Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The exhaustive exercise of Christmas shopping.

Every year is the same.  I know Christmas is coming.  Since October 1st there have been Holiday decorations up at Target...and not Halloween ones, frigging Christmas ones!  So I have been walking around my favorite store in the world with huge blinders on.  It is one of the most exhaustive exercises,  spending money that YOU DO NOT HAVE on CRAP PEOPLE REALLY DON'T WANT just because it's Christmas!!  I mean there have been a handful of Christmas's that I have gotten something I could not live without...this year will be one of them.  Tires.  Yes you heard correct, I am getting tires from my husband.  And truthfully, what is more meaningful then your spouse not wanting you to careen off the road with both the kids in the car during a blizzard?  I think you'd be hard pressed to find anything as heartfelt as that.  Would I love some new bling on my fingers? Sure, but what would happen is about two hours after the exhilaration had worn off I would feel guilt.  Guilt that we splurged on something I WANT and now something WE NEED is going on the back burner.

So about this time of the year I feel the pressure.  The infamous question starts getting asked, "what do you want for Christmas?"  and if I was being honest I would say nothing.  Just get gifts for the kids and maybe a babysitting pass so that Dov and I could go out to dinner some night. I am serious when I say that.  They would need to do it without complaint though, that would be the GIFT part.  No time limits or splitting them up, you get both and we come home when we please.  BEST GIFT EVER!  Lets take the pressure off of each other.  We all know that raising a family of four on one income does not lend itself well to dolling out lavish Christmas gifts on everyone and their brother.  If I had the extra cash I would be the first person to be presenting Ipads and flat screens and kindles or whatever the fancy gift of the year is going to be.  I love seeing someone open a present that is awesome.  There is no better feeling in the world!  What I don't love is watching them open a gift that I know is not great and then watching the pathetic act of gratefulness that follows. Then the next year you get it wrapped up and given back to you (yes that has happened, you know who you are).

Last year I did try to pull back with the Christmas gifting and honestly it went worse then I had predicted.  You tell people you are just going to worry about the kids having a nice Christmas and then your the scrooge when they blatantly ignore your request and present you with a gift.  Well luckily I am a smarty pants and knew that regardless of my no adult gifting policy there would be gift swapping.  So at the ninth hour, on Christmas eve, I went out and bought gifts for everyone.  Could any of them tell me what their gift was now?  Probably not.  And that is just the point.  Come on over and have a meal, I will buy it, cook it, and clean it.  That has to be as nice if not nicer then any bath salts or body lotion right?  At least I think so.  So maybe I am a scrooge or maybe I have adjusted to living within my means and feel much better when I do.  I am happiest having some drinks and a nice meal with my family, save the $10.00 prepackaged bath products for someone else...pretty please.  Oh and Merry Christmas.   Remember keep it simple,  I love you anyways.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving (low key style)

Thanksgiving is pretty much the same for everybody I know.  You either are the host or the guest.  It typically involves a table set for 8 or more adults and 4 or more children.  Lots of pre-day planning, meal prep, side dish options, appetizers galore, enough booze to sink a ship, and LOTS AND LOTS of money spent.  Not this year.  This time I am keeping it simple.  We won't be packing the kids for a hour and a half ride nor will I be panicking for a week prior about who likes what and who will sit where.  We are staying home.  Maybe that sounds boring to some but to the mother of two young children who likes to get her drink on after turkey, it works out just fine.  No driving, no stressing, no sweating over if there is enough gravy to go around.

To top off the unconventional holiday plan we are having lamb instead of turkey...OK I bought a small turkey breast, mostly for the smell not the taste, since turkey tastes to me like dried out chicken.  I made one simple pie that MY family likes, I bought one box of wine that I like, one bottle of bourbon that my husband likes, and lots of juice for the kids.  I am all set.  the lamb is marinating, the turkey is in a brine, the pie is in the fridge and I have nothing to do but sit back and wait for my bailey's and coffee tomorrow morning while I enjoy the Macy's day parade for the first time in quite a few years.  Hell, I might stay in PJ's tomorrow!

