Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tinier Bubbles

It's that time again. The date on the calender insists that I sit back and come up with some life changing goal for the upcoming 365 days. I had such success last year with my resolutions, that I'm feeling a bit over confident when it comes to this year's list. I mean really. If I can wrestle with my inbox and win then surely there isn't anything that I can't do right?

So while I thought about such lofty notions as scaling Mount Everest and finding a cure for the common cold, I eventually nixed those ideas in favor of something more personal. Something that I truly need to work on. That something is: my bubble.

I can feel your confusion wafting through the internet. Don't worry, it's not you. I did drink the entire bottle of chardonnay that my husband insists makes his iced tea taste funny if left open in the refrigerator, so I probably am not making a lot of sense. But let me just try to explain, and if at the end of this post you're still confused, I'll try to clarify again when the vino has left my system, agreed?

If you know me, then I'm sure that you've noticed that I have put into place a bubble that surrounds my entire being. This invisible barrier keeps everyone but my immediate family at a distance. It's more than just a physical boundary though it is true that I do become very uncomfortable when anyone other than my spouse or offspring enters my personal space. Of course, that's a whole 'nother can of worms that perhaps we'll open in coming years. For now, let's work on the part of my bubble that is an emotional fortress. In layman's terms: the part of me that is very guarded.

Not that being reserved is entirely a bad thing. I think it's just a by product of having an introverted personality which apparently I do have since I took the quiz that was in one of my magazines and received the result that I am 100% a hermit. No, I'm exaggerating. I only tend to be reclusive 99% of the time.

But, I think that sometimes maybe people get the wrong idea regarding the reasons behind my bubble-sustaining behaviors. I think that often others believe that I keep them at arm's length because I am snobby because I somehow think that I am better than they are. Or because I don't think that they're worth my time. This could not be further from the truth.

It would probably take years of psychoanalysis for me to put into words exactly how I feel or to give name to the reasons behind my actions, but generally speaking it's that I don't want to make a nuisance of myself. I don't want to bother people. But, my definition of bother is probably much broader than that of your average sane person. For instance, I think that I might bother someone if I pick up the phone to call her. Or friend her on Facebook. Or walk over and talk to her if I see her at the mall. Completely demented--I know. But a person's idiosyncrasies aren't exactly known for being rational, are they?

When I look at myself and my behaviors as objectively as possible, I can see how my actions--or lack there of--could be viewed in such a way as it would appear that I feel that I am superior to everyone else. Which is in fact the exact opposite of how I view the world since I believe that no one could possibly be interested in what I say, do, or think. I can see how sometimes I might hurt someone's feelings when I don't make that call, and the last thing that I want to do ever is make someone feel badly. So, I have in the past made efforts to move toward a more extroverted version of myself--with varying degrees of success.

Ali Edwards is well known in the scrapbooking world. Some may even go so far as to label her a crafting goddess. Anyway, on her blog, she encourages her readers to choose a word that will help to guide them along the path that they envision themselves traveling in the coming year. I think for this year, my word will be open. I will be open to the possibility that others might actually want to be inside my bubble. I will, thus, work to chisel out a door in my bubble that will open for them. We might have to work out a secret knock/password combination, but those details can be ironed out later.

So, I guess to sum up: My name is Laura, and I know that at times I can seem extremely cold and unfeeling, but it is my intention to make a more concerted effort to work on changing that impression in 2010. If faced with the choice between appearing annoying versus appearing uncaring, I want to always choose the former. Unfortunately, the practice of actually making that choice is more tangled than making the change in theory, so I am sure that I will stumble many times along the way. In other words, don't be surprised if this particular resolution finds its way on to my list next year. Just know that I am working on it, and that I do care even if my actions might seem to suggest otherwise.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I've got your Holly Jolly right here

So at last on New Year's Eve, I am prepared to share with you the highlights of Christmas 2009. On a completely unrelated note, why were the past ten years referred to as "two thousand xx"", while the next ninety or so will be "twentyxx"? As if I really needed one more thing to be confused about.

Moving on, or back, to Christmas eve. Chase was extremely excited for the holiday to start. He was just a little bundle of ecstatic energy running all over the house. January will be quite the let down after an entire month of presents, family and Disney. I think it's the perfect time to use up some of those leave days that I have been saving. What? Mamas don't get personal days? I'm so reporting this to my union.
I put Grandma to work making gravy to go with the turkey that I made for dinner. I don't eat gravy, so I never remember to plan for it. I am very egocentric you see.

