Sunday, January 23, 2011

Memo From Mom Monday

To: Myself
Re: Well, We Won’t Be Doing THAT Next Year – Part II
Date:January 24, 2011

This memo is a continuation from the previous memo, “Well, We Won’t Be Doing THAT Next Year” Part I. Because there needs to be a Part II. New York City was just so full of fun and frolic that it needed its very own memo.

And now, Self, I give you a few more traditions in detail so as to not make these merry mistakes again next year:

1. Making a Gingerbread House looks so easy, what with it’s 4 walls and 2 roof pieces, some icing, candies and voila! Insta-holiday tradition! Well, when the walls are supposed to magically stay together with sugar and water and mommy starts mumbling “Oh, sh@! under her breath, while holding two walls together and then the third one falls and I try to catch that one, and then it’s like a game of Whack-A-Mole, it makes for a not so fun time at the dining room table.

Being a pastry chef is also not in my professional future as I can’t even correctly hold the bag of icing without it plopping out the other end of the bag all over the table. And let’s not even get into how the minute the house was done, Monkey Man wanted to eat it. Listen, child. I just spent a frustrating 45 minutes trying to make this thing look like a sweet, appetizing dwelling. It WILL be a decoration for at least one day. Now scram with your grubby little fingers and sugar addiction.

Am I smiling because it's finally done or because I know I will never endure the mess and frustration of this project again? Both.

2. The Elf will not be coming to leave chocolates in our Advent Calendar. I’d like to say that it’s because I really thought about it, and feel it’s sacrilegious to incorporate an elf into the calendar leading up to the birth of Our Savior. But I can’t lie to myself. This task was way too stressful for 24 nights. That’s 24 mornings of waking up in a sweat thinking, “Crap! I think I forgot to put that damn chocolate in the calendar,” then hearing Monkey Man confirm my anxiety with, “MOMMMM! The elf didn’t come. Friggin’ elf needs to get his sh@! together.

3. Although I will continue to make Christmas cookies with my mom, sister, niece and Monkey Man, I WILL NOT bring those cookies home. My good intentions of wrapping them up in cute little bags with ribbons and tags ends the same way every year – those cookies go from tin to mouth in a matter of days. I am in awe of the people who actually GIVE their cookies away. I’m sorry, but I just made dozens of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I don’t care how much I like you, I’m not sharing.

On a more positive note, there are a few holiday traditions that I will continue to do for as long as possible:

Of course, we will visit Santa, because time’s ticking on how long a certain little boy is going to believe (sniffle sniffle).

We went to a local county zoo this year for their Holiday Lights display and it was a wonderful family activity that we all enjoyed. Seriously. I’m actually not being sarcastic.

Fortunately, Monkey Man was not alarmed by the Dollar Store outfitted Frosty. I'm pretty sure Frosty had a little moonshine in a flask under that costume.

We will leave cookies out for Santa even after Monkey Man is grown, out of the house and doing this with his own children. Because this here Santa needs just another excuse to eat cookies.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Memo From Mom Monday

TO: Miss Piggy
RE: America’s Next Top Role Model
DATE: January 17, 2011

This memo is to commend you for being one kick-ass pig! It has been a long time since I have seen one of your major motion pictures or even your highly acclaimed television series, “The Muppet Show.” However, last night, we had Family Movie Night and we had the pleasure of showing Monkey Man, “The Muppets Take Manhattan.”

More women should aspire to be just like you. You love yourself and all your deli-producing ham slice curves and sizzling bacon junk-in-your trunk. You don’t think about comparing yourself to some scrawny little chicken. America needs to see you on the cover of fashion magazines instead of girls who are 12 who haven’t developed one curve to their body – and then grown women think they should look like a pre-pubescent girl because, “Hey Look! She has no hips or thighs because her hormones haven’t kicked in yet, so I should look just like her because she’s on the front cover of a magazine!” You are confident and accept yourself for who and what you are – a smart, beautiful, assertive pig with a penchant for frogs.

You speak your mind, whether it’s in your soft-spoken sweet swine way or when you’re in your domineering, martial arts karate-chopping state of mind. Monkey Man cackled with sheer delight at your karate moves! Now, you do get a tad bit jealous – okay, a lot bit jealous, but seriously, who could blame you? Once “Kermy” starts singing his sweet ballads of being “Together Again” and rainbow connections, it’s kind of hard not to love the little green guy. You’re doing it for your frog. And that frog loves you for YOU.

So, Miss Piggy, in honor of women everywhere, whether of the human kind or other, thank you for being real. Or, at least as real as you can get for being a Muppet.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Too Much Dr. Seuss

Monkey Man went to my in-laws today for lunch with Hubby. While at Hubby's parents, Monkey Man was getting a little wild and running around yelling, "Sucker!" to everyone. Yes, when he's not being his sweet-as-pie angelic self, he channels Lucifer. Oh, but it gets better.

Hubby asked Monkey Man to stop saying "Sucker" because it wasn't nice. So, Monkey Man decided to use rhyming words instead. I totally give the kid points for practicing his Language Arts studies while in a 5 year-old fit of silliness. "Bucker, Ducker..." came out of his cherubic little mouth and then to his Grandma he said, "Hey Fu@#er!" Well, as you can imagine, my very religious, conservative mother-in-law almost saw the light at this annunciation!

