Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I give thanks for that face, those cheeks, those thighs, that smile, and the fact that almost 3 years later, I haven't committed myself to some kind of mental health institution due to newborn sleep deprivation, toddlerhood, and the current and much acclaimed independent-seeking preschool years. Monkey Man, you've rocked my world. And for that, I give thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yoda’s Life Lessons

Monkey Man’s Great Grandma passed away two weeks ago. Great Grandma is my husband’s grandmother, and she moved near us to an assisted living facility when Monkey Man was 7 months-old, just over 3 years ago. She is a wonderful woman - always kind to everyone whether you were her family, friend, or a complete stranger. She had a huge heart full of love, hugs, and kisses. To top it off, she had a great sense of humor, another great trait which I admire.

Since the day she moved in to her new home, New Seasons, my husband took Monkey Man to visit Great Grandma every week, sometimes 2 days a week. Monkey Man became the Norm of New Seasons. Everyone knew his name. Well, they remembered on most days. It was a home with older folks, after all. But I’m no one to talk. I’m going to need to do a lot of crossword puzzles at the rate I’m going.

Great Grandma had Alzheimer’s Disease and her health was getting worse in September and October. Towards the end of October, when hospice knew that Great Grandma might not have much longer to be with us, we explained to Monkey Man that Great Grandma would be going to Heaven soon. His response?

“Like Yoda in Return of the Jedi?”

Great Grandma – We love you, and may the Force be with you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Preschool Philanthropist

On our way to Panera last night, hubby began explaining to Monkey Man that pretty soon we would buy gifts for children that may not get gifts for Christmas. He explained that some children do not have mommies and daddies or some mommies and daddies do not have enough money to buy their families extra things. Hubby told Monkey Man that our family would help buy presents for some children so that they, too, could get gifts for Christmas.

Monkey Man engaged in the conversation, saying that he wanted to buy the kids presents and pick out what they might like. He asked why some kids don't have mommies and daddies and why some people don't have enough money.

Hubby began explaining then Monkey Man interrupted. Not with another heartfelt inquiry, but rather an urgent question: "Can I have bread with my dinner?" Conversation came to a screeching halt, hubby and I looked at each other and laughed and realized that, in fact, we were speaking to a 3 year-old child. A 3 year-old with a serious carb addiction.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kicking Off Christmas Season Wal-Mart Style

It became apparent tonight that my college education did not prepare me for the self-scanning line at Wal-Mart.

First, I must apologize to Target for cheating on it. I don’t even like Wal-Mart. I just went there for a change of scenery because I’ve memorized Target’s every picture frame, piece of workout wear, preschool t-shirt and Star Wars toy. Well, that and I already visited Target this morning.

I went to Wal-Mart to get some outdoor Christmas lights, garland, and wreaths. I live in the same neighborhood as Clark Griswold, and all the neighbors try to keep up. It’s quite festive, but incredibly stressful. I’m happy with a few strands of lights swagged on my picket fence, but this year I’m feeling like I should step it up. I’ve already killed the landscaping (read: the tallest purple plants you’ve ever seen, purple mums, purple bushes – just purple flora everywhere) that I inherited when we purchased this house 18 months ago. It seems that everyone in this neighborhood loved the Botanical Gardens and when running into neighbors, they’ve taken the opportunity to tell me so. I need to redeem myself.

Anyway, I brought my holiday lighting purchases to the self-checkout to save some time. I live in New Jersey, so in addition to feeling the need to rush through the 16-18 hours that I’m awake, I figured I could also save myself the hassle of not being spoken to by the cashier. Cashiers in these parts communicate telepathically. It’s quite amazing and ridiculously rude.

I scanned my first item. Success. I only had about 10 more to go. On the second item, it told me to remove the item from the bagging area. The genius computer did not see that I had already accomplished this task. But it was insistent that I needed to do this, and it would not let me proceed. I guess my computer sent a message to its boss, the Self-Scanning Manager, and she promptly came over to check out the problem. I love how stores have figured out how to cut down on the human workforce by letting computers do the work. And in doing so, they drive one human being crazy by empowering her to cover about 5 self-checkouts, all of which have some kind of error.