EVOOwhat? No we use Vegetable oil around these parts.

Amaya seemed to enjoy her dinner though Drew probably found it somewhat labor intensive to eat with a toddler on his lap.
I wanted a record of everyone's full belly satisfied faces so that if anyone ever tried to say that I didn't feed them I could show them proof to the contrary. This came in handy Christmas evening when the words "Fend for yourselves" sprang from my lips. Always pays to think ahead.

Annual by the tree picture minus Drew. Not sure where he had disappeared to, but the kids had too many ants in their pants to sit still long enough to wait for him. Maybe next year.
Cookie for Santa.
Amaya brought Santa's cookie over to me to try to convince me that she needed to taste test it before the old man had access to it. Something about high cholesterol, obesity and heart attacks.
Santa came! Santa came!
Really cool icicles on the tree outside. Probably killing it, but still really cool to see.
My sad outdoor lighting scheme. I wanted to put lights on all of the front bushes, but when I went to Target December 5, the only colors that were left were blue and red. Apparently if you don't buy these things by September 15th, you're out of luck. I've written a note to myself on my twentyten calender to purchase these in July. Chew on that you retail holiday rushers.

Christmas morning. Those PJs I'm wearing were from Gap, and were so comfy that I stayed in them all day. I smelled as fresh as a field of wildflowers on a spring day and don't let anyone tell you any different.

Chase's big gift was a scooter. He loves it. I wonder how long it will take for Iverson to find his Christmas present..
Not long at all.
Amaya was a bit overwhelmed by the whole event. She kept pointing and oohing and ahhing.
Chase played Santa's helper.
Until he found his stocking. He was very absorbed by that sock for the longest time.
Amaya pretty much gave up on unwrapping her presents after the first one. Santa is apparently aware that his diet needs some work because he only ate half of the cookie the kids left for him. Fear not, for Amaya quickly swooped in and finished off the remains for him. Thoughtful.
The rest of the day was filled with enjoying presents, eating ham, and lounging around the house like slugs. The merriest of Christmases.

The aftermath:
Yes, very merry indeed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

8 Crazy Hanukkah Photos

Shel Hanukkah. Next year, I'll try to learn the entire prayer. I'll need someone to write it out phonetically. Also, a You Tube video of someone reciting it reeeaaalllyyyy slowly would also help. This could be a multi-year endeavor.

We were in Disney for the first half of the holiday, so by the time I remembered that I needed new candles, the stores were completely sold out of such things. Not surprising since they probably only had two boxes to sell in the first place. I used birthday candles instead--though not completely Kosher, I'm told that no one would faint upon hearing of the substitution. Although, birthday candles drip way more wax...maybe I should order some Hanukkah candles now while I'm thinking of it.

More presents! Chase is now in the video game age. It's all down hill from here.
Our extended family holiday celebration was postponed due to Snowpocalypse 2009.
The kids enjoyed the 2 feet of now for a little while, but when they kept falling down and getting buried, we decided it might be best to move the party back indoors.
We had the family party Sunday. I took the small, black camera. Obviously.
This would have been a really sweet picture if only the flash would have been working. I hope I get a new camera for my birthday. And the darn thing had better not be black.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm over it

Sometimes it's really hard to think of things to write about here. So you'd think December filled with holidays, trips and birthdays would be a month where the blog is overflowing with new posts given all of the material that I have to work with, right? The problem off course is that in order for all of those aforementioned items to become the memory making events that we need them to be , Mama has to do a lot of work. Working makes Mama tired and cranky and less willing to sit down and type out stories to go with pictures. It's a Catch-22 or something.

So here is the final installment of this year's vacation. As mentioned, I'm over the whole thing. So in short order here's the working script of our trip to Disney Hollywood Studios:

Scene One: Children get wet dancing in sprinklers at Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground

Scenes Two-Eleven: Family rides rides and eats lunch.

Scene Twelve: They take in a show.

That's a wrap!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lines, Lights and Dance Offs

After a long day of travel, park hopping and late bedtimes, I thought that there might be some possibility that my two darling children would sleep in and let Mama have a little vacation of her own. Insane I know. Little monsters were up at 7AM per their usual habit.

