Friday, December 16, 2011

Fancy Nancy Can Bite Me

As all things do, it all began so innocently...

I'm going to make Fancy Nancy cupcake toppers for Nora's Fancy Nancy themed birthday party!  This is going to be a cute and economical way to make the small touches to her party awesome!  A friend took the time to create the super cute images for me, I just have to print them out and use the hole punch she gave me.  Easy peasy!  

OK.  Having some problems with the printer.  It's not happy with the card-stock.

Got it to print on the G*d D#!N card-stock, now I'm going to use the hole punch.

Crap, it keeps cutting off the image weird.  How do you get this stupid paper to sit in the hole punch correctly?

Christ on a bike!  I need to make more copies because I ruined all of them trying to use the hole punch.

Text equally craft challenged friend to let her know I'm near tears over cupcake toppers.  She assures me I'm still a good person.

MOTHER TRUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!  THE PRINTER!  

Printed them out again.  Phew.

HOLE PUNCH I HATE YOU.

Dog is now eating the scraps all around me as I sit and stare in wonderment at the hole punch thing-a-ma-doo, thinking about the fact that the friend who nicely created the topper images for me will be at the party tomorrow and see first hand that I'm a dill hole.

Google "how to use the Fiskars hole punch" and be led to a site giving them praise for being so user friendly that arthritic elderly people use them with ease.

Feel a hatred towards Fancy Nancy that I've never experienced towards any other person.  

Text husband that I can't be all things to all people:  He's had to travel for work this week, I've had sick children, a birthday party, Christmas cookie exchange and Christmas party stuff to handle for the last week.  I AM BUCKLING AND THE CAKE TOPPERS WANT TO KILL ME!  

Husband texts me back and asks me to put the hole punch down.

Call Walmart and ask them to add sprinkles to the cupcakes that I ordered since they will have no cupcake toppers.

End the experience by contemplating that whenever I've seen Martha Stewart's daughter being interviewed, she comes off as cold and dour.  

Pat my own back that I'm not like Martha Stewart and instead have lovely, happy daughters.  Feel smug.

Write blog about this experience because that is one thing I can do. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

...and when they offer you handouts on the street, of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother...

Dear Nora,

Most parents would say that they can't believe how fast time has gone- here you are 6 years old. 

But for me, the only time you ever acted slowly was during pregnancy and labor.  You would not have come out if not absolutely forced.  And still you love to be cozy, taking twenty minutes each night to arrange your blankets, stuffed animals and ten books all around you. 

But once you hit this world you joined it with a vengeance.  You have rarely been cautious when it comes to experiencing life and you don't waste time.  I'm not surprised you're 6 in the same way I am surprised your sister is already 15 months.  Does that make sense?

You are a people person.  Your roughest hours are the ones between 3pm and bedtime, because we only have three other people in this house.   That kind of person to Nora ratio simply does not meet your needs.  

You have this wonderful love for the rather mundane things in your life.  You love an adventure, but you thrive on your daily life and in this way I understand you.  You want to walk into a huge building each day and surround yourself with all sorts of characters.  You do everything big- if you are going to be in preschool, you are going to know every person in that preschool and even have the director wrapped around your finger.  Now that you have started elementary school it is the same.  When I walk through your new school the principal, nurse, librarian, counselor and even the lunch lady talk to me about you.  We've been trying to meet people in this new area, and it seems each person I meet at our church says to me, "Oh, Nora's your daughter?  I taught her in Sunday school, she's a character!".  You own your little world and I know that already our limitations and attempts to control it make you resentful.  

You are frustrating.  SO frustrating.  Our constant battle is against you operating like the 3rd adult in this house.  Dad and I can not communicate with each other without your constant intercessions.  You make arguments so well sometimes, that the only reason you do not win the battle is because we know we need to stick to our guns to make sure the line is drawn between you and us.

You are also the joy in this house.  You make simple situations seem so special and important and full of opportunity.  Cartoons in the morning!  Pizza and a movie on Friday night!  A bubble bath in mom and dad's big tub!  Chalking our driveway with a family portrait! Getting to wear a skirt that looks like a tutu!
I hope you always keep the mentality that the simple things in life are the most fun, because the grass is always greener mentality tends to hit us all.  And it's so exhausting.  

Out of all of us, this year has probably been hardest on you.  Shortly after you turned 5 we moved 1,000 miles away.  The distance meant nothing to you, but the fact that you had to leave your 4K class, friends and family is something you are still not over.  I think you have completely moved forward, and then suddenly you'll express some sadness that hurts me to the core.  It's all still in your head, what you've left.

