Friday, December 30, 2011

Peeking Around The Corner

I refuse to participate in Resolutions, mostly because I know I'll either forget about them by January 2nd or won't care by January 3rd.  I have bigger fish to fry right now than whether or not I'll limit dessert to 1x/week (HAHAHAHAHA) or...well, I can't think of anything else. I'm so lame.

Nonetheless, I can hear the rumblings of 2012 on the other side of my little world and, as much as I would like, I can't run away fast enough.  Instead, I'm choosing to squoosh my back against the wall of my life and taking quick peeks around the corner to see how much longer I have until the inevitable happens and I'm full-body-smacked with a new year.

And since I can't escape, I may as well put my purse down and man-up, and at least reflect on whether or not I should try to do something more than exist by successfully getting through the day without causing too much permanent harm.

Three minutes of reflection later, I came to the conclusion that I should work on my grumpiness this year - as in to be less grumpy.   One of my main battles is that I kind of like to be grumpy.  It feels comfortable to me and I come by it honestly as I have a long line of curmudgeonly ancestors to genetically inspire me and I have been a most excellent student at the craft.

What inspired me to this?  A true story that goes like this:

One day, a wife noticed a storm was brewing in the house and she decided she was not only going to nip it in the bud (even though the urge to feed into it was so strong), but also make the day cheerier and filled with rainbows and bunnies and lollipops.  Because it was THE HOLIDAYS, for crying out loud.   So what did the wife do?  She forced herself to smile - that really perky kind of smile that the really, truly, sweet people walk around with - and her husband said "What are you doing?".  No lie. "I'm smiling" said the wife.  "Why?" replied the husband. "Because it's almost Christmas and I'm going make sure everyone is HAPPY!".

The day did get a little bit merrier and bright, but the wife realized that perhaps she needed to occasionally alter her countenance a smidge so she wouldn't startle anyone if she decided to share a grin ever again.

And that is what's going to happen.  I'm going to fight my nature and be in a less crappy mood. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Harrier

Ainsley's school has held a Turkey Trot for the last 12 years and, if you know me, you know I love it.  I've been fired up for this event ever since I found out about it and wish, wish, wish I could have helped out.  I just know my easy temperament would have made me the darling of the planning team.  In retrospect, it's probably best I didn't want to shell out some coin for babysitting so I could help hand out water bottles. Things would have gotten serious.

Anyway, every student participates and they spend some time in PE training for their big run. I made the mistake of calling it a "race" one time and was corrected.

"Mommy.  It is a Run.  Not a Race.  We are supposed to keep a steady pace so we don't get too tired and have to stop."

Okay, okay.  Fine. I have many years to brainwash my oldest into wanting to show the rest of the school how it's done.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I showed up to cheer her on and was floored by what had been prepared.  Every student had a race number, the roads (yes, they ran around the neighborhood where the school is located) were blocked by police cars, parent volunteers were everywhere along the course, there was a finish line chute, and bottled water and bananas had been donated by one of the local grocery stores for the athletes who, I'm certain, would be so exhausted from their 1/4 mile (for the first and second graders) and 1/2 mile (for the rest) respective runs.

The starting line. I was dying because they still had about 5 minutes until the PE teacher started the race and a couple kids held their starting stance the entire time.  Classic.

Ainsley isn't in this picture, but I still love it.  The kids are all so excited and serious and that's the way it's supposed to be.  It was so sweet to see every single kid having a great time while they're running.  I wish I had video because right after I took this picture a boy lost a shoe.  Of course.  So visualize a little kid running against the tide to retrieve lost shoe, then bending down to put it back on while 100+ kids ran past.  I thought for sure there would be a pile-up of some sort, but miraculously no one got seriously injured.

And my girl?  Well I got a little teary watching her run past, so stinkin' cute in her race number, the biggest smile ever, keeping a steady pace, just as she had been told.  Her very first road run.

The finish.  Check out that form.  Relaxed, perfect arm swing and hand placement.  Steady as she goes and she remembered to do exactly as she was told. A coach's dream.

The first of many ribbons, because of COURSE she'll run cross-country.

Are You Seriously?!?!?!

I hear myself, my words, come from my children more often than I would like.  The triplets, in particular, are known for parroting me more than Ainsley and Johnny more than any of them.

But tonight?  Lizzy strung together, without a breath, this string of my little isms for no reason other than for her own entertainment:

Oh my goodness!

Oh my stars!

Are you kidding me?

Are you seriously?!?!? (This last is her interpretation.)

This, from the girl who wears three pair of underwear at the same time because "they're my favorites".  Duh. 

I love this girl.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

There are several Christmas-season songs I can't handle and the Amy Grant version of "Rockin'" is one of them (the Top 3 including "Little Drummer Boy" and "Santa Baby"). 

But that is not the point.  The POINT is that we purchased our tree much later than usual and the kids were starting to freak out.  Who am I kidding?  I was starting to freak out.  I barely decorate for Christmas, mostly because I'm too lazy and I hate having to undecorate from Christmas.  So I don't.  But the tree.  The Tree!  There must be a Christmas tree because just having the Nativity set out all by itself seems so...lonely.

The first weekend of December was consumed with family stuff, John was out of town the second weekend, and this past weekend was going to be crazy, what with Annie's first birthday (oh, I feel a little ill thinking about my baby getting older) and all.  So John decided to leave work a bit early on Tuesday to get a tree.  He and three of the kids drove off in the rain and returned not 40 minutes later with a beaut. 

Were we all excited? Yes!  So excited we (kidlets) decided to do a Christmas tree dance?  Yes!  John brought the tree in, set it in the tree stand, left to do...something...and we heard war whoops coming from the front.  My spazzy kids were doing laps around our Tannenbaum, chanting "Running around the Christmas tree" over and over and over again.

They're crazy.

We obviously released this guy from the netting and were impressed with ourselves by only taking four days to get it decorated.  I did say I was lazy, right?