Christmas, baby

The whole having-a-birthday-on-Christmas thing really isn’t that bad on the whole — really! — but the bit that I could truly do without is the mad dash I have to make every year to get ready for Christmas. I spend the two weeks before my birthday and the day of my birthday in this frantic state where I spend all my money and I spend all my time thinking of stuff to buy, stuff to make, then buying stuff, making stuff, wrapping stuff, transporting stuff, directing traffic and working longer hours to ensure smooth production on the holiday. It’s exhausting. And my actual birthday will be spent traveling to my parents’, cramming in as much family fun as possible in a few hours, and traveling back. Interstate 40 isn’t the most fun place to be on a regular day, you know, but I feel like I need to be there.

When you have a birthday on Christmas, you can’t just get your friends together to go out and toast your latest year on the planet. People’s time is reserved for family and nothing is open anyway. That’s the second worst part.

Other than those two things, it’s not so bad. Really.

This is the only family picture we have

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Big ups to the total stranger at the Opryland Hotel who offered to take it for us when he saw me running back and forth from the makeshift, brick-column perch I had made for my camera, which was snapping one picture every 10 seconds while people wandered into the shot without knowing.

I hope everyone has had a nice run of the holidays. I know I sure have. I am a lucky, lucky gal.

A lucky gal who is still not done Christmas shopping.

Thanksgiving in black and white

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Holden napped through dinner so we got to sit down and have a nice, quiet meal. I got a nice wine buzz, and the food was amazing as usual, since my man can cook like you wouldn’t believe. We had turkey that had been brined, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, macaroni, cranberry sauce, garlic potatoes. Mmm. I’m lucky. I’m grateful.

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My first Mother’s Day

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The day itself was forever ago but here in Ihardlypostistan, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to write something about it.

I got lots of lovely calls and texts from family and friends, and Samantha was sweet enough to send those beautiful lilies you see up there. They came all closed up but within days were all BAM BAM BAM! with their colors, making Mr. Kitty go insane with plant lust.

My boys got me a sweet mug and mouse pad featuring their smiling faces so I could see them while at work.

Perfect, all the way around!

Holiday holy lord

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Christmas at my parents’ was even more hectic and insane than I could have imagined. I was up at 5 but wanted Ray to get plenty of sleep since he’d taken the night shift, so we ended up not leaving until well after 10. I managed to get a shower and blow dry my hair — the latter of which is reserved for special occasions now — and get a non-pajama outfit on, but Holden decided after our final feeding of the morning to puke on my shoulder. No big whoop, I thought, and wiped it and him off. Except that he did it again, this time in my hair too, at which point I had to change shirts because for holidays I’ve always tried to have a one-puke limit on my clothes. And that was when I was single! (Rimshot.)

Anyway, we got to my parents’ after noon, and there was a huge spread of finger foods laid out (Ray was so grossed out by the term “finger foods” — is that a regional thing? I would feel like a phony calling them hors d’oeuvres). Holden was passed around quite a bit and Ray and I were on edge thanks to my parents’ idiot yipping dog that kept making like he was going to jump on the baby (that for some reason they wouldn’t put in the basement … grrr) but did fine except when he got hungry and wanted to nurse. It was loud — my family yell talks — and crazy and we were only there six or so hours but it made for a long, exhausting day. I didn’t even have a chance to eat any of my birthday cake, and no one got a picture of Ray, Holden, and me like I wanted. Bleh.

My sister made us a sweet DVD of photos of me and Ray as kids and of Holden. I asked her to send me the file so I can see if I can upload the little movie. It’s pretty cute. It made me cry. I am a sentimentality factory these days. Oh please, more like always.

Christmas is here

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I’m not sure how it got here so quickly but holy lord, it’s here and it’s going to steamroll us!

We’re taking Holden to my parents’ house on Christmas Day for the big family/birthday get-together. It’ll be his first real roadtrip and his first time meeting much of the family. I’m excited but a little apprehensive, mostly because it is going to be challenging keeping up our frequent nursing/napping schedule during all the commotion. But we’ll make do. We always do.

It’s pretty wonderful to have Christmas Eve and Day off work, plus lots of time before and after. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

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Thanksgiving

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Our first Thanksgiving. Holden donned his fanciest tuxedo onesie and napped while the grown-ups feasted: turkey, mac ‘n’ cheese, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beans ‘n’ bacon, sparkling grape juice we used to toast our new family. Then it was football and naps and lazy Sundaylike thoughts. Low key. Lovely.

In which Granny remembers what Halloween was like in the good ol’ days

I hate to break down and have a “back in my day” rant over something so trivial, but I am pissed.

Adults are ruining Halloween. Don’t even get me started on the idiotic “sexy X” costumes that have pretty much taken over the pre-fab options for women. Of course, I’m annoyed that every costume is pre-fab anyway. What ever happened to making your own damn costume? Or doing something you can’t just buy in a bag? Grumble.

No, I will not get started on that.

What I WILL get started on is this apparently new idea (it happened last year at my house too) that you can be a grown-ass person and just traipse around a neighborhood in your regular clothes and shove a Walgreens sack in people’s doorways and they will give you candy. Old-ass adults do it. Closer-to-20-than-13 teenagers do it. Some adults at least have the decency to drag their kids around and the kids ask for candy first and THEN the adults hold their bags out. Shit, I had a group of teenage girls just open their purses at me and chant, “See ya next year!” as they sauntered away. They didn’t even bother with the plastic bag. And one group of teen boys came up and before I could give them anything, shoved their giant boy hands into the bowl and started shoving fistful after fistful of candy into their plastic bags. I had to actually tell them to slow down and take it easy, that they were wiping me out. I closed the door and heard someone raising hell and moaning that he didn’t get anything. This kid had to be 15 or 16. He was mad. I opened the door back up and gave him some Smarties (not the Kit Kats) and he didn’t say thanks or fuck you or anything.

It sucks. You want some candy? Fucking go to Kroger and buy your own bag, just like I did. The people who come to my door to take candy from me are not dirt poor folks, hoping for a sugar fix just to survive. Many of them had children wearing sneakers worth more than my own shitty slip-ons. I kind of hesitate to even write about this because I know I am going to sound like an entitled prick for even bringing it up, but it bugs me. Like Ray told me, he grew up dirt poor but his mom knew that on Halloween, if you couldn’t afford anything else, you at least threw a ratty sheet over your head and called yourself a ghost. The point is the silly make-believe, not the fucking candy. I had wondered last year why hardly anyone else on my street turned on their porch lights on Halloween, and why I was the only one with a jack-o-lantern on the stoop. Now I know it’s because the hassle of dealing with grown-ass jerks far outweighs the half dozen or so actual costumed kids who are having fun being silly and going around the neighborhood in costume.