Mommy and Me Day: Christmas cookie edition 

My little one had her first day of Christmas vacation today for which I happen to be off of work. She kept telling me all day how excited she was to have a “mommy and me play day” and it made my heart sing. We played and talked and went to the grocery store together but the best part was baking cookies. We made my “reindeer poop cookies” as my family and friends have gleefully named them. They are a chocolate crinkle cookie with crushed up peppermints (only the ones made with real peppermint oil do the trick) on top while still hot and they do resemble their name sake. I so loved that she is old enough for us to put on our Christmas aprons, sing Christmas songs into our spatulas, and make some love-filled goodies. 

Yummy products of our Mommy and Lil Bit Day


This tradition is especially important to me this year, my first year without my Nana. Nana baked for the holidays like it was her God-given job. My family on that side is very large with even more extended family and friends flocking to my Nana’s small but ever-welcoming home and arms. For as long as I can remember walking into my Nana’s house in the weeks approaching Christmas meant having your olfactory overloaded with the smell of sweets and treats in the oven. Just as many stayed in old-school Tupperware on a small fold out table, in the back of the dining room as were given out to family, friends, co-workers or someone who just looked a bit peckish. And there was my tiny, bespectacled-Nana, all 5 ft-even of her, with one of an assortment of Christmas aprons on and immediately stopping whatever she was feverishly working on to give you a hug and a kiss. 

She’d ask about your day in front of your momand then conspiratorially whisper to question if you wanted to help bake–and lick the spatula with a glimmer in her eye after making you wash your hands and pull your hair back. I always thought of her as one of Santa’s helpers as a child as she moved about the kitchen in a magic way. I know Lil Bit will never get these cherished memories with her “Nanny”, but I can give her as close to an experience as possible with all 5’1″ of me, finding some holiday spirit inside and patience which I do not normally have for a special day of cookie-making. I hope we get to do it every year and I hope she looks as forward to it as I did with Nana. And yes, I gave her the spatula to lick. 😉

Nana and I circa pregnant with Maddie so 2011?

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Gestation and Christmas Vacation

Sorry I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a bit. I had both lost some enthusiasm and been sick and exhausted from being pregnant, work and my busy 5 yr old. Those two things are definitely not mutually exclusive. It’s also sick season. Cue dramatic music.
We’ve been busy reorganizing our house but I need to get back to writing as it’s both good for my soul and eventually would love it to substitute my income especially when I’m on maternity leave. Let me explain, I ended up on bed rest at 34 weeks due to preeclampsia and preterm labor with our first. The problem lies in the fact that our hospital doesn’t offer paid maternity leave, you have to use FMLA instead which is only 12 weeks. This sounds like a lot if you went full-term and popped the baby out with no issues but if you get put on bed rest it’s not a lot, and it’s unpaid. I have to buy up my Short term but that doesn’t kick in until 15 days after and only covers 6 weeks total (so 4 weeks at 70% of my salary). Better than nothing I suppose and I have PTO (personal time-off) but that is not a large amount either due to running from 2 hurricanes and holidays this year (if office closed we have to use PTO).
I won’t get into how I feel about this being stressful for new moms and I feel is likely correlated to the US having high PPD and low breastfeeding rates (how can moms bond well with their babies when they have to hurry up and get back to work?) but I will say I will be looking for a way to supplement and any suggestions are welcome, preferably something flexible like writing. To be honest, if given the choice I’d stay home for at least 6 months with this one and take a leave of absence. I love my job most days but I missed a lot with our first one between working and grad school and this will be our last one. I’ve even considered taking a part time job at a minute clinic or something for now to have a little less work responsibility so I’ll have more of me to give at home.

Any of you out there know in the medical field somedays you just don’t have a lot of give left when you get home, I also went to school with a few kids whose parents were NPs or docs and they were kinda assholes. Most of them grew up to be ok but they were not exactly little angels behind their working parents’ backs. I’m not saying it’s always this way but having been in high school with these people and working in the hospital system since I was 16, I know how often the parents were stuck at work and I knew the trouble the kids were getting into. I’m not saying I was perfect but I’ve always been an old soul and my parents were around or knew where I was 99% of the time. I am not saying they weren’t good parents but I don’t think they could always put their kids and families first and I DO NOT want to live that way.

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I’ll jump down from my soapbox now. So what’s new on the home front? The holidays have been interesting this year. Despite my hormones raging and my threshold for bursting into tears being pretty low, I have felt more like shopping, wrapping and decorating than I have in the past 3 years. I think it’s because Little Bit gets into it so much now. She’s so excited and it’s contagious. I’ve also taken a lot of pressure off myself. First holiday season without the family matriarch, I’m pregnant and tired…if it gets done it gets done. If not–too bad, so sad. As a result, I’ve been less stress than expected and I’ve looked forward to more things that require that holiday-worker-bee-energy instead of with trepidation.

Due to impending arrival of baby 2, we are not going on traditional Christmas travel we had planned on. I’m saving leave and so is hubby. We are however doing a Christmas gender reveal that my sister is hosting. I’ll post some pics from that exciting event.

