Just a Mom, trying to stay sane

Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Vacation Madness

So the Mr, the kids, and myself have never really taken a family vacation. Oh, we’ve driven the 2 1/2 miles down south to visit Mr. brother who was stationed down there, but that doesn’t really count. I also don’t think it counts when we went down there a few months ago to see my father-in-law and have a chance to say goodbye before he forgets us.  We were trying to decide between a weekend getaway for just the 2 of us, a 4 year delayed honeymoon, or if we should do a family vacation. It wasn’t even something we spent a ton of time thinking about….we definitely decided on a family vacation.

We have some ideas of where we want to go, possibly some things we want to do, but we haven’t really settled on anything yet.  We know we want to go to California, because there are a ton of different places to go to. The problem is narrowing them down. We’ll figure it out, I know we will, and when we do…well, I’ll just keep that my little secret! It’s hard right now, because we’re planning this now, though we can’t actually book it for a month or so, and yet, looking at different pictures of the different areas, and everything there is to do, it’s driving us insane! We want to head out and start the vacation right now, lol.

In other news, I’m still thinking about that career move. I have a couple of months before I’d be required to actually start the job, so I’ve got a little bit of time to make my decision, but every day it’s looking a little bit more like something I’ll do. I’ve got a few questions for the headhunter, but those will have to wait as today was a holiday and no one was in the office.

Since today was a holiday, which means L was not at school, I didn’t wind up starting my workout routine today. To be honest, I kind of slacked off in that department. I only did a few sit ups and a short plank. Sit ups not only hurt my abs (working them out), but they also hurt my spine. Basically, I just need to do as many as I can at a time, and try to bump it up by one every time. Today I managed 10, tomorrow I’m shooting for 11. As for the planks, I’m doing the elbow planks, and so far I can do 35 seconds before I just collapse.  My goal is to be able to do that for a minute, eventually getting to side planks. I’m working on adding an extra 5 seconds to those planks each day.

Here’s what I’m wanting to do for tomorrow, and the rest of my weekdays while L is at school:

7:45am- L gets picked up by bus

8:00am- I’m at the gym, starting to stretch, then hop on treadmill

9:00-10:00am- I’m aiming to be able to work out until 10, but I need to work up to that.

10:00-11:00am- Get home, get showered, start doing home workouts of sit ups, push ups, planks, jumping jacks. Keep adding one per set or 5 seconds to each set.

11:00-Rest of day- This is where I take care of everyone else, get housework done, etc. Once we’re actually part of a gym, we’ll also do a workout once Mr’s off work.  I’m hoping to be able to buy a workout game, like Zumba or something, for our PS3, so I have something else I can do at home. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, that’s the plan, we’ll see what happens!

What was the last vacation you took?


2013, Here We Come!

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve. For our family, it was simply a nice, quiet night. We picked up a couple bottles of sparkling apple cider (yes, we’re old haha), had some dinner, and just relaxed. Drew and I made it until midnight, barely, thanks to these colds that just won’t let go.


After thinking about 2012 and previous years, I’ve made some resolutions, though I’m not one to usually do that. I’ve decided to try to get more organized and proactive in 2013. I’m one of those people who can organize things like no other, but can’t KEEP them organized. I’m also really bad with the housekeeping. We certainly aren’t living in an episode of Hoarders or anything, but I want to get better with keeping our house so we’re ready for visitors at anytime. I’m working on doing a major deep clean for the start of the new year, but, to prevent myself from getting extremely overwhelmed and then not doing it, I’m going slow. I’m working my way through the kitchen, then the living room, bathroom, etc. Once everything is cleaned and organized, I’m going to work on keeping it that way.


In other news, we have new members of our family. Inara, Shepard Book, Wash, Jayne, Simon, and River. They’re fish. L (Boy) LOVES fish, he’ll sit in front of a fish tank and stare at it for like 30 minutes, which is a very long time for him. We decided it might be really fun to have some fish and, once we figured out we’d be getting a decent sized tank, we decided the whole family would get fish. The cats are completely fascinated by the tank. Our kitten, Drogo, will stand on the back of the closest kitchen chair just staring (and trying to figure out if he can jump from the chair to the bar). Even our older cat, Leesi, has taken to sitting there, staring. It’s actually kind of funny to see.


