i must have pissed off the christmas decoration gods.

I always- I mean ALWAYS- wait until after Thanksgiving to put up my holiday decorations, you guys. Maybe it's the snow on the ground. Maybe it's the idea that Ocean will actually "get it" this year. Whatever the reason, I got all hopped up on hot chocolate and Christmas music and decided it was TIME.

First we lugged the tree up from the basement. This is our first artificial tree. We purchased it last year at Home Depot for $14 after Christmas. Huge. Phil cracked open the box and we got it set up in about a half hour. Not too shabby. Then the real fun started.

I went back to the basement to find our bins of decorations. I knew for sure there were two. However, I could only find one. Hmmm... since we've had four different addresses and two storage units since the last time we used them there's no telling where on earth (or in Charlotte, Ypsilanti or Ann Arbor) it is. Whatever... I figured we'd just string the lights and put up what we have. Except for one small problem. The lights were NOT in the bin that we had in front of us. Crappity crap crap crap. Off to Target I went at 8:45pm.

I was wise enough to check the sarcophagus to see what else we were missing, and made a mental note to pick up a tree skirt and some beads or garlands of some sort. But that's where the smarts ended, my friends.

I was gabbing away on my phone with Jessica, planning our midnight CVS run tomorrow and I grabbed two boxes of lights. Score. I also found two snazzy glass bead garlands. Awesome. Picked up a tree skirt, a roll of ribbon and a box of solid red ornaments and I was on my way. Got home and pulled the lights out of the bag, telling Phil, "I got two boxes of lights. They're 4 feet by 6 feet... wait. WHAT?" That's right... I bought a net made out of lights. The kind you drape over your bushes. NOT the kind that go on Christmas trees. I swore a little bit. Okay, a lot. Grabbed my keys and headed to CVS at 9:42pm.

I managed to get the correct lights this time. I did realize on the way there that I could have thrown together a deal to get them a lot lot lot cheaper but I also knew they would be closing in minutes so it is what it is, folks. I spent actual money at CVS. The shame.

Got the lights home and Phil put them on the tree. Fabulous. He was tired and decided to go to bed whilst I decorated. I poured myself a mug of hot chocolate and got to work. I opened the new garlands and realized that they were waaaaaay too short to make it even halfway up the tree. Add those to the return bag with the stupid net lights. Opened the ribbon and started to wrap the tree. Do you know that 25 feet of ribbon barely makes it around a 7 foot tree three times? TWENTY-FIVE FREAKING FEET. More cussing and a mental note to buy more ribbon when I return that other crap.

I opened up my ornaments and started placing them. As I was hanging the 4th bulb, I got all butterfingers and dropped it. It seemed to be falling in slow motion. I watched as it bounced off 3 branches and hit the side of the couch. I stuck my hand out to catch it and ended up swatting it down instead... right into the maple floor.

If I didn't have two kids who eat everything they find on the floor I would have left the mess for tomorrow. But I grabbed the broom and cleaned up the shards, wondering the whole time what the heck kind of curse I had called down upon myself for putting up my Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. If anyone knows how to undo the voodoo that I have done, please let me know.

Just as long as it doesn't involve going BACK to Target or CVS tonight.


should i open a therapy account for the kids now?

After Ocean gets disciplined for something, we always 'hug it out' so he knows he's forgiven and things resume as normal. But lately he's been asking me if I'm happy after he comes out of time-out, as if somehow I can only be happy once his transgression has been atoned for. Ugh! How do I deal with this? I want to explain to him that my happiness doesn't depend on his behavior but that's a hard thing to explain to a 2 1/2 year old. Usually we have a weird conversation that goes something like this:

O: Are you happy Mommy?
Me: Ocean, mommy can be happy and frustrated at the same time. Just like mommy can be angry with something you do but still love you.
O: And dinosaurs. Right?

I could say, "Yes, I'm happy," but would that reinforce his idea of conditional love and place a burden on him to people-please? I also want him to believe that I know best (most of the time. Okay, some of the time.), to trust what I say and to be obedient. So maybe letting him know that it does make me proud when he listens and does what I ask isn't such a bad thing.

