Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm pretty sure I stepped on a thigh

Mike and I are gathering with friends for a pre-New Year's Eve bash - complete with two kids under 2 ft tall. I offered to make my amazing, stunning, much asked for lasagna (full disclosure: every other dish I make tends to come out burnt, which may explain why the lasagna is so popular). One problem: I didn't have the necessary ingredients.

"That's fine," I thought. "I'll go after my afternoon nap."

Ha! I couldn't have known that 2/3 of Richmonders had the same thought. My first clue should have been the lioness like cars who were stalking unsuspecting shoppers as they returned to their vehicles. The cars waited in a line until such a pedestrian was noticed, and then stealthily began following the shopper as he or she meandered various parking aisles. The cars then whipped around corners and screeched to a halt, flipped on their blinkers while they waited for their prey to disembark from this existence.

My second clue was the dearth of shopping carts inside the store. And then, finally, in case I had missed every other sign, the most obvious was the serpentine line that wound down various aisles as shoppers waited for an available cashier. Much mutterings and expletives were heard, including the oft-repeated phrase, "The line starts back there."

It took me 5 min. to gather my meager ingredients, and 25 min. to check out. In the rush to find the shortest line, I bumped into no less than 5 other shoppers and stepped on a toe (possibly a thigh; I can't be sure).

So my New Year's Resolution: next year, order pizza.

Thank God for high school boys

Sometimes being a stay at home mom (SAHM) is similar to being a single mom - except I get reprieve most evenings around 4:30 and on weekends. But during the day I have many errands and tasks that must be completed while also appeasing or herding a toddling toddler. If any other SAHMs can relate, I suggest we dub ourselves Professional Multi-Tasking Herders and create our own badges and slogan.

Anywho, today's obstacle challenge was to haul a 50-lb box into a post office for mailing while either dragging, carrying or luring a toddler to follow me. The luring worked up until I set her on the ground. Carrying might have worked had she been willing to sit on the box rather than lie on top of it. I didn't get to the dragging bit because like a knight on a white horse, a high school boy came to my rescue.

He had been in the truck parked near my car and watched as my follies unfolded. He gallantly exited his vehicle and offered to carry my parcel inside for me. What a guy!

Thus today's task was a success and I was able to move on to the next obstacle: herding my now fussy toddling toddler toward her pen ... I mean, crib.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas really is about

This was our first Christmas, really, as a family of 3. Last year Addie was just 3 months old when this festive holiday occurred, so her participation was limited to staring at the tree's twinkling lights. This year we took Addie on 2 tours of the Tacky Christmas Lights, introduced her to movie classics like "The Christmas Story," allowed her to sample Christmas cookies and watched with glee as she ripped into her gifts Christmas morning.

And yet the holiday felt empty.

Some of that hollowness can be attributed to the dearth of spiritual activities. We didn't attend nary a Christmas pageant nor Christmas Eve service. No caroling or singing of any Christmas hymns. No reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. Seemingly no focus at all on the meaning of this season - save for a toy nativity set that Addie received Christmas Eve, which she promptly shoved in her mouth.

So even with all the trappings of the holiday (commercial or otherwise), I still feel like the day came and went without much stirring in my heart. I didn't pause to rejoice at the thought of God becoming man. I didn't contemplate the awe felt by shepherds as they were visited by angels. Nor did I reflect on how Jesus' birth was the first step in His earthly life that would eventually lead to a cross on a hill.

I wish I could hit repeat and re-do this Christmas season because I feel like it passed by without me so much as glancing past the flashiness to see the humble manger.