The line of 20 people behind me was about to wrap my pre-lit outdoor garland around my neck, plug it in, and watch me glow. I politely told the person behind me to suck it. Actually, I’m a little classier than the average Jersey girl, and I told the woman behind me that she might want to forgo the self-checkout and stare blankly at one of the homo-sapiens donning a blue apron. She smirked and looked like she wanted to kick my ass. I threw her a newly purchased holiday- wrapped Hershey Kiss and wished her a politically correct, generic, “Season’s Greetings!”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Charmer and Heart-Warmer

I attended a sorority reunion on Friday night. Thanks to the wonderfully addicting and time-wasting invention we call Facebook, we realized that many of us live in the same area. It was a great night of catching up and reminiscing. A few even flew in from Puerto Rico and Missouri!

Thanks (big thanks!) to my husband, I enjoy many nights out. I work out several nights a week and do enjoy girls' nights out pretty frequently. I guess, though, Monkey Man is mostly used to seeing me when I leave for the gym at night, right before his bedtime. Hair in ponytail, no makeup, and some kind of outfit that will undoubtedly get disgustingly wet from the gallons of sweat as a result of the Boot Camp classes that I take.

On Saturday morning, Monkey Man sat on my lap as I looked at a few of the photos posted, on Facebook, of course, from the reunion the night before. His reaction seeing me in something other than shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt?

"Is that when you went out to dinner? You were looking so beautiful."

Looks like he's good to stay for at least another few months.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Political Commentary by Monkey Man

In the spirit of Election Day, I dressed Monkey Man in red, white, and blue. While dressing him this morning, hubby and I said, "Do you know why we are dressing you in red, white, and blue? It's because it's Election Day. It's the day we vote for a new president." And I added, Thank God.

Hubby said, "Do you know the only good thing that happened during the Bush Administration? You were born."

Monkey Man giggled, and one would think he didn't understand what we were talking about. But his reply told us differently, "Bushawalawala."

And there you have it folks. 8 years summed up by a 3 year-old. Baby talk and nonsense.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1

Yes, that’s the date for those of you who might not own a calendar or work from home, as I once did, and have no idea what day of the week it is. And it’s duly noted that I only wrote 1 post in October, with which I am not very happy, but life has been happening around here at an alarming speed and with the invention of Facebook, I can’t keep up. However, November will be better for blogging. Much better. It is on my List of Things To Do, and God knows, if it’s on my List, I will check it off. Because if there’s one thing I cannot and will not tolerate, it’s unchecked To-Do Lists.

So, since it’s November 1, we can logically deduce that yesterday was Halloween. Monkey Man had a Star Wars-rockin’ good time - and Mommy and Daddy had almost as much fun watching him! Our sweet Darth Vader went trick or treating with some friends, who coincidentally were Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. And these 3 year-olds and almost 5 years-old kids were the most polite you ever did see – every neighbor heard a choral “Trick or Treat!” and the all important response, “Thank you!” Mamas and Papas were so proud! Of course, I did tell Monkey Man that if I didn’t hear thank you that I would eat all of his candy. And he knows how mommy loves the chocolate.

While I’m on the topic of politeness of our children on Halloween, I must comment on the rudeness of some – and not small children, but big children who know better. The point of the Trick or Treating candy-gathering ritual is to SAY TRICK OR TREAT. Not to stand at my door and stare at me. I get enough of that in my day-to-day life. Then, when I do drop the small pieces of Heaven, aka chocolate, into your bucket, bag, pillowcase - SAY THANK YOU. I know when someone gives me chocolate, I hug them and send them flowers, but I don’t expect that from the 800 people who visited last night (I kid you not, we get approximately 800 kids).

And, for you adults who like to get into the spirit and dress up, that is awesome. I love Halloween, too. I love to don a costume on All Hallows Eve. But I DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, collect candy. I stand on the sidewalk and watch as MY CHILD COLLECTS CANDY. I had 2 adults - parents of children - stand in front of me as I skipped their bags (because, REALLY? You really want me to give you candy?) say to me, “Hey, what about me?” What about you? This day is for your kids. Go steal their candy when they go to sleep like the rest of us normal adults.