I hope that when you look back on this change you see that it allowed us to give you more than we had been able to before, and that was 100% our motivation in leaving all those things behind.  Your education, home, spiritual life, surroundings, and opportunity- all of these things are better.  What you may come to know as you get older is how much it cost us too.  It was an investment in your life, to chase this opportunity. 

I also hope when you look back you'll remember all the visitors we had in the first year we lived in this place- both sets of grandparents twice, Aunt Julia, Uncle Dave, Hailey and Caleb, Aunt Meghan, Sarah and Addie, and Mark.  And the ones who have not been here yet are always trying to figure out how to work it into their very busy lives.  These people will always come find you in this world.

This move occurred at a time when you became a big sister and our family dynamic shifted from dad and I obsessing over your every breathe for five years (I can remember you having a coughing fit one day, and before I realized that dad and I were both staring at you with concern, you looked over and said, "Guys, I'm fine."), to having to share that focus with, of all things, another little girl.  On top of all of those things, your sister was born with a fixable, yet stressful medical situation.  I know that must have been hard.  All the doctor visits (where you would point out to those examining her: "She doesn't like what you are doing!"), all the discussions of the baby, and at times my focus- out of fear of the unknown- had to shift towards protecting Evie.  

I hope when you look back on this time you don't remember all of those things, I hope you remember Nana spending time with you singing songs, staying in a hotel and taking that cab ride you thought was so awesome.  I hope you don't remember us being tired or scared or stressed while we stayed in the hospital with Evie, but instead I hope you remember getting to eat ice cream for breakfast the morning after her surgery, a secret Nana told you to keep but you just couldn't hold in!  I also hope that you remember that Dad and I beg Evie for kisses, but she only consistently gives them to you.  And Elmo.

Your brain has exploded with learning now.  You are reading and using words like 'literally' in their correct context- which is more than I can say for most people.   You see patterns in this world now and you see basic math situations and point them out everywhere we go.  It's been an exciting past year.  I can not imagine what this new year will bring.

My mom used to tell me that this was my world, and everyone else was just living in it.  Um....no.  She never met you.

Nora, this is YOUR world.  The rest of us are just living in it.
Love you,
Mom

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Season, Another Reason Why Sister Wives Would Be Helpful.

Christmas is a difficult time for those of us who are challenged.  

While people are perfecting their handmade holiday decorations, here in Team R land we are still tripping over the Christmas decoration boxes we brought out of storage weeks ago. 

We decorated our home at the beginning of December, yet the boxes still lay here.  At this point we must ask, do we bother putting them away?  Soon we'll just have to get them out again to put all this red and green crap back.  



There is a smug woman out there right now who has completed all her baking, shopping and wrapping.  Now she's just sitting back, ready to bask in the holiday joy.  

Meanwhile while fervently purchasing gift cards on the internet to offer people the ultimate personal gift this year, I noticed our toddler was MIA.  I found her in the bathroom, where she was playing in the toilet with a spoon.  When I came out of the bathroom with her, I walked into the living room where the dog was eating my wallet.  

While moms are planning the perfect Elf on the Shelf moment, I'm scrambling because I messed up and Nora ended up seeing Evie's Santa presents.  To get her back, I'm thinking of hanging a freaky Elf on the Shelf elf by its toes over Nora's bed whilst she sleeps, so that she wakes with it hovering overhead.  

I was worried about having a decorated Christmas tree this year, because we have both a toddler and a puppy.  I was certain they would both be pulling down ornaments and breaking them.   

How did that pan out?  Well, let's check out the situation so far:

Broken Ornaments for the 2011 Christmas Season
Toddler- 0  
Puppy- 0  
Mom- 3

Every day I'm receiving lovely family portraits that people have sent out as their Christmas cards.  


Meanwhile, I don't have Christmas pictures of my beautiful girls.  But I do have these to share at holiday parties:



I can only assume he found this hussy in a bar somewhere.






I'm especially proud of this holiday moment.




Nora's hair is caught in Mosby's dog collar.
Yes, that actually happened.  My faithful  readers may remember The Strawberry Shortcake Car incident, click here to read about that one.

So, I wrote this blog with YOU in mind.  That's right, you right there.  The one who put her cookies in the oven to bake and then went out to get the mail, started chatting with a neighbor and forgot all about the cookies, only to come home to charred black cookies that look like the Grinch's heart before it grew.


I salute you, other challenged girls.  Somehow our families end up just as happy as those who pull off a Christmas that looked like Etsy and Pinterest threw up all over it.  


Merry Christmas!