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Friday, December 23, 2011

A {Team Santa} Sound Bytes of the Week

Merry Eve before Christmas Eve...I can't believe it's finally here. All the preparations, all the merriment, all the stress {gulp}. Ummm...yeah the stress can go, but the merriment can stay forever.

It sounds cheesy, but after last year's Bah Humbug Christmas, we are all Team Santa up in here for the next couple of days so I decided to show my support today.


If you haven't read my Christmas Wish story over at Gem's blog, you might want to take a might, just might make you a believer too. And if this story doesn't make you a believer, maybe knowing that all your thoughts, prayers and Christmas wishes helped bring my friend's daughter home for Christmas. Now that's a Christmas Miracle.

I haven't been this giddy about the holiday since I was a tiny thing. So, tomorrow {Christmas Eve} as I bake cookies with my mom, and watch The Muppets Christmas Carol with the boys I'll just take a deep breath and soak it all in. I might even grab a jar and run around in circles trying to capture some of this magical holiday spirit to hold on to for a rainy day.

Well, of course you are all waiting with bated breath for the LAST Sound Bytes of the year. Yep...I'm taking next week off from blogging {ok, famous last words}. But in all seriousness, after December 25 I'm not touching this thing till January 1. I know you will totally miss me right?

Anyway, I won't delay the inevitable any longer ... here they are 2011's FINAL SOUND BYTES OF THE WEEK!

3. "Just tell Santa it was my thinking tongue."
E has a tendency to stick out his tongue when he's mad, but he also does it when he's concentrating really hard. In this instance he was actually mad, but you know Santa...he's always watching. I'm sure E recieved two checks on the naughty list for this one. One for sticking out his tongue and one for lying...oh, E...

2. "Hi Woodchuck."
It took me a while to realize who E was talking to, until I saw this...


1. "Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!"
Ok...I know I swore on the blog...YIKES! But if you can name this Christmas movie you win the prize of the day. I'm sure we will watch it or most likely it will be on TNT sometime over the holiday. It's one of B2's favorites.

Here's to wishing you all the Magic and Joy of the Season,
and May your Christmas be Merry and Bright.

One last little bit of holiday cheer to share with you. This has been rocking my iPod since December 1. Hope you enjoy it, and make sure you "shake up some happiness" this year.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: Better than a Stranger

During the month of December I decided we should add some ROAKs {Random Acts of Kindness} to our Advent activities. And through the month we did…a couple…like buying the lady in front of me Starbucks and donating books the Children’s Hospital. I was going to pay the toll for the person behind me on our way to Chicago, but there was never anyone behind me {dang I-PASS}.

After these little “do good” acts I feel pretty accomplished, like I’ve done something to renew our hope in mankind. Then it happened. The one event that gives you a wake up call…

It all started with a trip to Wal-Mart after work, to pick up Hershey kisses for teacher gifts and some other odds and ends. As a friend said “that was your first mistake”. Shopping went seamlessly. I found what I needed and even bought some cute stuffed animals for the Children’s Hospital, and a $50 Wal-Mart gift card to share.

Feeling the rosy glow from my thoughtfulness, I walked in the door and greeted the kids with kisses and hugs. Said a quick “hello” to the hubs {who was busy wrapping gifts}, and began making dinner.

Just as quickly as the rosy glow came, just as quickly it left. In its place…crying, whining, teeth gritting, raised voices, hiding in bathrooms and just an overall sense of rage. Nice…

All I wanted was a quiet evening at home wrapping gifts and listening to Christmas carols.

Unfortunately, I decided to just be angry {not the best choice}. I wasn’t angry at anyone in particular. When asked what was wrong I gave the standard “I’m fine” response complete with gritted teeth and the deep sigh, which in turn made the hubs mad and frustrated. Wow, I can rock a bad night at home right?

There are moments when I wonder how he even finds it in his heart to love me, but he does. Even though I can be a big B sometimes {that’s Brat, not the other word of course}.

As I reiterated this story to a friend this morning it actually hit me, BLAMO right across the face.

Why am I so eager to be a “do gooder” for someone I don’t even know?

Why am I treating my family less than a stranger?

Ugh…yep there you have it the BPM of the day. It’s time to step it up folks, because my friends and family deserve better than a stranger. And it’s time I deliver.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A {Merry and Bright} Virtual Coffee

It's Tuesday which means two things ...

One. It's time for coffee, so I'll make the Starbucks run you just tell me what you want. And...


