Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We Did It

This morning the Today Show actually made me smile. I am a loyal watcher (especially after Hubby convinced me that we HAD to have a TV in our remodeled master bath, to which I initially thought ‘absolutely not, what kind of people do you think we are,’ and then I realized that ‘yes, I like being those kind of people who watch TV in the shower’), but Ann Curry usually drives me batty, I often find myself questioning whether certain stories should really be classified as “news” and my eyes are constantly rolling at overdramatic packaged segments. But I still watch it daily. In the bathroom.

This morning the Today Show aired one of those cheesy overdramatic packaged segments with a “look back at 2008” and I realized two things: 1) being a Today Show talking head must be the best job in the world, and 2) even in light of the tumultuous year that was 2008, there were some highs in the midst of lows and mediums.

In the finality of a day like today, I can’t help but think about what it means to close a chapter that you can never re-open again. I remember being nine, waking up in my bed on the farm the day after fourth grade and being so sad at the thought that I would never get to experience fourth grade ever again in my life. It was done. I could never go back, never have any of the same fourth grade experiences, something I had never really considered before that day-after-fourth-grade moment. I would never sit in the same desk, in the same classroom, in front of a guy named Rocky Stone (that is not a joke). Like it or not, I had to move on.

I’ve been moving on ever since, rolling with the waves of life, through moments I wish would never end (rocking my peaceful baby in the quiet of a winter morning with no work nagging) and minutes that can’t tick by fast enough (watching inadequate nurses attempt to ‘find a vein’ in my screaming infant who may or may not have diabetes). And when the waters are calm and shallow enough that I can actually put my feet down and stand for a moment, I find myself looking around in wonder at the beauty of my surroundings. I realize that I am lucky enough to share my life with two of the most beautiful, wonderful babies that I could have ever hoped for. (Here I go making my own cheesy packaged segment. How annoyingly Ann Curry of me!)

Now, in the calm that is this “transition” time, I’m looking ahead. One hawklet is advising me that he will be three on his next birthday. He is headbanging and playing guitar and sleeping in when we let him. Oh dear God, he’s three going on 17. The other hawklet is gaining some vocabulary (“Elmo” today!) and picking fights with Big Brother between hugs. There is no doubt 2009 will be energetic, espresso powered, and I admit – stressful. Because that’s how we roll – we like to do 10 million things at once while working full time, getting graduate degrees and raising toddlers.

Another year. We did it. And here we go again…

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost Conscious Thoughts

This morning I was up from 3:00 – 5:00 a.m. with my baby hawklet who was having trouble inhaling around all the green snot clogging his nostrils. Occasionally said snot likes to run down the pathway between his nose and upper lip and taunt us until we finally get a split second to swipe at it, perpetuating the raw redness congregating at his airways, but at night, it just likes to clog and be a bully, forcing the hawklet to learn how to breathe out of his mouth. Not as easy as you’d imagine.

In that lovely, wonderous window of pre-dawn bonding time, standing over his crib and rubbing his chest, I semi-consciously pondered my re-introduction to VapoRub as a mom. To clarify, I can actually only assume it’s a “re” introduction because I honestly don’t remember my mother ever applying VapoRub to my chest as a child. I know, my rural upbringing left me seriously deprived. But my babies love that gunk like I love my mocha. I’m sure they would drink it if they could (though they’d probably have to chew it rather than drink it, or perhaps spread it on some toast like jelly). In fact, it could be that my baby has replaced his binky addiction (yes, we gave it up cold turkey last week – Merry Christmas!) with a VapoRub addiction.

Sweet, sweet VapoRub. I’m adding you to my favorites list right alongside the drive-thru.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Conversations With a Two-Year-Old, vol. 2

Him (after plopping a ball cap on top of his head): “Now I’m a dude!”

Him: “This is my belly but Papa calls this my gut.”

Me: “What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?”

Him: “Just a birthday cake I think.”

Him (at the kitchen table): “Banana, you don’t talk, but we eat you.”

