There is much to be thankful for

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Since Thanksgiving is almost upon us, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for Brian. He is the most amazing husband and I cannot imagine my life without him. He understands my quirks, and even finds some of them amusing. He knows me better than I know myself and knows how to help me through something difficult or tell me if I’m being crazy. Brian is my best friend, whom I tell everything to, and even after being together for 11 years – and married for 9 – we still have fun together. We have great conversations and we just love spending time together, whether we’re driving somewhere, lazing around watching movies, or building Ikea furniture (directions with no words!) and doing chores together. He is a wonderful dad and I am so lucky that I can leave the house and know that the kids will be clean, fed and clothed appropriately, and played with. I don’t have to micromanage from afar, or worry that he’ll just feed them only McDonalds when I’m gone. He cooks and cleans and takes good care of our family. We parent together as a unit; none of that crap where dad undermines mom constantly, making me the bad guy and him the “cool” parent. And he is certainly not one of those bumbling dads you see on TV who can’t handle a diaper or puke or even something as simple as giving the kids a bath.

I am thankful for Jacob. I can’t believe how big and strong he’s getting, and he constantly amazes me with how smart and funny he is. He helps me a lot, and is the best big brother that we could have ever asked for. He helps and teaches Logan, and they are the best of friends. Jacob is polite and charming and always has a story to tell. Even though his non-stop talking can drive me nuts sometimes, I wouldn’t trade it because it just demonstrates how intelligent and inquisitive and creative he is. He draws amazingly detailed pictures of his favorite things, and he is always eager to learn about the world around him. He gives wonderful hugs and will try to take care of me when I don’t feel well. I remember one time I had a migraine and he brought me water so I could “get hydrated and feel better.” Too sweet! He brings great character to our family.

I am thankful for Logan. He is so laid back and sunny. Many days he has a smile on his face before he even opens his eyes. He is smart like his brother, but he tends to just do his thing and absorb information as it comes rather than aggressively pursue it like Jacob. He loves to be my helper and will set the table for dinner, and open doors for me. He always wants to be included and just loves to be around people. There is a lot of personality packed into that small body of his. He wants to be a big kid so badly, yet is perfectly happy being the “baby” of the family. He is developing his sense of humor, and often makes us laugh with funny faces and sayings. Our family would not be complete without our “caboose”.

I am thankful for our extended families. The boys have wonderful grandparents who love to take them for the weekend and spend time with them and teach them and play. If we need help or advice, our parents help if they can. And they follow our discipline methods and enforce the rules we have decided on for our boys, which keeps them consistent and they don’t come acting like spoiled brats because they got away with murder all weekend.

I am thankful for my job. Sure it drives me nuts, and the commute sucks, and I’d rather stay home. But it pays decently, and we couldn’t do without that income. It certainly beats having no education or skills and having no job choices whatsoever due to those limitations and being stuck either working at McDonalds (Would you like fries with that?) or as a greeter at Wal-Mart (Welcome to Wal-Mart. Get yer shit and get out!). And my work friends help keep me sane while I’m here. I’ve had jobs where nobody got along, or I didn’t get along with people, and there was mistrust and tension and it was awful. Here, we all chat when we can and have a good time as much as possible, and just generally make the best of being at work.

I am thankful for being healthy. I certainly need to exercise more, and I do have my own issues, but it could be so much worse. I could have a debilitating, incurable disease, or I could be disabled and totally dependent on other people, which would be hell to me.

I am thankful for our life in general. Incredible marriage, awesome kids, and wonderful families. We could certainly use more money, but we are able to afford to live in a nice house in a good neighborhood with good schools and friendly neighbors. And while we can’t afford to go to Disneyland every year, or on some other big, fancy, annual vacation, we have fun with what we can do. Fortunately, we all love camping, which is way less expensive than a trip to Disneyland, and in my opinion, a lot more fun and memorable. The boys are enjoying their childhoods, and they have a lot more fun turning themselves into dirty sticky messes while camping than they would waiting in a two hour line for a two minute ride. The boys still love to look at the pictures of our camping trips for the last 2 summers.

Procrastinator extraordinaire meets the holidays

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I can’t believe it’s November 20 already. Where in the world has the time gone? Halloween seems like it was just yesterday, yet at the same time it feels like it was so long ago. In October we get geared up all month long for Halloween, with the decorating and getting costumes for the kids, buying candy, trips to the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving. Then November 1 comes and Halloween is quickly put out of mind, for the most part. Of course there is still a mountain of candy to pilfer from the kids as a reminder of the Halloween festivities. But Thanksgiving preparations quickly ensue, and with that comes a little nagging voice in the back of my brain reminding me that Christmas is rapidly approaching as well and it’s time to start some shopping. I am simultaneously planning to have turkey day for 12 at my house, and planning Logan’s birthday party, because his party will be on December 7 and I needed to make sure to get the invitations out early because December is so busy for everyone. Not to mention I need to begin the aforementioned Christmas shopping.

Naturally, there are many things I need to get done in the next week:

1. Clean my freakin’ house. Especially the abysmal expanse of counter top and my desk, both of which are covered in papers and junk. I keep waiting for a black hole to open up on my counter and just suck the entire contents of my house into it. Reminds me of Poltergeist, though I’m pretty sure our house isn’t built on ancient Indian burial ground. I hope.