I'm FREAKING out people.

Ok, I exaggerate, but still, I'm a tad overwhelmed. Once I get all the wrapping done TONIGHT {yes TONIGHT} The freaking will be extinguished and ribbons and bows will be replaced with fireside reading of a "Night Before Christmas", PJ day in honor of our Advent calendar and cookie baking with my mom {insert giddy giggle here}.

How are you doing on your Holiday To Do list? Are you reveling in the holiday spirit?

I have to admit this year is a Magical one. With the fact that I'll FINALLY be spending it with my mom. It just brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.

This weekend the boys and I made the first trip down to Eldridge to visit my mom and stepdad, and it was weird. Like not bad weird, but just weird. There was no hurrying, no frantic pace. It was just an easy going do whatever visit, and this time when we said goodbye there weren't tears. Just "see you on Saturday." So WEIRD!

During our little visit, Mom busted out "the box". You know that box of photos, and odds and ends that your parents don't want to hold onto for you anymore, now that you have your own house. What a walk down memory lane....let's see there were at least twenty random photos of all my stepbrother's girlfriends {Ha}, and photos of me in 70's pants that I wish I still had. And of course my grandma's tea set. At that moment, I wished I had girls. Girls that I could dress up in hats and sit at a tiny table with their dolls and sip tea together. But alas, I have boys...crazy rowdy boys, so the tea set will be on display at the Retirement Community where I work so it will last another 30 years. What are some of your favorite keepsakes?

As for the remainder of our week? Well, we will count down to Christmas, and just chill. I'm not ready to let this warm fuzzy feeling go just yet, so this week can take it's sweet time. I still need to hear "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" on the radio, and tonight we drove around in our PJ's to look at Christmas lights...oh, the FUN! Bring it on!

Oh, and before we head to Amy's I need to ask a HUGE favor. If at all possible could you say prayer or send positive thoughts my friend's way. Her daughter is super sick and has been in the hospital for over a week now. They aren't exactly sure what's wrong and she may have to stay there through Christmas. We are hoping for a Christmas miracle at this point.

Now let's head over to Amy's because I hear she has some tasty holiday treats to go with our coffee.


May your Christmas be MERRY and  BRIGHT!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

A {Whirling, Twirling} Sound Bytes of the Week

Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone?

If not I don't blame you. I don't even know where I am right now. My life is a tad reminiscent of the tornado in the Wizard of OZ. It has been go, go, go since I returned from Chicago on Sunday. Oh, yeah I went to Chicago, I think I mentioned that in last week's Sound Bytes. 

My trip was fantastic, lots of shopping and eating, and meeting some bloggy friends {Hyacynth and Melissa} in person. 

There's always this angst of meeting a blogger in person, at least on my end. I worry that once people meet the "real me" they won't like what they see. However, I do have to say that {at least in my opinion} what you read is what you get. Although, I'm tad funnier in my writing than in person. 

Our visit was in a word - FANTASTIC and I left thinking "that wasn't enough time." B2 has family in Chi-town, and we are always going there for one thing or another, so I'm sure another visit with the girls will be forthcoming. 

I returned home to an immaculate house, which was quite a surprise I have to admit. All the laundry done and put away, dishes and kitchen cleaned and the whole house vacuumed. It was impressive, until Mr. Cocky started bragging about how he did it all this weekend, blah, blah, blah. And while I'm truly thankful for all the help, Dude I do this EVERY day on top of working full time, and making a "real" dinner every night. So while you get the gold star for the weekend, you're not winning this battle till I see it done EVERY day. I love you, but I'm just sayin'. 

Whew! Ok, got that off my chest. 

Now on to where things started to whirl, and turn into utter chaos.

I had the bright idea of taking Monday off to catch up on projects, get some "actual" shopping done and just chill with a cup of coffee and the blog...Ummm, yeah right. 

After my monthly breakfast with the boys, I had the hair-brained idea of heading to my parents new house to put up Christmas lights. I drove like the speed of light the 45 minutes to their new house, whipped up some haphazard garland and lights on the back deck, wrote this on their front step and dashed back to Iowa City in time for G's surprise appointment at the ENT. 