Okay, well I’ve got some cleaning to do, so I’ll say good bye for now.


What resolutions, if any, did you make for 2013?

2012, Here We Come!

So, Happy New Years! I’ve never really been one to party on New Years Eve, even before I had kids. I hate the traffic and I think going out on the streets anytime after 10pm is just asking to either get in an accident or pulled over by the cops (even though I don’t drink and drive). So this year, like most years, we celebrated NYE in the peace and quiet of our home. We picked up a bottle of peach champagne and some orange juice to ring in the New Year with mimosas, which we’ve discovered and LOVE (thanks Mom!). Once Tank was in bed, we both decided to do some gaming. My brother-in-law stopped by for a few minutes, which was pretty nice. He’s in the army and currently stationed in Texas. He was able to get some time off and is in town for a few days. With a limited amount of time off and lots of friends to visit, that may be the only visit we get with him this trip (though I’m hoping we’ll get to see him for the family breakfast on Monday).

After he left to go celebrate NYE single style (at a bar), we got back to playing our games. At 11:30pm, we logged off and sat down to watch How I Met Your Mother.

Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but we don’t have cable, so there was no watching the ball drop. We watched the clock count down the seconds and celebrated. We had our kiss, drank our drinks, and turned on another episode of Mother (we just LOVE this show!).

At about 12:20 or so, the Mr was ready for bed and, to be honest, so was I! If we didn’t have Tank with us, I might have stayed up a bit later, but knowing that boy wakes up pretty early, we headed to bed. Being the old folks that we are, we both had more than half of our drinks left. I quickly finished mine, so as not to waste the champagne. The Mr was really tired and his stomach has been bothering him the last few days, so he asked me to finish his, too. I finished both of ours within about 5 minutes, which doesn’t seem that awesome until I tell you we had these in full size glasses, not champagne flutes. Yeah, THAT was fun, ha ha.

Sure enough, Tank woke us up this morning the way he always does…he lays on top of you, touches your face, and whispers “I want cereal, please” right in your ear until you get up. Since the Mr let me sleep in yesterday, I’m letting him sleep in today, at least for a little bit.


On Christmas, I was given the first book in a series called the House of Night series. While it seems to be geared more toward a younger audience, I did enjoy it and want to get some of the others. I looked on Amazon last night and found 5 of the next books, but decided not to order them. I could find those 5 books for less than $10, but would have to pay $18 in shipping. I simply can’t bring myself to pay almost double in shipping just to get the books, so today, once the Mr is awake, I’m going to take a trip to Bookmans. I’ve got a gift card and I’m hoping I’ll be able to find the next 2 or 3 in the series. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!


Question of the Day: How did you ring in the New Year?

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

I know Thanksgiving was a few days ago, but I’ve had a lot going on. Our original plan was to get up early on Thursday morning, meet my Mom at her house, and she’d take us up to the lake. Well, that changed about an hour and a half before the Mr got off work when I got a call from my Mom. She had been at the lake, with the camper, by herself, for 3 days and was going a little stir crazy. She asked if we’d come up that night and camp. Well, we love camping, so we agreed. In an hour I packed up just about everything I thought we would need to camp and for Thursday, then picked up the Mr, and met my mom halfway to the lake.

We got up to the lake about 6pm. The kids immediately went to stand around the fire (my kids, the pyros in training, ha ha), while my parents got started on dinner. We had steak, homemade pico de gallo, and chips. I made a pledge that, even though I was on a diet, while celebrating Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t worry about it. I expanded this to include the night before. Around 8:30, we got the kids ready for bed. They were going to sleep in the camper, while the Mr and I were going to sleep in my Mom’s SUV. So the kids and my parents (and the dogs!) retired for the night in the camper, while the Mr and I headed to our “tent”. Since it was only 8:30, we weren’t the least bit tired. We were getting great reception for our phones, so we decided we’d watch some 24 through our Netflix app. After watching it for a bit, I decided to go get something to drink from the cooler. I was headed to the camper when I heard what sounded like someone rustling around in the trash, looking for cans. I figured it might be a homeless person, and walked over to the trash to get them to leave. As I got closer, I could tell it was an animal, I figured it was a raccoon. Imagine my surprise when I rounded the camper and found myself face to face with a skunk! I immediately backed away, careful not to do anything to scare it.