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Woe is Mom

Recently, I read this (albeit feminist) article about moms in advertisements. While at first I found myself rolling my eyes at the seemingly age-old argument that women are too often diminished in media to being their husbands’ slaves, yadda yadda, I came to realize that I couldn’t think of a single ad on TV right now or in the immediate past that mirrored me or my lifestyle as a mom and wife.

Hubby Hawks and I do our grocery shopping together. We *usually* clean the house together. Okay, sometimes it’s because I’m feeling tired and bossy, but he wants to get stuff done just as quickly as I do and we both like to live in a clean home. We equally want our children to live in a clean home. And by the way, we respect each other. Have you ever noticed an ad for a household cleaning product that depicted both mom and dad cleaning together? No, seriously, I’m dying to know if one exists.

My favorite is the Windex ad, in which the wife cleans the windows while the husband naps and then he wakes up and thinks he is in the wrong house. Bingo! Get the heck outta here if you’re not helping! Quite a strategy, Mrs. Windex!

Maybe Swiffer could think about an ad showing mom dusting while dad mops the floors. As in, at the same time. As in, equality. As in, this millennium. Bonus points – you get to showcase more of your products in the same 30 seconds!

And where are those commercial dads while the commercial moms are cleaning? Are they at work? Are they at the bar? Are they building a new Habitat home? In my mind, the commercial moms are cleaning on weekends. You know, in Commercialville. But that’s because weekend cleaning makes sense to me, as that’s when I do it. You know, in Reality. Surely commercial moms work during the week, and have fun with girlfriends and devote time to their favorite causes as well. They’re not just scrubbing and polishing and waxing and washing over and over like Pleasantville robots. After all, their homes are usually spaciously gorgeous, so if they’re not working, I’d love to know what those commercial dads are getting paid!

Are we the weird ones? Or are those antiquated advertisers?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Annoy Me and I Will Blog You

Is Christmas really two weeks away? Seems like just last Wednesday our Thanksgiving weekend kicked off with a bang as we loaded up the car and headed a couple hours south to the in-laws’ house. But not without some Happy Meals, of course. Because when you work all day and have *mostly* packed but still need to do a load of laundry, coordinate two distracted toddlers and clean the house before officially being ready to go (ugh, I hate coming home to a dirty house after being away), then somehow dinner manages to fall off the to-do list. Enter McDonald’s drive thru (ugh, I hate resorting to McDonald’s, but it was strangely the best of the fast food choices in front of us that evening).

Two four-piece McNugget Happy Meals with white milk, please.

Never mind the fact that one would only eat French fries, and the other dropped most of his on the car floor. What annoyed me most was how McDonald’s itemizes Happy Meals. The milk rings up separately. So looking at the receipt, one might interpret that the teeny little milk jugs cost $2.50 – nearly the cost of an entire gallon of milk. So of course, I had to inquire about this with the 16-year old drive thru worker, who had to have a manager come to the window to explain the receipt. Thank you, yes, please explain to me what I just paid you and why I would do that.

Because I know you are just dying for the answer, and won’t be able to sleep until you get to the bottom of this $2.50 (hey, that's mocha money we're talking about!), allow me to explain what that lovely manager taught me. Essentially the milk is not an additional charge, but it shows up separately on the receipt with its own price, under the Happy Meal with its own price. Duh! (palm facetiously slaps forehead)

Surely it’s easy to see why someone could get thoroughly confused. I am your customer and you are showing me a line item that makes me question whether I’m getting ripped off – helloooo, Customer Service, isn’t that reason no. 1 to change how you itemize your Happy Meal milk?

And what was loving Hubby’s observation of the exchange?

“Uh-oh. I feel a blog coming on.” Exactly.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The First Attempt

Ah, the elusive holiday card picture. Here is the outcome of our first attempt. Hopefully we'll have an acceptable final product before Dec. 25. As you can tell, we are still not at a strong 'following directions' stage. I'm considering this the warm up.

Mom, really? You think 'say cheese' works on us?

Come on, man, let's wrestle instead.

Pinning you!

Hug and make up.

Or jump on the bed!

Oh yeah, mom wants us to look sweet. Mwah. Love you, bro.

As good as it gets.