Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another Holiday Come and Gone

I can't believe that another Holiday season has come and gone. It happened so quickly. It seems like just yesterday, and not 2 years ago, I was sitting on the couch, just moved into the this house, eating leftover Christmas cookies, with Isaac still in my belly. Next month, my teeny baby will be 2! How does that happen?

Regardless, here I sit, contemplating where this year went and what the new year will bring for us. The Christmas tree needs to come down, and soon, to accomodate the vast amount of new things Isaac has, including his own little dinner table because he can't fit in the high chair anymore. I am looking at the ornaments that he made for me at daycare, those horribly ugly baked ornaments that are misshappen and colored with 20 colors of paint in no particular pattern because he is 2. The ornaments, along with the others, I will pack away with great care, as they are my new favorites. They are ornaments only a mother truly understands and finds magificance in.

The remainder of the holiday cookies are laying at the bottom of one large tupperware, broken and surrounded by crumbs and bits of cookie. There are bits of wrapping paper littering the floor. We celebrated hard this year, taking advantage of all the joy the holiday season can bring. Isaac made countless art projects at daycare, and we had a nice little Christmas party where I got to meet the other parents. We also made a few projects of our own, including a vast amount of Christmas cookies for our friends and coworkers.

As you can see, we went to see Santa. Sigh. It did not go so well. Isaac was sick the previous 5 days, like really sick with a fever. And this day was the only one that he didn't have a fever and was going a bit stir crazy with cabin fever from being in the house for so long. We had to wait for about an hour, and Isaac was say the least. He was excitedt o be out of the house, in a crowded, bustling mall where the North Pole was set up right next to the Disney Store. When it was finally our turn, he ran up to Santa and I put him on his knee. Then the tears started. And so we ended up with the photo you see above.

We took him several times to see the Driving Lights tour nearby, and he loved it. For the rest of my life, I will never forget his little voice squealing out with glee as we parked in front of a giant blow up holiday Mickey Mouse "Oh my gosh! That's AMAZING!"

We spent Christmas, quietly, as I was sick, and Isaac was exhausted. He spent the day playing with his new toys and watching Mickey Christmas specials. We strayed from our normal Christmas dinner of pot roast and had lasagna and wine I received from one of our subcontractors. It was a peaceful day, and we enjoyed it just the three of us.  

So even as this season wraps up, the blur that it was, we are taking away some beautiful memories. This next year holds the promise of many new and aexciting opportunities, that hopefully I will be able to say more about soon. I hope that all my family and friends have had as magical of a holiday as we have.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 4

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for

Ok, I have been held in the this "30 Days of Truth" Project because of this post in particular. I can't think of anything or anyone to write about. It's not that people don't anger or annoy me, because believe me THEY DO. And I used to hold on to all that, but then one day...I just didn't.

It made my life so much easier. And happier.

So, do I forget? Not as easily. Not in the slightest. I just can't hold on to that anger anymore, even if people don't apologize.

I have been sitting here, racking my brain for something to write about here. It turns out this is it. This is my truth. I don't hold onto that.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dancing Machine

Isaac loves "Poker Face". I don't know why. I don't even know how he first heard it. I only downloaded the song after he began asking for it ALL. THE. TIME.

"Faaaaaaaayyyyyyy zzzzzz! Mama! Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!"

We listen to it on repeat. I know all the lyrics and sometimes can appease him by singing it to him if my phone or ipod is not readily available. Sometimes he will start singing it on his own.

"My my my my Faaaaaayyyyyy zzzzzz!"

And he's got some crazy dance moves. His signature move that he made up all on his own: The Sneeze. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Paying It Forward

Two years ago, I was pregnant. I stopped at a gas station to fill up my car on the way to work. I slid my credit card into the pump and started filling up. Now, before they took off all those little dohickeys that allowed you to run around while your car filled up, I didn't pay much attention to when the pump stopped. However, on this particular day the pump stopped way before I knew the tank could possibly be full. And to make it odder, it stopped exaclty at $30. Even. My gas never costs even amounts unless I actively pump it to a certain dollar. If you can recall, two years ago was about the time that gas costs $10000000000 a gallon, so there was no way that $30 filled up my 15 gallon tank. No receipt had printed.