The next morning was a beautiful, although chilly, start to the day. We made some coffee, the kids began throwing rocks in to the lake now that they could see it, and we started cooking the pies.

There’s Tank, throwing those rocks.

We didn’t actually cook the turkey and ham in the oven of the camper, we cooked them on the grill!

Here’s our turkey, during the cooking process.

We had a good time. We munched on a veggie platter while the food was cooking, and there was drinking…lots and lots of drinking. I only had 2 alcoholic drinks, I just wasn’t feeling the alcohol. However, all the other adults were double-fisting their drinks! Mom made Captains Coffee, plus everyone had a cold drink, too.

Mom with her coffee and sangria

My other Mom with her coffee and beer

The Mr with his coffee and mixed drink.

Eventually dinner was ready and we were all ready to eat! Well, except for the kids. They had been snacking nonstop all day, which is what they usually do when we’re camping and/or they’re with my parents. The rest of us, however, dug right in to this wonderful buffet of food.

We all ate so much, we didn’t have room for dessert before it was time for us to head home. We were taking Princess back to her dad’s that night, instead of on Friday like usual, and we wanted to get her back before too late.

My parents didn’t have a ton of room for leftovers, so we basically got everything that was left except for the meat. We certainly dug in to the leftovers that night, once our stomachs had a chance to empty. While it was a crazy, hectic day trying to get everything ready at the same time, it was delicious and, the most important part was we got to spend some good time with family.

Question of the Day: How was your Thanksgiving?


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, yay! It’s one of my favorite holidays, wouldn’t you know? My absolute favorite is Christmas/Yule with Thanksgiving being right behind it. I love getting together with my family, and just hanging out. This is the first time since 2006 I’ll have actually celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents. In 2008, after Tank was born, we went to their house for pie, but I don’t count that as having Thanksgiving with them. The problem comes from usually having to share the day with my daughter’s dad and my parents usually go to their parents house for part of the day. It usually throws our day all off with timing and just doesn’t work out. This year, however, we’ve got my daughter the whole day!

Thanksgiving has become more laid back for my parents, especially since my sister and I moved out. This year, my parents took their camper up to the lake and that’s where we’ll be having our Thanksgiving. No TV for my hubby and step-mom to  watch the game on. Of course, downside means no TV to help distract the kids, lol. I’m not even entirely sure if we’ll be sitting at a table or in a circle on camping chairs. The Mr has to work on Friday, and Princess is going to her dad’s Thursday evening instead of Friday like usual since he has the day off, or else we’d probably wind up camping up there for the weekend.

This weekend I’m going to do some cleaning and figure out where our tree is going. I’m one of those people who just can’t bring myself to decorate or listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. The spot where we normally put it? Yeah, our desks now occupy those spots. The space where the desks used to be? That’s where the rat cage is. It’s entirely possible we’ll just be doing a table top tree this year. Princess was given this tree a few years ago, it’s about 3 feet tall, has some lights, is purple, and has Tinkerbell ornaments for it. If we can’t find a space for our big tree, we’ll just use that one. It’ll work, lol. If we do that, it’ll give me 2 more strings of lights to decorate the house with. Win-win either way!

Question of the Day: How are you spending your Thanksgiving? When do you normally decorate for Christmas/Yule/Chanukah?

Have you started making plans for the upcoming holiday season?

I love the holidays. I’m very much a family person and love that holidays are another time for us to all get together. I love helping my mom in the kitchen at Thanksgiving, and waking up to coffee and cinnamon rolls at her house on Christmas morning. Yes, I still enjoy going to my mom’s house on Christmas morning. Since we’re in an apartment, it’s a bit hard to get everyone over here for the holidays. We’ve been there, been cramped in for that. Normally, I’m one of those people who doesn’t plan far in advance. For years, I had a schedule with my family that worked well, and we stuck to it. Having kids changes all of that.

It’s especially difficult when you share custody of a child. My daughter spends half her time with me, half with her dad. We split all holidays (we each get her for part of the day) and her birthday (generally). Being married introduces a whole new set of people to visit. We only get Princess for half the day, so we have to make it count. Take last year for example. We had her for the beginning of the day, had to have her back to her dad’s by 2. My parents were spending their morning across town and wouldn’t be back until the afternoon, so we couldn’t spend Thanksgiving with them. We were able to join my grandparents and extended family for part of the day, so at least we got to celebrate some of Thanksgiving, even if it wasn’t the celebration we initially wanted.

