Thursday, December 30, 2010

A following?

Even though my blog home page tells me I have no followers, which in a world of millions of connected people really does define seems I have anxious readers anticipating my take on the holidays. The holidays which were really a let down this year...

Besides being totally sick and not wanting to even get out of bed for Christmas, I got Aiden sick too. Fortuantely it didn't seem to slow him down much and now we have such an overload of toys I wonder how I was ever worried that he would "have enough." I was really ready for Christmas to end this year, next year I may very well hole up at home and tell everyone I have gone on vacation.

The biggest let down was my own fault though. On Christmas Eve I had convinced myself I was ready to visit my grandparents and that I would do so on Christmas day. But for whatever reason I couldnt go through with it, I am starting to think I will never be ready to face all of it - maybe it's better to just pretend they are taking one of the vacations they never got to take...

Anyway...some holiday cheer!

And some birthday celebrating :)

I cannot believe how fast the last two years have gone by, especially considering how often things seemed to have just dragged on. More recently I have been struggling to deal with the terrible twos and for whatever reason I've been feeling alone the way I did when Aiden was very small - like there is no one to tell you what to do or to point you in the right direction or to give you a break every now and then - of course I know this is simply parenting, it's only the hardest thing you'll ever do...I've had more "up all nights" that most (no one clued me in on sleep training), I've had pbj, marinara, choo choo trains all stuck in my hair, I've been hit in the face by little hands, little feet, books, Buzz Lightyear, and the occasional shoe has been thrown out the car window.

I have never loved someone so much, so wholeheartedly, so unconditionally, in all my life. There is nothing I wouldn't give to make this little boy's dreams come true, to teach him wrong from right, to give him the tools to be independent and successful and true to himself and flexible to what life brings. I know all parents must feel this way, but I know they must also know what it is to be sure no one else in the world can imagine it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heartsick Holidays

I guess the cookie baking was just the beginning. Everyday that Christmas gets closer I miss my grandparents more and more. I remember one year that they came over to open presents with me at 2 in the morning because I had to work Christmas day and they didn't want me to open presents without them.

And now I feel as though the only grandparent I have left kind of wishes I wouldn't even come to Christmas.

I guess it just goes to remind you, be thankful for everything you have even if it doesn't seem like a lot...because this time next year, everything could be totally different or even totally gone. Hold close those you love and tell them every day what they mean to you. Keep all of your old photographs and look at them often, even when it hurts. Be honest with yourself if even with no one else because eventually we all have challenges to face alone and you're going to need to trust yourself when the time comes. When someone ruins the plans they didn't know you had - take a deep breath, make a new plan. Even if you're relationships are complicated and messy with them, never give up on your family. Remember, just because someone else does things different than you do, it doesn't mean your way is wrong, especially if you can smile while you do it.

Here's hoping for a happier new year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Christmas Traditions

And he definitely likes it better in his mouth than on his hands - he was not sure about making cut-out sugar cookies (my fav! mmmm homemade frosting?? YES PLEASE!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Once A Judd-Head - Always A Judd-Head

Before we could even read, my sister and I knew every word to every Judd's song - really. There is a story we love to tell and to hear about when we went to see Wynonna around the ages of 4 and 5 and we were dancing and singing the whole time. There was a woman sitting near us who had more fun watching my sister and I sing than she did watching the concert...Well the woman sitting in front of us at the farewell concert on Wednesday, was not that woman.

Of course, I was on my feet and singing and dancing from the first note to the last. Well about 3 songs in, the woman in front of Bre and I turned to tell us that even though we were having fun, we were ruining her life so we should sit down and shut up. If you know me at all, you know I don't shut up, and when you tell me to do so, I am inevitably going to get louder...Bre and I screamed into hear "hearing-aid range" all night long, seriously b*tch - who goes to a concert to take a nap?? At one point we even tried to recruit the drunk guy one section over who spent the whole night shouting "I love you Namoi!!!!" to come sit with us :)

The Judds tell the story of my childhood. Every memory worth note in my childhood can directly be traced to one of their songs. When mommy left it was, "Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days, when the lines between right and wrong didn't seem so hazy...did lovers really fall in love to stay? And stand beside each other come what may? Was a promise really something people kept, and not just something they would say? Did families really bow their heads to pray? Did daddys really never go away?"