I think I just needed a year off from the hullabaloo, give someone else the chance to host the big day ya know.  Yes I will miss the banter of a large crowd but when that food coma kicks in and all I want to do is lay on the couch and pass out...I will.  And I won't feel one bit of guilt.  Oh did I mention the savings...last years turkey day cost upwards of 250.00 for that one meal...this year we sneaked a whole weeks grocery shopping trip on top of the Thanksgiving meal and still only came in at 130.00.  Not too shabby.  Hey times are tough...I am all about pinching a penny folks!
So I hope all of you are eating what you love best with the ones you love most...I know I am. <3

Menu:

Herb roasted leg of lamb in a orange, white wine, shallot, and garlic marinade
Cranberry brined turkey breast (for the kiddies)
Cornbread stuffing
Petite peas with shallots and pancetta
No. 7 Sweet potatoes (yes that No.7 is Jack daniels)
Crescent rolls
Homemade cranberry sauce
Mint Jelly (for the lamb of course)
Keylime pie

Cocktail of the day: Blizzard (in honor of the 2 inches of snow we got this morning)
3 measures of bourbon
1 measure of Cranberry juice
1 tsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of simple syrup
Shake the hell out of it with lots of ice and garnish with cranberries YUM!

I can hardly wait!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

STOP WHINING!

So as for the break the blog has been taking...I just have not been inspired.  By anything.  The kids aren't being cute, the dog is still an asshole, and Dov has been working an insane amount of hours and I am here alone with the kids for days at a time.  All this leads to me being, for lack of better terms, burnt the hell out!  That, and for some absurd reason my internal clock has set itself to wake up at 4:30 am EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I then lie in bed and have severe anxiety over how F-ING tired I am going to be come 7 o' clock the next evening when the kids are whining and needing tubs and jammies and stories and constant attention!  The constant attention would be for Bella.  That precious angel has become ungodly whiny and clingy and it IS NOT HER TEETH.  If one more person says " Oh, she must be cutting some teeth." I will freak out.  She is not getting any teeth...she just loves to be held...ALL THE TIME.  It does not matter if I am cooking, vacuuming or driving, the girl cries until she is being held.  If you think I exaggerate just ask her auntie Katie.  She just spent the past day and a half with us, repeating "Bella! Whatsa matta?" over and over and over again.

The culprit

There is all that and then the fact that I have started to actually put some effort into getting back into shape.  Something that I probably should have attempted before getting knocked up for a second time while still hanging on to the 40 extra pounds that baby numero uno blessed me with.  Packing the additional 40 on the 40...not my smartest move.  So now I have begun, in earnest, to lose the weight.  I have passed the "oh she just had a baby" phase and moved straight into "Wow! She let herself go" land.  So the mornings are spent exercising and trying to NOT eat the left over waffles on Noah's plate.  So it's all...1,2,3 ZUMBA for me while Bell whines right by my side the entire time!  Oh the joy.

As for how the blog will progress from here, I don't know.  I guess I will play it by ear.  Hopefully some day real soon Bella will decide that she wants to try out those perfectly good legs and I can get my hip back.  Now that would be something.  I might even get inspired again!

Pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A November 5th Halloween

Wilton, with all the storm damage and lack of electricity, delayed the Halloween festivities till last night.  I wasn't quiet sure how it would be or if any one would actually do it, since once October is over it really does not feel like Halloween.  A trip to the local Walmart convinced me it was over with all the costumes and candy heaped up in the front of the store marked for clearance.  We took our chances that the good folks of downtown Wilton wouldn't let us down.  And they didn't.  Last night was great.  Granted there was no haunted house at the Fire department but the kids had a blast.  We met up with our friends down the street and took the gaggle off to get their trick or treat on!



When we got there it was hard to keep track of where the kids were in the dark with so many other people around but I really wanted to get a few shots of the kids ACTUALLY trick or treating so I asked my husband if he wouldn't mind taking some pics with his iPhone.  He looks at me like I have twenty heads and says, "Ummmmm I HAVE been taking pictures ALL night."  Well OK then.  When we got home this is what I got for pictures.  Nice right?  I got about 2 of those.  Grainy, weird, videos of God knows what.
video

I myself am not a big Halloween fan.  Give me Thanksgiving and Christmas but not Halloween.  Dov on the other hand LOVES him some Halloween.  He has to dress up every year.  This year was no different. So right  before we leave for the night he walks to the end of the stairs with his phone playing the theme song whatever horrible horror movie this costume is from and managed to scare his daughter shitless.  Hence why she is balling in every single picture and why Dov was banished to the outdoors.  Pretty good get up if you ask me though.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Shopping at the "junk" store

OK, so it is no shocker that I shop at thrift stores, the Dollar Tree, or any other store where there is the slightest chance I could score a bargain, although the Dollar Tree is mostly full of crap that falls apart and should only really cost 50 cents.  It started with my mother and slowly trickled down to me.  When I was younger I loathed going to "the Army" with Mom.  I wanted to shop at 5-7-9 and all the other Mall stores that the richer Hopkinton crowd was hitting up, but Mom was raised on thrift and come hell or high water, I would be too.  So for many years school shopping consisted of a few select "new" items and a slew of second hand steals.  I dreamed of the day that I would get my own job and buy all the brand new clothes that I wanted so badly.  Fast forward to age 16.  I am working at Golden Pond as a waitress for the elderly, raking in my 6 dollars an hour and quickly realizing that I can get more of a bang from my very few bucks at the Salvation Army vs Delia's and the other hip teenage stores of the 90's.