Evening Walk

This post was supposed to be a wordless Wednesday but apparently it did not go across as planned so I’ll elaborate a bit.
Moose, Lil Bit, Scarlett (puppy) and I have been taking afternoon walks (late afternoon because it’s so very hot) following dinner each evening. I keep feeling down and restless lately and this has helped. I miss my grandmother a lot lately. I get busy and then think about calling her and realize I can’t. We’ve always done some “back to school” type shopping together this time of year even when I wasn’t in school, even if we didn’t buy anything and just walked, talked and had lunch. This particular evening (2 nights ago) I was particularly down while we were walking and the storm clouds looming in the distance reflected my mood. We decided to turn back and head towards the house. As we did I noticed a rainbow and shared it with my family. My Nana loved Hawaii where she and my Papa had gone a few times and the culture. She had told me about (how she was told) that the rainbow was a pathway to heaven. Now I don’t know how true this is but When I saw it a few days ago it brought me comfort of a kind memory maybe even as a sign from the heavens, however you may take it. Either way it brought me a little peace as we walked home together.

On Hubby

Have you just been doing some mundane task say laundry or the dishes and talking to your spouse and realized you absolutely got it right with them for the millionth time? I mean seriously, who else gets your quirky sense of humor and sideways movie/music references like your spouse?

I always tell him that I’d love to be married to me because I’m awesome (jokingly of course… mostly) but truth is I’m very lucky. Do not get it twisted, he’s not perfect but he’s pretty wonderful as a husband and a dad. He’s also the romantic in the relationship. I’m usually the one who struggles to pick a present or choose somewhere to go, he on the other hand seems to have some endless source of awesome surprises at hand. I’m the practical one (to a fault in many cases) and he’s the dreamer.

I feel like while we may have that a bit backwards, we also just…work. In lieu of all that lovey-dovey mush, I’m once again admitting I’m terrible with presents and have been told by the Moose that he didn’t want anything for this past birthday nor does he want anything specific for Father’s Day because we will be out of the county but I can’t help feeling I’d like to do something for him with Lil Bit of course. Any good ideas out there?

Countdown

As I write this we are 8 days out from our very first trip “across the pond” I have had some serious education on travel packing and I hope it’s worth its salt. 
The Moose is the researcher and vacation is the one aspect of my life I try not to be a control freak over. I’m not sure if my hubby is that awesome at vacation planning or if I’m in that much of need of a vacation by the time I get one…

I’ll  tell you what we bought and will put the links in only if it ends up working well because no one is paying me anything or giving me anything for free so I don’t want to advertise for something if I don’t love it and find it worthwhile. Something I am totally in love with however that the Moose bought are these backpacks by Osprey and unless they disintegrate (they have a warranty if they do) I can only foresee us using them regularly for trips. 


I also packed a rather large and softish purse full of fun things and my makeup. I love that I can carry the backpack with the shoulder strap, the side handle or as a backpack. We did the whole packing cube thing and I’m glad because I like them for OCD and squeezing purposes if for nothing else.

 


I’m most nervous about flying with Lil Bit because she’s 4 and the international flight is overnight. If I can get her to sleep then I will sleep otherwise this mama bear will be exactly that by the time we land.

We are loading the tablets up with games and a couple of Disney movies that we love, taking a Nintendo and coloring books and as many snacks as they will let me bring. 

I’ll post more once I find out if any of this is worth it! Lol. 

My Kid Says the Darndest Things 2015 Round 1

Lil Bit offered another round of musings this week so far.

LB: Mommy, Daddy needs to get a shower, he is stinky from working at gym.
Me: He sure does, doesn’t he.
LB: Mommy, Daddy needs to wash his butt and his peanuts too.
Me: Umm, yes, did you say peanuts?
LB: Daddy has peanuts cause he is a boy. Me and you we are girls, we have ‘ginas.
Me (struggling to keep a straight face): Umm, yes baby yes, that’s exactly right…

Let her keep calling them peanuts, completely fine with me. Anyway, that’s what I get for being in the medical profession and trying to explain things in anatomical terms….
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Tonight while washing dishes

LB:Mommy?
Me: Yes baby girl?
LB: I was borned in your tummy!
Me: That’s right baby you were born from my tummy.
LB: And, and you was borned in GiGi’s tummy!
Me: That’s right! I sure was.
LB: You were old when you were born mommy.
Me: Umm… (muttering) That’s what your Gigi and your Nana says anyway.
LB: When I was big like you and you were little like me I changed your diapers.
Me: ???Ummm, no I don’t think so baby girl.
LB (completely ignoring me and with certainty): Yup, I did.

Ok then.

The Night Top Gear Tried to Kill Me

BONUS POST! (I couldn’t find this post that I had started yesterday but now, here you go! Enjoy laughing at me, or with me, either way…)

So the other night, lying in bed, my husband and I are watching the newest episode of Top Gear where my three favorite goobers are attempting to make ambulances more efficient, faster and apparently more deadly when I literally laughed so hard at them that I had a bronchospasm and ended up requiring a breathing treatment with albuterol. I shit you not (one of the most dumb but stereotypical southern phrases this empress could think of). Somewhere between James May loosing his patient and Richard Hammond firing his into the pretend “ER” my husband was doing that crying-laughing bit and I was already cracked up by the show AND laughing so hard at him that I literally was almost killed by laughter. Well this is over-exaggerating a bit but I did get into bad shape. Totally worth it though…has to be one of my favorite episodes at this point and we’ve seen them all…even pre-Hamster and Captain Slow episodes.

I know in my blog description I forgot to mention my slight obsession with BBC television and my general annoyance at much of American TV. That’s another rant for another day (but seriously Honey Boo Boo and Little Women LA? WTF ‘Murica? Same land of Jane Russell and Gene Kelly?) Hopefully we will head to Western Europe (and more specifically the UK although that is up in the air) by next year, as that is what the hubster and I are wanting to do before Lil Bit starts school and we want to take my sister with us for her graduation gift…and on that bombshell I must really say good night.