Everyday when I am loading and unloading my dishwasher (okay, so maybe everyday is something to aspire to . . .) I think of how dreadful it was to have to hand wash a “family’s” worth of daily dishes when I was growing up and well into adulthood. I feel so blessed to have a new-ish home and an even newer dishwasher.
A few years ago, when we were brand-spanking new, first-time homeowners, my husband sort of insisted that we start out with new appliances in our kitchen. I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea of a big frivolous purchase like this, but he really insisted on having matching stainless steel appliances. I guess this is how we balance each other out, because if I didn’t have a dishwasher now, I probably never would unless my home came with one. I can’t help this frugal streak that I have when it comes to what I deem to be extravagance. I have always been the type to hang on to things like cars and televisions until they are no longer in working order.
Back to the dishwasher . . . my secret-lover. I am totally head-over-heels in love with my dishwasher, it’s a Maytag and it looks so sleek and shiny with its hidden-away (I think it’s called “Integrated”) buttons.
Every time I load it up I think of my good-fortune in finding my husband (who happens to be my not-so-secret lover) and his flashy streak. He is totally lost in the kitchen, but he knows very well that the kitchen is my domain, and where I am most comfortable. I’ll tell you what, thanks to him, my kitchen is fully loaded as far as this simple girl is concerned. I’m pretty sure that the dishwasher isn’t extra-extra fancy (or expensive), but I have a tendency to really test its limits in dried-on-lasagna and hideous-pots-and-pans clean-up. I must admit, it’s actually fun for me to wait in anticipation through the High Temp Wash, Heavy Soil, Sanitize, then Heated Dry cycles to see the beautiful, clean kitchen ware that awaits.
Since I’m taking on a very “review” like post today, I might as well mention some
It’s a bit tricky getting used to pressing the buttons because they are on the part of the door that is parallel to the counter top and are totally hidden when the door is closed. In all actuality, I wouldn’t really consider this to be a con because the absence of anything on the door of the unit other than the handle is what makes it so sleek and pretty. With time, I got used to the buttons and now it’s no big deal at all. I just have to be sure to press the buttons before closing the door so that I am not blindly pressing low-profile buttons and simultaneously losing my mind.
Just in case you’d like to spontaneously purchase a Brand-New Dishwasher while also helping a Stay-At-Home-Mom keep her day job . . .
The other day my husband declared, “I am not my job, it’s just something I do.” I found this statement to be very profound, almost like a “breakthrough” sort of moment. It was a rough year for me because he was blessed with a ton of opportunities for working overtime. This was very good for our bank account. Not so good for our relationship. When he does have time off with us I pretty much lose it if he spends any off-time doing anything “work” related. Nevertheless, I thought to myself, “I need to adopt this ‘I’m not my job’ attitude about my job too.” Then I woke up. HELLO?!?! YOU ARE A STAY AT HOME MOM – YOU AND YOUR JOB ARE ONE IN THE SAME!
I am in no way taking anything away from my darling husband, it’s just that he and I live such different lives now. I will never forget how in the throes of my first bout of Post Partum Depression I felt like I was mourning the loss of our love, our connection and our (at the time) 12 year long relationship. Now, I sort of have it together (did I just say that?) and I ADORE my beautiful children. They are my heart’s delight now and forever. I am beyond grateful to be a part of this amazing aspect of womanhood and even more grateful for these funny little people that God has graced me with.
A big part of me wants time for myself, a break or what have you, but in all honesty, I don’t want to miss a second of all this. Whine and moan as I might, I still am very aware of the fact that I will never get my babies back as they are on this day. So for now, I accept the fact that being a mommy at home means that I do not get a day off (very often) and I am on call 24/7 . . . and for this I am very grateful.
There is a cute, happy little girl in my 5-year old daughter’s dance class who was recently diagnosed with Diabetes. While waiting for my daughter during her last class I struck up a great conversation with the little girl’s father. I couldn’t help but talk to him about the fact that he had a service dog in tow. Apparently, this beautiful, male golden retriever is trained to assist diabetics in day-to-day living. I found the whole prospect of a dog being trained to detect the blood sugar levels of its owner absolutely amazing.
When my little lady was done with her class I couldn’t help but introduce her to the dog and take full advantage of a possible “teachable moment.” On the way home from dance I proceeded to explain to her that some children are born with illnesses of all sorts and still remain happy – just as her little friend had – and can live very “normal” lives. She was totally overcome with emotion at the fact that her little friend had to endure the pain of a shot of insulin everyday. My intention was most certainly not to upset her. She feared for her little brother’s health as well as her own, then explained that she didn’t know why, but she couldn’t stop herself from having to cry. I reassured her of all of our medical situations and instructed her to close her eyes and relax. I then turned up the volume on the radio and quietly patted myself on the back.