If you think Thanksgiving is fun, then you’re going to love Christmas. We’ve got to get time with my grandparents, my parents, the Mr’s family (if they’re in town) and have to make sure Princess has time with her dad and his family. This year will actually be pretty easy. We’ll schedule Christmas with my grandparents for a weekend before or after the actual day. We get her in the morning, so we’ll probably spend the night with my parents so we can have our morning there. Then she’ll go off to her dad’s in the afternoon and we’ll relax the rest of the day. This will only be affected if any of the Mr’s family decides to drive up for the holiday. They’re all about 2-3 hours south of us. In that case, we’ll have to try to schedule something with them, too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to try to figure out everything for the joint birthday party we’re holding for the kids next weekend. Yes, it’s a week away and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with it. Hey, not my fault, I was waiting to see what the weather would be like.

Question of the Day

How do you spend your holidays?

And here we are…

So last night was Halloween and it was a very big day for our family. It was the first time The Goat, almost 3, has ever gone trick or treating. It was also the first time I’ve had a chance to take The Princess, almost 5, out doing the candy thing. It certainly wasn’t her first time, but it was a first for me as a parent. See, Princess was born in November 2006, so obviously she didn’t go that year. I’m horribly against taking children younger than 2 out unless they have an older sibling. At that point, you’re just trying to use your baby to score free candy for yourself. So 2007 was out of the picture for that.

I was all excited for 2008. I may have been about to pop with Goat, but I was looking forward to taking my little girl out. The added bonus was A)She was going to dress as a unicorn, which is always a win and 2) I was really hoping all that walking would start my labor (I was terrified that I would go in to labor on Princess’s birthday. 2 kids with the same birthday, but different years? Just horrible). That went out the window because I’m pretty sure I had food poisoning that day. Well, it may not have been food poisoning, but I was horribly sick. To this day I’m still not sure how I managed to actually drive her to my parents, who promised to take her and get lots of pictures. She actually didn’t go that year because she refused to put on the costume, it apparently freaked her out. It wasn’t a huge deal, she was 2, not like her life was ruined or anything.

2009 was her dad’s year for Halloween. Goat was only a year old, and you know my stance on that. In 2010 Goat was old enough for me to be okay with taking him, but with his issues (which we hadn’t discovered yet), we could tell it was going to be like taking a younger child. So we let Princess spend it with her dad again. This year, oh this year was all mine. I don’t care that Princess had her costume picked out for 11 months (ladybug), that her dad had bought it for her already, or even that it was his week to have her. He offered Halloween to us and we jumped on it. We picked up a football player costume for Goat, because it’s cheap and when (not if) he destroys it, I’d rather he be destroying something cheap than a fricking $40 costume.  Best part? His costume is a bit dusty, but still intact, while hers started falling apart immediately. The fringe on the skirt part was literally coming off the costume as I was dressing her. This is why I buy the cheaper costumes, lol.

Anyway, I was pretty worried about how Goat would react. I mean, after all, we walked in Grandma’s house where they had a giant, fake spider hanging from the fan and he freaked the fuck out. I mean, even after the spider was gone, he would freak if you tried to take him to that room. Surprisingly enough, once we showed him what to do the first 2 or 3 houses, he actually was a pro. He knew to hold up his bucket, say “Trick or Treat” and “Thank You” and everything. He kept the little foam helmet on for the whole thing, and actually kept up pretty well. It wasn’t until the time that we all decided to head back (after about an hour), that he finally started to wind down.

I’m so proud of my little Goat! Princess did a great job, but she’s an old pro at this. She was really good about showing her brother the ropes, but then she’s always good about that. Thinking about last night makes me all nostalgic. This is yet another milestone that has come and gone. Tomorrow we have the IEP meeting with his developmental preschool. His birthday is next week, which is when he starts preschool, and the Princess turns 5 the week after (yes, a whole 5 days later). My babies are growing up so fast!

I’ll be back tomorrow, got a few other things to cover but don’t want to make this post too long. So until then, cuddle your loved ones hard.