When things got hard for Mom, I remember her telling me, "You can never get lost if your heart has wings" which is now one of Aiden's lullabies, "If I get lost while I'm chasing my dreams, I'll find my way cause my heart has wings and I can still feel all of that love from here."

I got extremely emotional when they did "How great thou art" - a song my grandpa requested last summer for his own funeral. And equally emotional when they did "Only Love."

And it made my night to hear, "Rock Bottom" one of my personal anthems: when you hit rock bottom you've got two ways to go, straight up and sideways, I have seen my share of hard times and I'm letting you know, straight up is my way...when you get down to nothing you've got nothing to lose.

I have had some awesome concert experiences this year, I don't know how I will ever be so fortunate in the future, but to say the least I think it goes to show - I pick good shit :P

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanks Again!

I don't believe that family is something you are born with. Please don't mistake me, I love my parents, sister and extended family (no matter how complicated some of those relationships may be). But my family runs a little deeper than blood. The holidays are a special time for "my family" because we are all in town and close to each other - me and the girls. The one place I am not outnumbered is with the girls. And this past weekend we continued a tradition which has waivered in recent years due to busy schedules, midterms, a pregnancy, etc. My family and I celebrated Thanksgiving - of course not on Thanksgiving because as I have been reminded tirelessly by grocery store clerks and family friends - Turkey Day was over a week ago.
For our Thanksgiving, we of course go all out and do a bird (this year it was edible), stuffing, casseroles, and on and on...and then there is mandatory family time following. No football, no food coma naps -- instead, games! Boy are we a competitive bunch!! There is plenty of shouting to be had with apples to apples but if you can walk away from a game of Pit with us and still have your are a rock star.

After we cleared out the table for 16, we played games for hours. On the floor at the table, taking turns yelling and screaming and laughing. As things got heated with Pit, Aiden got grumpy so he went to bed a little early - of course who could sleep with a game of Pit in the next room? Well this little boy can, and look where he chose to finally crash...
Aiden is too tired for his bed!
After the gang cleared out it was time to study for finals - thank God I finished that Jewish American Lit paper before dinner ;) because yesterday and today have been non-stop cramming and I think my head might explode if I have to look at anymore homework anytime soon! As stressful as it's been - I have had plenty of time to play too! Saturday night was the Mammoth's first (only?) preseason game and of course we were on the glass to watch them get beat up and beat out...
Boooooo Toronto!
Unfortuantely the Mammoth haven't won a home game in a while, but a Mammoth fan never says die! And we hung out to the last second to watch the fights - they get nasty when the team realizes they have nothing to lose. While I was at the game, I ran into one of my teachers from high school. He had had such a huge impact on me, it was nice to see him and chat and to have him remember me. The first thing he said was "So, have you written a book yet kid?" and he was my history teacher! I was so happy to talk with him and to be reminded of everything I loved back then and to remember how it felt to be pushed and to have things expected of me. Today it seems like I am the only one nagging at me and expecting great things.

Anyway, things are slowing down now - tonight I get to start some Christmas projects - stay tuned for progress :) Finally! Winter break, like a good friend I haven't seen in a while, I'm so happy we are getting reaquainted. 
Nik, Elise, and Grant join us for the 1st time for Family Thanksgiving

Aiden getting tickled by his Godfather

Friday, December 3, 2010

I think, therefore IB, therefore I procrastinate

Incase you hadn't noticed, it's Friday - Friday night actually...I hadn't noticed either so don't feel bad. This week has been one to-do list after another and I am only keeping track of the date based on the Starbucks receipts piling up in my glovebox.

