they knew. I bet they wouldn't last half as long as I did. How about you come hang out at my place for a bit and judge me then?!? I pretty much ignored most of their glares and ended up with some comfy bedroom slippers- which were somewhat difficult to try on with the Bjorn strapped on, but I managed and emerged with the reward. At least my feet are toasty. It's rainy and cold here today. Ella and Hanna are home from school today... actually for the next three days. Being a teacher I always enjoyed the time off, but now that I am home for a bit, I wish schools kept kids on more days. Selfish, I know. But Silas and I have gotten into somewhat of a routine, and having them home throws a kink in it. Not to mention over-stimulation for the poor boy. I really just want the best for him. They've actually done well so far and are getting along. Just need to make it past lunch, then it will be "quiet rest" time for all. Somehow, Silas always misses that memo and remains awake. Today will be different. I will discuss the matter with him and convince him that it really is in all of our best interest that he rests along with the others. If need be, I will consider a bribe to make him understand the importance of rest. His body needs it, and as a caring, responsible mother, it is my job to make sure he gets it. Here's hoping to a quiet afternoon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Over a month later...

I am tempted to post pictures of my post baby body, for two reasons mainly. 1. So all the people who say, "Wow, you have your pre-baby body back," will know how wrong they are, and 2. Because I want to be like one of those people who chronicle their weight-loss on the internet and actually achieve results that they can be proud to show off to the world. However, both of these reasons are not nearly enough to subject my readers (which at this time, amount to 0,  since I haven't shared the site with anyone... my thought... does anyone care??) to pictures of me sporting my post-baby flab. I have the best of intentions. I really do. I wake up each morning and tell myself,"Today I will eat better, and get some exercise in." Then the day hits and before I know it, the day is over. Where the time goes, I have no idea. It seems like my days are sucked up breastfeeding and changing diapers. And that is when the other two kids aren't around. Then its breastfeeding, changing diapers, and fulfilling the many requests of the kids... how much tape and paper can one child need? But then again, it keeps them quiet and occupied while I breastfeed and change diapers (did I mention that I do that a lot?) so I will start purchasing office supplies at Sam's Club. Silas is now up... you guessed it, time for a new diaper and a feed... welcome to my life!