"What did you call me?" Grandma barely stammered.
"It's okay Grandma, I didn't call you a Sucker, I called you a Fu@#er!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Memo From Mom Monday

TO: Myself
RE: Well, We Won’t Be Doing THAT Next Year! Part I
DATE: January 10, 2011

This memo is to myself because I know next year when the holidays roll back ‘round, I’m going to think the following ideas would be great. Fun, family activities and events that will bring us all together feeling warm, fuzzy and oh so jolly. However, with this in writing, I can refer back to this memo to myself and remember, that in fact, NO, I cannot keep these traditions. Because they didn’t make for a "fun, old-fashioned family Christmas" (thank you Chevy Chase!).

So now I give you Part I of this series – it's just one tradition of a few that are coming to an abrupt end this year. The rest are coming, but you’ll see this first one is just so chock full of holiday cheer that it has enough for it’s own spotlight!

Conversation with Monkey Man about one week before Christmas:
“Hey, Monkey Man, I have a great idea for Christmas Break!” I said so enthusiastically, so full of, “This is going to totally rock and I’m winning Mom of the Year Award for this idea!”

“What? What’s your idea?” Monkey Man inquired.

“Mommy and Daddy are going to take you into New York City to see the big tree.” Please note: Monkey Man LOVES New York City.

“Why are we going to look at a tree? I don’t want to see a tree.” Okay, people, get your foreshadowing thinking caps on…

And now I will list all of the things that went wrong on our holiday foray into the greatest city in the world:

#1 - This is #1 because it should have been my first clue to ditch this whole idea – Monkey Man clearly stated he did want to go to New York City to look at a tree. Point not taken.

#2 – We took a Park & Ride bus from a mall that is about 15 minutes outside of Manhattan. And it took us 90 minutes to get into Manhattan. And when we got out of the Lincoln Tunnel, the bus driver started letting people off on a corner (our destination was Port Authority) because he kindly let us know that it could take another 30 minutes just to get into Port Authority which was a mere block away from our random corner drop off. Fortunately we know the city well enough that we could confidently get off the bus and walk.

#3 – Times Square on December 29 is the equivalent of Disney World on any day in July or August. Translation: Hell. I have been to Times Square many, many times, and yes, it’s busy. But 2 days before the ball drops? Holy Tourists Batman. I wanted to yell, “Walk people! There’s nothing to see here!” But I guess there was something to see. It is Times Square afterall, and the street was closed so we could walk on it and not meet our untimely death by a taxi so it was pretty cool. However, to add insult to injury, I would find out a few days later that Rick Springfield was in Times Square on December 30 doing interviews. So I missed bumping into him by a day and just that one incident could have turned this whole day around!

He looks happy, right?

#4 – We were prepared for the sloppy slush and snow left from the Great Blizzard of ’10 just days before. We all wore our boots. Not 10 minutes into walking did 3 of us ignore the pedestrians walking to the other side of the street when BAM! We walked into a puddle that went up to Monkey Man’s knees. I am not even kidding, the water was that high. I was wearing very nice boots that I have been very protective of – a little snow is okay, submergence in NYC glop is NOT. The water went into Monkey Man’s boots and made his socks wet. Hubby got his feet soaked. My feet stayed warm and dry, but I was none too happy about the potential ruining of the pretty fabric. Long story short – cranky boot family.

#5 – We went into the Toys R Us in Times Square just to get Monkey Man to stop moaning about seeing a tree. TRU was 300 degrees and the entire population of Manhattan was in the store. Monkey Man had no cares that Santa just stopped by our house a few days before and was hell bent on getting a toy. We said he could buy something, but from his own piggybank. He had a $10 budget, picked a stuffed animal, and we bolted. I could have went to my local TRU just one mile from my house and avoided this whole debacle.

#6 – Next stop, and our reason for this family outing, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This is the spectacle that people from all over the world “ooh” and “ahh” over. Monkey Man, living just 30 miles out of New York City and bearing the stubbornness of a mule, REFUSED to look at it. Afterall, he told us, he did not want to look at a tree. Remember, he clearly stated this one week earlier. I tried my best to get him to look without holding his defiant little face in my hands and pointing his eyes to it (he would have closed his eyes. Yes, the teen years are going to rock with this child). No can do. “Look, Monkey Man, it’s the ice rink from the movie Elf, the one where he and Jovie go on their date!” I exclaimed with all the excitement of a beaten down mom, a mom just trying to give my child a fun Christmas memory. Yes, you guessed it. He would not look.

Definition of fake smile - mine right here. Trust me, I was not happy. Teeth gritted into smiling, I'm telling him, "Please just SMILE. PLEASE."

#7 – After visiting the tree for 8.5 seconds, we headed back to Port Authority to catch our bus. I have taken the bus to and from Port Authority countless times and NEVER experienced the line that OF COURSE was there waiting for us. Why wouldn’t there be a line waiting for us at the end of this day? So what did we do while we waited on line to appease our Grinchy child? Yep, we fed him. Thank God for the soft pretzel stand and Monkey Man’s love for carbohydrates.

After the Big Guy stopped laughing at us all day, leading us through physical and mental obstacles, he did grant us a few gifts. No traffic on the way home, dropped off Monkey Man at my parents, Hubby and I made it to our dinner reservation, and I knocked back a nice glass of wine. Cheers to not visiting New York City next Christmas!

Thanks, Tree. We had a blast. Note sarcasm.