I automatically assumed there was something wrong with my credit card and I had somehow stolen gas. Or that the receipt printer was broken.  I stuck it back in the pump, and it worked just fine. I finished filling up my tank. A recipt printed out just fine. I waddled (remember, I was preggers) into the service station and asked the sales clerk what had happened, apologizing prefusely for any problem I had caused, and no, I wasn't trying to steal gas, etc.

He LAUGHED at me. And he explained to me that the person who had used that pump before me had prepaid $30 in gas for the next person.

I was SPEECHLESS. Seriously. And I ALWAYS have something to say. I mean, gas was so expensive. The economy was HORRIBLE. Why would anyone do that?!

The clerk told me to have a nice day. And I did. It wasn't until a few days later that I learned about "Pay It Forward." I hadn't seen the movie. EVER. But it just happened to be on that weekend. I got it. Somehow had done that for me. So a few days later, while in the drive thru at McDs for breakfast (again, PREGGERS, don't judge), I asked to pay for the person behind me. Every now and then I will do little things like that. I will leave my change in the vending machine. I will pay for someone's Starbucks. Which is exactly what I did on Wednesday, The 2nd Annual Pay It Forward Day. I haven't been on the receiving end of a Pay It Forward action since that morning at the gas station, but that's ok.

Even if that person that benefits from you, doesn't pay it forward, you have put out a small bit of happiness, of good karma, into the universe. If you made someone smile. You did something so small, but considerate and just might have given them a bit of a better day. And maybe they made someone else's day a bit brighter because of their better mood.

The day, or the notion itself isn't about money. It's about positive energy and kindness being put into the universe, pushing out some of the bad.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The First and the Last

I remember my first Thanksgiving I spent in California. It was a big deal, as it was the first Thanksgiving that I cooked entirely by myself, the first Thanksgiving that Ben and I spent together, away from our families. We had over a friend from  grad school, and a friend from work at VS. The dinner itself went very smoothly. I remember many things about that dinner.

I remember being very nervous about cooking a turkey and having to buy a roasting pan and baster. I remember having to clear out our entire tiny freezer in to accomodate the turkey. I remember I didn't know how to make green bean casserole, a dish I can now make in my sleep, so I had to scour the internet for a recipe. I remember doing the same for deviled husband has to have his deviled eggs for Thanksgiving. I remember sending him across the street to the 24hr Market that was only really open 20 hours a day for foil because I ran out and was terrified of scorching the turkey. I remember my friend from grad school bringing wine and a corkscrew, because I didn't own one at the time. I remember crowding around our teeny table (which we will use) in our teenier apartment and eating. I remember taking a walk after dinner, up the hill behind our block and taking in one of the most breath taking views of the lit up downtown SF, which we would continue to do as along as we lived there. I remember making a plate of food up and putting it out for the homeless man who was camped in the doorway of the abandoned building next to ours. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment, that we had made it through this first major holiday on our own.

And now I will have memories of the last Thanksgiving, at least for a long while, that I will spend in California. I will elaborate more in a few days, once a few more details are hammered away, but for now that is all I will say. As I prepared for this dinner, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief that next year, I will only have to make ONE SIDEDISH and not a whole entire meal. At the same time I felt a tingle of sadness as I reflected over the 7 Thanksgiving Days I have prepared for and executed all by myself. Oddly, this past one was the only one my husband and I spent together, ourselves, with Isaac and no other guests. It was strangely quiet, but wonderfully peaceful and I will take these memories with me.

I will remember how my husband took me to see Harry Potter 7 on the eve before Thanksgiving, even though he was exhausted. I will remember how Isaac helped us baste the turkey...he stood by the oven and said "hot! hot! don't touch!" I will remember how we ate together at the table, Isaac chowing on turkey and crackers, which is all he would eat. I will remember attempting the Toys R Us Black Friday sale with  my neighbor, seeing the line wrapped around the building, and hightailing it back to the warm car to shop online. I will remember Isaac gobbling and dancing around to "Poker Face." I will remember having him watch Rudolph and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. I will remember falling asleep with him on my bed, taking a nice long nap. I will remember Ben and I talking about what to get our budding toddler for Christmas. I will remember Isaac Skyping with our family back in Ohio and calling them out by name. I will remember being a family, just us three.

Today is really my first day back into our normal everyday life after a wonderful, relaxing break. I hope everyone had as wonderful a Thanksgiving holiday as our family did.