That Jewish American Lit paper? Still unfinished - there must be something in the way I email my professor that screams, "Help! Lost! What do I write?!" because she keeps offering >unsolicited< extensions. The online class was supposed to be finished on the 24th of November which really would have been an amazing feat I will give her that much, but then I got until the end of the I let it go another couple days, and now she says "Don't send it until Sunday - I won't have time to read it until then." Love this professor - hate that I can't just sit and write a good paper with all this extra time I have been given, I owe her that much. But what I have so far is sloppy and muddled and even though I am supposed to underline my thesis for her - I might very conveniently forget to do so because I'm not sure there's one worth note somewhere in there with all the BS....

So since I am not doing my homework, there are some other things getting done around the house...

Aiden's tree is up, lights and ornaments - 3 of which have been picked up off the floor already as Dexter believes the tree is the greatest playground ever after a pinch of catnip. The majority of our ornaments are of the "Baby's 1st Christmas" theme - even though this will be Aiden's second, but these are the only ornaments in our collection so far so that's what we're working with...
And yes...that's The Polar Express playing on tv - we watched it twice tonight, and it really is not a short one, but there are no complaints here because it is the first movie to totally captivate Aiden with a train not named Thomas in a looooong time, thank you ABC Family.

Aiden also got some quality time in with Aunt KiKi tonight - you can't tell but she's giving him a bath and he is trying to explain to her where the bubbles come from. After his bath he watched 16 and Pregnant with us girls - our guilty pleasure - and he was having the best time giving out kisses. For nearly the whole hour-long show, he rotated between us girls giving big wet smooches, priceless.

After a late dinner, the crew sits in front of me drawing up posters for their garage sale tomorrow. All week I've been thinking, "Garage sale in December?" -- but if you were anywhere near Denver today, you know that it was peculiarly hopefully global warming helps the guys out one more day and they make enough to fund our next trip to Vegas by tomorrow afternoon. Dream big, I know.

Thanks for dinner Elise! Kane is very appreciative and will likely fart all night after enjoying Aiden's helping.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and crash...

Welp, last night was supposed to my first adventure into the blog-o-sphere, but after the Bubba was bathed and in bed, the thesis on generational views of politics in Jewish-American Lit was established, and my teeth were brushed - my computer crashed.

Yep, my brand new (well okay 5 month old) 900$ Toshiba - which I had optimized and anti-virused before even allowing it to come home mind you - was making some very special sound effects reminding me quite perfectly of Harry Potter being chased by Death Eaters on his 17th birthday. Lots of "bang" and "crash" and even some melodramatic "dun-dun-dun"'s. I was tempted to wave a chopstick at it and scream Stupefy!

Thank God for my Dad the closet computer engineer who came over at 11:30 last night to help save the life of one infant Toshiba. He also managed to unclog the sink and spot what looks like a quarter stuck in the garbage disposal...Steve fished a while for the elusive quarter which I imagine will at some point show up looking rather polished - but alas it never came out. The sink continues to drain and the disposal continues to dispose as of this morning though so I will consider it taken care of.

Anyway, after all the goings on last night, especially with the computer, I was too tired and definitely more focused on that Jewish Lit thesis anyway so the blog arrives freshly pressed and ready to read this morning from the office which is eerily sunny and warm for a December day in Boulder. There are no complaints here though, the sun pouring through the window has me just about ready to curl up for a cat-nap on the floor. If only I didn't think I might lose my job for it, I would keep a pillow and blanket tucked under my desk for such  occasions.

So for today I am working, trying to get through the day so I can get home to Bubba and the ever-growing pile of homework that will lead me to winter break in one week. I keep telling myself that things will be better and less stress full and maybe even right-side-up in just one week's time when school is over for the semester. 

I try to remind myself daily now how close I am to graduating - there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a degree and then a marriage and then another baby and then a life or something that resembles a life. Just hold on.