They were anxious to head back to Mickey land though Amaya did attempt to be patient by distracting herself with some light reading.
We had perfect timing walking into the magic kingdom as we were just in time for some big block party thingamajig--that is the glass half full version. The reality is that it was such a crowded mess getting from the parking lot, to the ferry, into the kingdom and through to the castle that the kids were so grumpy that they had no desire to relax and enjoy all of the singing and dancing. Once the crowds cleared out though, they entered more agreeable states.
Which was good since we spent the majority of our day doing this.
And this.
Which led to this pretty early in the afternoon.
So we headed back to the room so Mama could have a nap. No I meant so the kids could nap. Darn typos. At this point you might be wondering why I don't have a lot of great pictures. Well, there are several reasons:
  • Kids don't stand still long enough to get good shots.
  • If they are being still, it's almost always because someone is carrying them. I find it hard to take photos while holding a 30lb squiggling weight in my arms.
  • And we know Drew hardly ever takes pictures without being guilted into it.
  • David was there, so I figured I could whine to him and he'd make me a CD of all the pictures he took.
  • We had the cursed small,black camera. Perhaps you remember me mentioning it before? Well on this trip, Andy dropped the small, black camera. So now it looks like this.
A closer look allows one to see that the lens door/cover/shield has completely broken off. Now maybe you'll believe me when I say the camera has had a hex placed upon it instead of just chalking it up to more crazy talk from the loony girl. It's obvious that every time I touch the blasted thing I'm risking life and limb.
Anyway, after naps we met the DDN family at Rain Forest Cafe for dinner. Thankfully, this trip did not end with a case of food poisoning like last time. There are some miracles in the world. Though their service had not improved, so don't go buying lottery tickets or anything. After eating and singing Happy Birthday to Nate, we trekked back to the Magic Kingdom for the parade and fireworks.
Amaya loved looking at the lights, or so I'm told. I couldn't really see much since she kept burying her hands in my hair and swirling it all around like she was trying to wash the grey right out of it. It's certainly a new look for me.

After the parade,we got seats along the curb of Main Street and did a little people watching before the pyrotechnic display. Chase suffered the only significant injury of the trip when he snapped the elastic from his Ears really hard against his cheek. It welted up right away, but was just a faint line by the following morning.

After that, everyone was tuckered out, so away we went. Some of us were just dog tired. Hee hee.

Animal Kingdom was slated for the next day. It was hot. I mean hot. When I was planning for the trip, I asked Drew what the weather would be. He said pack jeans, short sleeved shirts and a jacket and we'd be fine. He lied. I was so sticky and miserable. I looked everywhere for some shorts to buy, but could find none--not even ones with giant Mickey Mouse ears plastered all over them. That's probably a good thing though now that I look back on it. Especially since I was beyond being a lost cause since the humidity made my hair enter a new dimension of frizz. I don't know why I haven't just accepted that my hair will always be a rat's nest mess. Wigs. I need wigs.

Despite being miserable, I insisted that we make a valiant effort to acquire a nice family picture. This is the best we got.

We played in the Bone Yard again.
Amaya contemplated wardrobe changes.
Then we found one of those fun photo op boards where you stick your head in the hole so you can pretend to be someone else. I pretty much had to drag Drew by his nonexistent hair to get him to participate, but he finally agreed to let Danielle take our picture.
Then, I took the kids around back so I could hold Amaya up while Drew took their picture. Big mistake. He obviously does not understand the concept at all.
These pictures are straight out of the camera, I did not crop them at all. This is what Drew actually intended to take a picture of--It's just sad really. Did the man not have a childhood?

Then we went to see the characters. Both kids loved basking in the attention of the over-sized rodent-- the little hams. We actually saw a number of characters, but the only photos I have are with the Mouse. I think I was counting on the Photo Pass to save me--but those pictures are $15 each, so I really hope David got some good ones. If not, I might break down and buy one or two. Might.

That night we had dinner at Downtown Disney. Amaya was our waitress and took special effort in writing down all of our dinner orders. I will tell you I'm impressed since my complicated dish arrived just as I ordered it. She's got skills.
After dinner, the kids danced in the "street" to the beat of the music coming from the restaurant's bar. I put street in quotations because I don't want you to think that I let my kids loose in a real street to run around. I only do that at home--definitely not while on vacation.
Amaya loves to dance and shake her booty. She's also quite confident in her execution of the choreography as she always claps for herself when she's done. I think she'll be on one of those dancing reality shows one day. If she is, please note that we're counting on your vote. Don't make us come over there now.