2. Finish my grocery list and make sure I have everything I need. You know, just enough wine to keep the guests relaxed and happy, but not so much that anyone gets rowdy.

3. Next week I have to make several pies. I was only going to make 2 pies when there was only supposed to be 7 people, but the addition of 5 more guests makes me wonder if that will be enough. The guest list includes 4 teenage boys. FOUR. So there needs to be plenty o’ food to keep them from rioting. And I’m thinking that will have to include 3 pies. I don’t want people stabbing each other with forks over the last piece of pie.

4. Pick up my big ass bird (20 pounds) on Wednesday, because I simply do not have space in my fridge to defrost that sucker for a week.

5. I should probably dust off the china that’s been sitting undisturbed since last Thanksgiving. But if I don’t get around to that, everyone can just eat my dust. HA! Get it?

Now that doesn’t seem like a huge list of things to do, but you haven’t seen my counter and my desk. Scary. Now here is what I have been doing to procrastinate:

1. Surfing the web. There is certainly no shortage of sites to aid me in pissing away my time. Damn you Facebook! It’s not like I need more flair; I have a ton. But it’s just so. damn. addictive.

2. Downloading music. There are tons of songs I would love to download, so I spend my time either actually downloading them or trying to remember what songs I want. Either way, great time waster. And I’ve certainly enjoyed my new tunes on my daily commute.

3. Updating my Amazon wish list, and the one for the boys. I love Amazon! It’s like window shopping without having to go to the mall and fight my way through the masses of self-centered asshole teenagers*. By the time I leave, I feel like a salmon that’s fought it’s way upstream to spawn. Without the actual spawning part. Which is why I haven’t been to the mall in years. Seriously. It’s much more enjoyable to shop in my jammas!

4. Uploading pictures to Flickr to share with family and friends (are you seeing a theme here?)

5. Reading. Book, magazine, whatever. Just as long as I don’t have to think too hard, or do anything.

6. Watching the crap we’ve Tivo’d. I’m quite disappointed about the latest twist on Ghost Whisperer. Yes, I watch that show. It’s goofy but fun. And Brian and I have created a drinking game based on that show. It’s called “Glugs for Jugs”. If we were actually playing, we would have a shot every time there was an obligatory mega-cleavage shot of Jennifer Love Hewitt, which, if you’ve seen the show, you know are quite frequent and gratuitous. With some episodes, we’d be smashed before the opening credits, so we just say “glug glug” instead of actually drinking. But I digress. Or maybe procrastinate…

7. Making to-do lists. I have bunches of them. I even cross things off of them occasionally. Though I don’t think I’ve completed an entire list in quite some time. But basically it’s a list of things that, after procrastinating for days, I have to prioritize last minute and scramble about to get each chore done in time for whatever deadline has been imposed on said chore. Nothing like the final countdown to a big event to get me moving. Working under pressure. Because I won’t totally screw something up or do something half-assed that way, right? Sure.

Now, to just get through the holidays with my sanity and my bank account intact. Won’t that be a mighty feat? I think I’d better stock up on caffeine. And rum. Look out holidays, here I come!

*I would like to note that I am not saying all teenagers are self-centered assholes. But the self-centered asshole teenagers seem to congregate at the mall and act like they own the place. No nastygrams please. Of course if that offends you, my blog might be a bit much for you to handle. Call that good advice or a fair warning.

It's tooth fairy time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jacob lost his first tooth today and he'll be getting his very first tooth from the tooth fairy. Although he just this minute informed me that it's not the tooth fairy that gives kids money for their teeth, it's parents. I asked him how he knows that and he said he just knows. He said nobody told him that, he figured it out by himself. Hmmmm. Interesting. Well that's a little twist. At least he still believes in Santa for now.

Now I just have to get used to that little gap-toothed grin!

Posted by Michelle at 18:41 0 comments Links to this post  

Goodbye Longs

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My former employer will soon be no more. Soon, if I want to go to a drug store, I will be stuck with CVS, Rite Aid, or freakin' Walgreens. Though I haven't worked there in 2 years, Longs is still the only drugstore I ever shopped at, and I am sad to see it go. And after all of those stores just went through remodels in the last 4 years. What a shame. I hope nobody I know moved to the corporate offices, since those employees are all getting the boot at the beginning of 2009. Now the stores will be governed by some faceless corporation back east, as opposed to a corporate office that was right here in California. I used to work at the largest store in Walnut Creek, which is where the main corporate office is. I am so happy I don't work there now, for many reasons. CVS blows. And I would go insane working in one of their pharmacies. Every time I talk to a CVS pharmacy at work, I can hear that stupid automated robot voice saying, "One pharmacy call" over and over again, which is what they hear when someone wants to speak with pharmacy staff, instead of hearing a normal phone ringing. I would have to smash that thing. But I digress... Goodbye Longs, and I hope the CVS corporate suits aren't totally bullshitting you when they say that most of the employees will keep their jobs after the acquisition.

Posted by Michelle at 12:51 1 comments Links to this post