This morning, after a brief lecture on staying in his seat at the table, he asked, "Are you happy Mommy?" I took the less philosophical way out this time and just answered, "Yes, Ocean, I'm happy." "Good, Mommy," he replied. "You're my sweetheart."


gobble gobble

This time, last year, my water had just broken.

I didn't know I was about to give birth to a 9 pound 10 ounce Thanksgiving turkey.



I love Christmas music. For some strange reason I usually forget to listen to it until the week before Christmas. However, this year I started right after after Halloween and it's really gotten me into the holiday spirit.

My sister gave Ocean a little snow globe that plays about a dozen Christmas carols and we were driving home listening to it play. As soon as I would start to sing along, Ocean would press a little button to switch songs, effectively cutting me off at the best part of the song ("Faaaaaaaall on your kneeeeeeeees..." or " Fiiiiiiiiive golden riiiiiiiiiings" or "Sleeeeeeep in heavenly peeeeeeeeace..." You get the picture. Severely denied each and every every time.) The only song he wanted to listen to all the way through was 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' and, uh, it's the only Christmas song I don't know the words to. So I'm all, "O little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie... above thy deep and da da da, da da da da go by... the little reindeer flying and snowmen all around... hmmmm...hmmmm.... ba-ba-ba... whatever. Skip this. Ocean, change the song!" But he just laughed and let it play out. I'm thinking my singing voice isn't much appreciated in this household.

Anyway, in the spirit of Christmas carols, I'd like to provide a list of my all-time favorite versions of some of those classic holiday songs. In no particular order...

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams. It makes a believer out of me every time. ("Wow, it really IS the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Thanks, Andy!")

All I Want For Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. Leave it to Mariah to put the sex back in Christmas. The little baby Jesus must be so proud.

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. You can't get more festive than that. Unless you add Margaritas. And a pinata. Then it's a party.

Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys. Reminds me of our Christmases in Honolulu, or better known as the good old days of Christmas yore.

Whitney Houston's rendition of Do You Hear What I Hear. That woman has some pipes. I'm so glad she's getting her life back together. Crack is indeed whack.

What Child is This by Stacie Orrico. Totally funkified.

Let It Snow by Boyz II Men. Cozy.

Doris Day and Bing Crosby: Baby It's Cold Outside. Classic.

Carol of the Bells. By bells.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. There are lots of great versions of this one, but I am partial to Christina Aguilera's rendering.

And last but not least, Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC. If this doesn't get you in the Christmas Spirit, nothing will.

What about you? What are your favorites?


where did a year go?

Iris turns one this Friday. ONE. I can't believe that much time has passed since she was born; I remember being hugely pregnant like it was yesterday (and "huge" is an understatement. I looked like Kate when she was pregnant with those 6 babies. No lie.) This picture was taken when she was 2 days old. Of course she looks like a 6 month old because she practically gestated for that long past her due date.

Despite the fact that she will have no memory of it, we're giving her a little family party with a puppy dog theme since dogs are her favorite right now. I'll post pictures afterwards... babies + cake always = a riot.


at least he's honest.

Phil and Ocean were laying inside the tent in the playroom today. Let me correct that... Phil was laying in the tent and Ocean was standing on Phil and then launching himself off onto a pile of pillows. After about a half a dozen times of this craziness Phil asked, "Ocean, do you always have this much energy?" Ocean was laying on the floor at this point, on his tummy. He put his chin in his little hands, looked Phil straight in the eye and with all seriousness replied, "Yes. Yes I do."


she walks.

When Ocean was almost a year old, I politely asked him to start sleeping through the night. As of that night, he complied.

So on Tuesday morning I casually brought up the issue of mobility with my 11 month old.
"Iris," I said, "will you please start walking today?"

Not 5 minutes later I was cutting up Ocean's breakfast when I heard a squeal of pure glee. I looked up to see Iris running across the room towards me. It took me about 15 mintues to get the camera; somewhere along the way she lost her pants and a sock, but she never lost the delight. See?


I am so happy. =)



I overheard the following conversation between Phil and Ocean this morning as I was getting ready for church.

Ocean: Where's Mommy going?

Phil: She's getting ready for church.

Ocean: She's going to work?

Phil: You're her work. You're her job.

Ocean: That's a hard job.