I am not going to tell you shopping at the Army is as easy as shopping at the Mall, because it is NOT.  You have to dig through a TON of crap to find the one thing that is totally worth the 30 minutes you just spent looking through mu mu's, shirts with missing buttons and pit stained Tee's, but when you find that item, and it has the right color tag (some are half off), you are on cloud nine.  So some of you think that it is gross and you should only go there for Halloween costumes or dropping off your tax deductions, but I am telling you right now...you are missing out!

My last trip was pretty successful even with the two kids in tow.  Which at a Mall is impossible since they have to remain stationary in the carriage.  At least at the Army they could pretty much light a fire and nobody would blink.  I was able to make it through most of the women's department and some of the kids before the meltdowns ensued.  Want to see my scores for the day?  This is only half of them but my husband thought it was ridiculous to take pictures of clothing and so I got self conscious and stopped. LOL
How adorable is this jacket?  $4.99!
Kids Connection winter boots for Bella.  Barely, if ever worn.  $2.00  Just in time for our October Nor'easter.
She was not super excited about modeling this particular night.

I also scored a few things for myself.  Remember My so called Life?  Claire Danes and her grunge inspired attire.  Well I recall wanting a pair of boots that she wore on that show but my measly paycheck was insufficient to afford anything but Payless at the time so I let the dream of running after Jared Leto in my sweet sweet boots go.  Not anymore because TA DA!!!!!!! $2.99 marked down from $4.99, a discount at the discount store. 

Been rocking these bad Larry's with some jeans and flannel shirts.  Feeling so "like" awesome.







Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Power outages are not for pussies.

Thank God for iPhone.  That is all I will say.  It became the only latch I had on the outside world after Saturday nights snow storm that dropped 18 inches in my yard.  We lost power at 7:30pm on Saturday evening and got it back at around 8:30 last night.  Nothing near the eleven electricity free days that I had been warned that the ice storm of 2008 created here in NH but still enough to make me smell like a monkey's ass and want to do sexual favors for PSNH line men.

Now here is the situation.  I have a well.  No town water or sewer for me.  We have broached this topic once before here.  This means that not only do your lights go out, your heat ceases to work, and you have no water. No water for showers, or dishes, or brushing your teeth or FLUSHING YOUR TOILET.  The toilet really does not concern you the first day without power but around the third day you were hard pressed to get me into that bathroom.  Yeah...that bad.

Now for all you survivalist that are about to tell me, Ya so why not melt snow?  I say screw you and the horse you rode in on.  Melting snow is like counting grains of sand.  You need about a truck load of that s*&t to make about 3 cups of water.  No joke.  I have now spent the better part of a day melting snow.  I am a expert.    So you are getting the picture right?  Two kids, no baths, no t.v., no lights, no way of doing dishes.  The sink gets fuller the house gets smellier and you start taking trips out to buy things like dry shampoo.  If you are not familiar with this product, it is a hairspray type thing that is supposed to dry the grease out of your hair and make it smell less like, for lack of a better word, dirty head.  Yeah dirty head is worse then dirty ass if you ask me.  This only works one time.  Then your hair just smells like dirty head and hairspray. Gross.

I was really good.  I stayed till Monday around 4 pm. And then I hightailed it to my parents house and took a hour long shower and turned on every single electric appliance they owned and said a prayer of thanks to Thomas Edison.

So here are a few things I learned from my first major power outage up here in NH.

1) Calling the electric company incessantly, reporting emergencies that are not actually emergencies will NOT get them to fix it sooner.

2) Melting snow is futile.

3) Whores baths are not sufficient enough to create that fresh and clean feeling.

4) You will go a little mental at certain times during the second day of the outage and try to plug your straight iron in.  Yes that happened.

5) You will contemplate setting a telephone pole on fire just to get a truck with flashing lights to park in front of your house, creating the illusion of progress.

6) Facebook is addicting.  Withdrawal starts immediately.

7) You will love your friends that are in the same boat a little more.  Misery loves company. (When you allow somebody into your house and your toilet is looking like a crime scene there is a level of comfort that is reached instantly.)

8)The sight of flashing yellow lights on top of white trucks is better then any sex you have ever had.  EVER.

9) You will decide that camping is best done outside of your home.

10)You will be eternally grateful for electricity.

*I promise to never take you for granted again my dear sweet beautiful electricity.  You had me at hot shower and wireless Internet.