Friday, December 23, 2011


I have a zillion Christmas blogs in edit mode. I'm hoping this one makes the cut.

I want to write about the excessive commercialism, the lost meaning, the overabundance of food, random acts of kindness, why you shouldn't keep talking to kids about Santa so much since it just sets every parent up for failure, what would Jesus think of it all, why parents put the Elf on the Shelf in pornographic positions, and the year my mother accidentally raised my oven temp to 500 degrees causing a chestnut to explode in my face.

But I won't.

I just want to say that we all work really hard this time of year to make the holiday extra special. We get less sleep, we work extra hours, and we get super stressed; always feeling we're not doing enough, not baking enough, not buying enough.

But, Enough is Enough.

Every so often during this season (when I am ready to have an anxiety attack about it all), I have to center myself and think back to last year. I vaguely remember what we bought the kids. I have no memory of what people gave me and have to think extra hard about what we ate. So, my point is, none of what you are doing and buying matters at all. It seems so "high priority", but in reality, next year, none of it will matter and this Christmas will be another distant memory.

For me, the only thing that really matters from year to year, is who is present and who is not.  And when you experience your first Christmas without that special someone, whether it's your Mom, Dad, Grandparent, Sibling, Spouse or your beloved pets, Christmas Day can be a devastating day. The gifts and the food mean nothing when you're grieving a loss.

The presence of your loved ones are the presents. This year, the big presents for me are that my entire family is together, under one roof.  There will be a LOT of noise, food, mess, laughter, and silliness, thanks to their presence. I can't think of a better gift.

Love and peace to all of you in the New Year,

Monday, December 19, 2011

TextmasTime is here

My Hurricane Irene blog helped you when the lights went out. Now, here is the Holiday edition to help you communicate with your peeps without overtaxing your fingers.

Whether you are a parent or a bored teen, there is something for everyone here while you Text the Halls. Add the following to your phones for those times when you need to vent to your TextPals.

NML: No More Legos!

DTENCIIDIFB: Does this eggnog count if I drink it for breakfast?

IDCTYFYSIO: I don't care that you finished your shopping in October

EOTSIACP : Elf on the Shelf in another compromising position.

IIBTIWTGAFXMS: Is it bad that I want to go away for xmas?

ACSWARM: At cookie swap with aunt, rescue me!

TKASA: The kids are sick again

DTFCSMMLF?: Does this fugly Christmas sweater make me look fat?

ROOSHDC: Ran out of stamps, hand delivering cards

GSAYSA: Got screwed at Yankee Swap, again.

IMBETCTJ: It might be easier to convert to Judaism

BNIFU: Batteries not included....

WMUI2012: Wake me up in 2012

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jugs R' Us (and why does this lady look so happy?)

It seems lately I cannot post a blog that does not include the words "boob" or "breast". In keeping with this theme....

Today was my yearly Mammogram. If you are under 40 and have never had a lump or worrisome history, then you have not enjoyed the pleasure of having your boobs squeezed into a vice. (This yearly test may save your life so please do not skip it! I am not here to give you medical advice so please do not sue me.)

I am here to tell you that after you have your first mammogram, you will feel the need to have a cigarette and a shot of brandy. You will feel the burning desire to scream, "What is the point of wearing this Johnnie if 99% of my upper torso is already naked while you twist my breast 180 degrees, squeeze it, vice it, and direct me to simultaneously stick out my butt like Mrs. OohWiggins? How exactly does the Johnnie help my dignity?"

After some intense research (Google), I confirmed that a man did, in fact, invent the mammography machine. No gal pal I know would torture another sister in this fashion, unless she was messing with her private stash of chocolate. Then, totally justified.

I know this machine can be a life saver. And I feel sorry for these poor technicians who do such a phenomenal job but have to resort to Cirque De Soleil maneuvers to get the scan just right. And I think about what they see (and touch!) on a daily basis. It runs the gamut from floppy fried eggs to mammoth watermelon jugs. They definitely need an award, or a chest to pin it on, as my mom likes to lovingly point out.

Turns out, I passed this year's exam with flying colors, thank God. And I will go back again, exactly one year from now. What can I say, I am a glutton for punishment.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Parenthood: Blessing or Burden?

When I became a mother, I had some clue as to how life would be....or so I thought. You never really know until you are in the trenches, up for nights on end; feeding, changing, nursing, crying (yours), repeat. And you think the hard work is just when they are babies but there is always a new stage to contend with and as good as your little angels are, it's still a lot of freaking work and it never goes away. Sure, you can grab a date night, an hour nap, or a one way run down the street screaming your head off for only so long. The job of motherhood is always there; 365 day/year job which pays you squat. Your leash is a short one, no matter how you slice it. The job violates every labor law out there. Why hasn't the Department of Labor intervened by now?

One recent article sparked some controversy. Take a look here. It's about parents who love their kids but hate their lives. If you are childless by choice, this article will make you feel validated. If you have kids, well, I can't tell you how you feel. If you wish you had kids, then please don't read the article. Personally, I love being a mother and feel that it is one of my "vocations" in life that I was meant to do, and if that sounds too corny for you then, too bad. I do have other hopes and dreams aside from all the glory and goo that is motherhood. But it's not easy, none of it. No matter who you are, whether you are a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) or a WOHM (Work Outside Home Mom), we are all working our fannies off, right? Aren't we all doing what is best for our families and ourselves? Isn't that enough? I think it is. No one gets a prize when it's all over that says, "She made her own dough" or "She sewed all the kids' clothes". The prize is that everyone got out alive and mostly unscathed at the end of each day.

I know plenty of parents (many are very close friends) who have severely disabled or chronically ill children. Their kids' medical needs are never ending and their futures are unpredictable, at best. And do you know what is interesting about them? I NEVER hear them complain about their kids. And do you know why? Because they are just plain grateful to have those children, problems and all. Then, there are the parents who are given the most precious, perfect and healthy children and for whatever reason, do not see it. They complain about every little thing.

We all have our days. But to say that a person "hates their life" as a result of having children makes me cringe. Do you view having a child as a blessing or a burden? Every day and every night, and many times in between, I am counting my blessings, big and little.