happiness, mommyhood

Family Vacation

It’s family vacation time. If you have to pack for young children, this means your workload increases by a factor of ten. So, you can call it a ‘vacation’ if you want, but everyone knows if you are a stay-at-home-mom, your work comes with you and then some. Since you are not going to be in your normal setting, you have to work hard to pack for as many worst-case-kid-scenarios that your trunk space will allow. It’s a little overwhelming but you do your best. You do your best because in your heart you know that the most important part of the vacation will be the family part. That makes all the extra work worth it. I’m only saying this because my kids are over the age of two. If you would have asked me how I felt about family vacations when they were two and under; well, let’s just say, all bets are off. With time comes wisdom, and with age (meaning that of my children) comes a whole lot less of your house you need to pack up to have a great vacation. Regardless, vacations are fun; even if you have to work really hard for them.

Family vacation pic from a 2008 Disney trip

We are heading to Gatlinburg, TN to meet up with my sister and her family. I will try to post our adventures along the way. Be patient and know I am committed to daily posts (at least until my blog’s one-year anniversary) and will get them out when I am able. Thanks for your continued readership and I love each and every comment. Have a great day!

children, mommyhood

Valentine’s Distress

All you Moms out there with school-aged children have faced this challenge at one time or another. It’s all about getting your child ready to fully participate in whatever holiday festivities their school offers. For Valentine’s Day, it means getting cards and treats for all their classmates as well as teachers.

Sounds simple, right? It isn’t. I spent 45 minutes at Target stressing over what to get for each classroom. I wanted something quick, all-inclusive (meaning the candy or treat would somehow be attached to the card), and economical. I ended up buying TWO boxes of Spider-Man cards with pencils for Full Speed’s class. I couldn’t get away with one because there were only 16 per box and naturally, I needed 17. Naturally.

Full Speed’s class was easy. Little T.Puzzle’s class was in a league of its own.

Since I have a three year old who has/had a food allergy, I am leary about distributing any type of candy or treat that could have traces of tree nuts, eggs or whatever. I landed on the Toy Story box which included heart-shaped lollipops. I knew lollipops are pretty safe in terms of food allergies. I thought I was done. I wasn’t.

I also had to purchase some stand-by gifts. You all know I have been less than holiday minded due to my continued grief process of losing my Mom. Take Christmas for instance. I had some perfectly kind friends drop off presents for the boys and all I had to give in return was anxiety and disappointment. Then, once they left, I had to run to Target like a crazy woman and get them something. That did not feel good so I was proactive this holiday. I have a few small gifts set aside so I will not be empty-handed again. See, I’m telling you, holidays with school-aged kids are extremely involved.

As I pull away from Target and head toward the street turn to go home, I had a warning sound in my head go off. No, it wasn’t voices or hallucitory in nature, but it was more like a flash of unwanted knowledge that popped into my already overwrought head.

Don’t give three year old lollipops the thought warned. Of course. Why would I do that to T.Puzzle’s poor teachers? They would have to follow each student around closely monitoring their airways. It is simply impossible.

Instead of turning right, I veer left. I head across the highway and figure I will run in to Wal-Mart. Hopefully they will have the same Cars Valentine’s with the stick-on tattoos (very child-safe) that I just saw in Target. They do not. So, there I am again, faced with a wall of overwhelming options staring back at me. I ended up burning at least another 30 minutes there before I landed on Super-Hero Valentine’s and mini tubes of bubbles. Believe me, my head was pounding at this point.

I eventually take all my wares home, spread them across my dining room table and instead of feeling love like I assume one is suppose to feel on Valentine’s Day, I just felt dread. I needed to assemble everything, put pencils in place and tape the bubbles to others because we are headed out of town next week. I will be busy preparing for the trip over the weekend and want to have the Valentines ready to drop off at school before we leave. (This trip was canceled the next day by the way; so all my Valentine’s distress was for naught).

Two hours and several martinis later (I wish), I was done. Hallelujah!

Here is a tip. It’s legit, it’s not the martinis talking (I wish). This actually saves you time and teacher sanity. If your children attend school but are not old enough to read, just sign their names to each Valentine they intend to distribute. By putting individual names on each card, it makes it more difficult for the teachers. If there are no names, the kids can distribute the cards unassisted and everyone is happy. That is except for all the Moms stuck at home assembling the various trappings of Valentine’s Day for their children.

Thankfully, St. Patty’s Day is right around the corner. A day designated to celebrate hearty drinking. Finally a holiday I can fully get on board with.