What I need is a holiday re-do, a Mulligan . . . a do-over. Even now, three weeks after Christmas and all of its glory, I can’t seem to pull myself out of the funk. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, was definitely as meaningful as always, the problem was everything else. Having said that, I give you a top ten list of a different variety, based on my current 2011 Holiday Hangover. Here, dear friends, are my top ten list of ways to have a challenging Christmas/Holiday Break:
The flu. Yikes. This unwelcome holiday guest began with my 5-year old daughter, worked its way over to me, then finally infected my (then – see #3 of list) 2-year old son. My daughter undoubtedly brought the little sick bug to us from school (kinda like a terrible
Christmas Break going away gift from her school mates). I slept in her bed with her while she was in misery, which obviously moved the germs to me. I tried my best to stay away from my little guy, but he is a really intense, affection little man. I felt as though he was slightly jealous of his sister getting all of the mommy time, so he kept planting his juicy little lips on mine in a silent, sudden, ninja-like fashion. Next stop, a 2-year old little boy with the flu. Enough said.
Mid-November I caught a cold, and it lingered. It entered my chest and combined with my seasonal allergies. From there, it quickly moved into my sinuses, left Eustachian tube and right back down my throat in the form of a constant, painful post-nasal drip. Even with all of this messy, slimy mucous, I am a super-mom! I am woman! I overcame it all! I visited the doctor on more than one
occasion for ear pain (actually face and jaw pain) to no avail really. I was instructed to sleep on my back, avoid sugar, salt, take hot showers, massage behind the painful ear, drink warm liquids, avoid cold liquids and finally avoid dairy. The only truly informative portion of my doctor visits was this new diagnosis of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD). ETD is basically a build-up of mucous of the little tube that helps keep wax from entering your throat and helps keep mucous out of your ears (ew!). Apparently these little tubes are shaped like tiny, narrow hourglasses and get blocked quite easily. To make a long story short, the constant drip in my throat left my irritated, painful, tonsils open for strep and a mean case of tonsillitis. Bring on the antibiotics!
I literally cried while driving myself home from Urgent Care at 10:00 pm after waiting 3 hours to see a doctor.
After the flu my daughter never quite got rid of the low-grade fever. Her Pediatrician decided that the low-grade fever was a result of the beginning of an ear infection and prescribed the powerful antibiotic, Zithromax (Azythromycin) to quickly and effectively treat the bacterial infection before Christmas. Great, we were finally on our way to recovery . . . or so I thought. We made it to my hubby’s annual family Christmas Eve party, however my daughter was “fever-less,” but miserable. At about 11:30 pm I gave her a last dose of Tylenol before it was time to come back home. When I took a closer look at her, I noticed that she was covered in small, red bumps and her joints seemed swollen. Urgent. Care.
Fast forward to a dose of Benadryl and a new penicillin allergy. Thankfully, the on-duty doctor thought that her supposed “ear-infection” had cleared up and that she was no longer in need of antibiotics. Needless to say, at 2:00 am, my husband and I were setting out cookies and milk and filling stockings . . . oh and my son also had his turn with a post respiratory infection, ear infection.
4. Money Troubles
I am a stay-at-home mom, so we are one of those rare oddities known as a single-income family. Need I say more?
5. A Birthday!
My poor little guy. I officially became ill on my son’s 3rd birthday, which happens to be on the eve of New Year’s Eve. Talk about Mom Guilt! Thankfully, my in-laws (ALL!) came over for pizza, cake and ice cream, then fed themselves and cleaned up. I basically stayed in bed the whole time. About 3 days later, the birthday boy caught the flu. Tag! You’re it!
6. Lack of Sleep
I think you, my dear readers, can probably guess how I ended up delirious from lack of sleep. I am being completely honest when I say that I am still in a fog.
7. Unpredictable Work Schedules
It’s really feast or famine when it comes to my husband’s overtime work schedule. When work becomes more demanding, he earns overtime pay, which is great, but it is always at the most inopportune of times. I am grateful that my husband has a great job that he loves, and we certainly need all of the overtime pay we can get. I could have used another adult though, just saying.
2011 was the first year that I chose not to do my usual early Christmas shopping and wrapping. Ah yes, timing is everything and hind-sight is always 20/20 and better to finish today what we put off for tomorrow, et cetera and yada-yada. I was doing a sick, mad-dash to hunt for gifts and wrap them. Never. Again. That is all.
9. No Time for Church
I was raised “barely, basically catholic”. Meaning that I was baptized, but hardly attended church and certainly never made it to the other required sacraments. I try to be, and am, much more catholic than that. As a young-adult I completed my sacraments, and yet I consider myself “mostly catholic” because it’s so darned difficult to get to mass these days. I should make it a priority and I know I
tend to blaspheme in wishing that the sabbath didn’t fall on the weekend. Nonetheless, I could have used the love, unity and presence of God that I get from attending mass. My upbringing denies me most of the typical “Catholic-guilt“, while the “mostly catholic” adult that I am, tells me that I don’t need to go to church to gain god’s presence. Either way, mass probably would have helped all of us keep the “Christ in Christmas,” as they say.
10. A Very Messy House
Holy domestic disaster, Batman! I couldn’t see the floor for at least a week.
So there you have it friends, “Ten Ways to a Challenging Christmas Break.” I forgot to mention the squabbles between my husband and I and between myself and my parents, but I digress. Things will improve if we could just make a teeny bit more money and I could clone myself while simultaneously gaining a couple more extremities.
I love Christmas. I love Christmas trees.
I don’t love that an innocent tree, a tree that has never hurt anyone or anything has to sacrifice its life to decorate my home.
Up until this year I had a small artificial tree that I have used all of my adult life. When I was a kid, my parents would pack my brothers and me into the truck and we would go pick a real Christmas tree as a family. We always did this at night, and almost always paid one of the guys to put the tree on our vehicle. Next, we would go home unload said tree and commence decorating, which always involved tinsel. Yuck. I know, tinsel probably conjures up sugar-plum fairy memories of childhood and such, but lets face it, it’s pretty darned messy stuff.
When I first moved out on my own, my future mother-in-law (I suppose that now she’s actually my present mother-in-law) gave me the artificial tree she had used for years. I was so excited to get this little tree and start my own traditions. I loved the Christmas traditions that I grew up with, but I felt like getting my own tree was a sort of right-of-passage into adulthood. I got married (to the little fake tree’s previous owner), got a dog, bore children and we bought our first home, all the while bringing the little tree along for the ride. I would guess that the tree was probably 20 years old at the end of it’s fake life.
Did I forget to mention that the tree was about 5-feet tall? Yep, 5-feet. When I was a child, our trees were always huge and real. My husband grew up with a small and fake one. I love him and I loved that tree anyway.
When we moved into our first REAL home in the fall a few years ago, I looked forward to decorating our new abode in all of it’s glory in anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Christ. We brought out the Christmas decor boxes that travelled with us from a 650 square-foot duplex that we were renting and I took the little, old tree out of it’s tattered, ragged, original, old cardboard box and assembled it. That was the last Christmas the little tree spent with us. We have 9-foot ceilings, so our tree became even smaller than it already was. It was now a joke of a tree as opposed to the sentimental little tree that had come so far.
I let the little tree experience Christmas in our new house with our daughter and brand new baby son, who decided to come a few days after the 25th. Then I donated that tiny little sucker (the tree, NOT my son) and we bought a new, fake tree, which broke when we tried to assemble it this year. Mr. New Modern fake tree lasted through 2 Christmas’. So, we ran out and bought a real tree, just for this year. The price tag said it was $29.00 and that it was 6 feet tall, but it was all wrapped up so we weren’t exactly sure. My deal-hungry hubby stood his 6-foot plus frame next to it and concluded that it was actually about 7-feet tall. My hubby tied it to the top of my SUV, loaded up the kiddies and we brought it home. When he snipped the wrapping, a massive, massive Douglas Fir popped out like an upside down umbrella. I think this tree has to be about 7-feet tall and 6-feet wide. Whoa! The smell! The needles! The majesty of a real christmas tree! Oh my!
Next Christmas we are going to go back to an artificial tree, but this one will be pre-lit. Ho-Ho-Ho!
Hey there. Nice to meet you. I invite you to join me as I embark on a journey of a lifetime.
I should probably warn you, my two young children will be coming with. Oh, and also my dog. Definitely, my husband, although he doesn’t know he’s coming, but he’s come this far, so I’m sure he’ll agree. He loves me and revels in my happiness. Let’s see, what else will I bring? Oh, I know, I will bring baggage, lots of baggage, but don’t worry I’ll sort through it all on the way, I might even forget about it!
You might be asking yourself; “where are we going?” Well, my friend, I’m not actually sure, I will know where I have been once I get there though.