Turns out he STILL has a nasty ear infection. One that is impervious to the multitude of antibiotics that he has been on since his surgery a month ago. So we are trying different ones yet again, and...the best part we have to give him ear washes twice a day. Oh, joy. I'm surprised you all haven't heard his screaming. It's the worst. And he starts crying and saying "no, no, no" anytime he sees the bulb syringe.  I hope this works. Otherwise I think it's more surgery. UGH...not only did we receive all this glorious news, but it also took an hour and a half at the doctor's. Which meant by the time we were done my day had whirled right away from me without anything to show for it. Grrrr...

My week pretty much went the same way, as I had our HUGE holiday open house at work on Thursday. I even skipped Virtual Coffee this week, which I NEVER do. 

But FINALLY I think for the minute things have stopped whirling and swirling, and life is settling back into that comfortable hectic chaos. 

So, after my long-winded catch up let's get to the Sound Bytes of the week. These are some good ones. 

3. "Monkey stew, monkey stew. We are having monkey stew for dinner." 
Yep, E was very excited until he realized it was just chili then he quickly changed his tune.

2. "Be Aggressive, Be e Aggressive." 
Oh, those old high school cheers come in handy as you are making your way through Chicago traffic.

1. "Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating..."
Seriously GPS I would have thrown you out the window if 1) you weren't part of my phone and 2) I didn't want to end up in inner city Chicago. 

So, there you have it this week's Sound Bytes and a whirling, twirling catch up of sorts. 

May you have a fantastic weekend, and may you find time to stop whirling and just "be".

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Friday, December 9, 2011

A {Super, Super Duper Excited} Sound Bytes of the Week

"Red Solo cup I'll fill you up. Let's have a party..."

Oh, yeah baby...let's party all right. I don't listen to country, but I do watch Glee and after hearing this song it is now imprinted in my brain FOREVER...oh, and E likes it now too. Good grief. Between singing this and "Moves Like Jagger" our car trips are a nightclub experience.

I have to tell you that I'm in a partying mood, because tomorrow I leave for CHICAGO!!!! Hurrah, shopping, eating, shopping, eating, see friends and eating, know the gig. A girl's dream. mom will be here {dumdum} on MONDAY!!! Monday seriously. She will be here on Monday and stay till infinity. No worrying about squeezing in a visit, she will just "be" here. Awesome right?

So, with all this GREAT news and excitement let's start the party with some Sound Bytes of the week...

3. "You know how I get G to get me the ball? I just say fetch G, fetch."
Trust me E this will only work for about the next six months...then you will be fetching balls for him.

2. "Are you going to feast on me."
In response to "Go to bed you turkey."

1. "The holidays bring out the drunk in me."
Ummm...yeah...bring on the wine.

Now it's your turn to link up...Let's hear 'em.

Now back to work counting the hours till I can head home and pack for my road trip. We are leaving at the crack of dawn so I can make it to Evanston in time to have lunch with her and her. {Which is another reason I'm SUPER DUPER excited.}

Have a great weekend, and go where the road leads you.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A {Magical} Virtual Coffee

Happy Tuesday!

If we were really meeting for coffee today, I'd be so excited I wouldn't be able to sit still, and I'd be bundled up like an Eskimo. 

First of all we were cursed blessed by a surprise dusting of white stuff this morning. At first it was beautiful, magical and serene. Then...then...I drove to work and watched as a half dozen people slide through stop signs, did 180's in the middle of road and just in general forgot how to drive. 

Once I made it to work, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. 

That's when the magic started...seriously no lie. First my very good friend came up to me and said "I need you to hear something." Then she played what sounded like a beating drum on her phone...but it wasn't really a drum at all it was her baby's heartbeat! She pregnant! Hurrah! I'm so excited for her, and sap that I am I started to cry. 

Then...I got to play santa today for my secret santa and Bazinga I nailed it! She L-O-V-E-D her gift. I have to say that trying to be creative in the hiding and the gift giving is, at least for me, the best part.

Then...I found out that two of my bloggy friends {Hyacynth and Melissa} are going to meet me for lunch in Chicago during my girl's trip this weekend. And I have to say I'm STOKED!!! top it all off...the icing on the cake...the pis de stepdad got the electrician job at the hospital in the Quad Cities! So, not only are they finally moving here, but they will be employed. ROCK ON!

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day...

That was until...

A four year old decided it would be better to complain than eat dinner. 

Our Advent for the day {making holiday cards for the residents at the retirement community} turned into a marker-eating, scream-fest. 

But that's how we roll around here for each piece of magic, we earn a piece of reality. I guess it helps to make the magic more special.

So, what magic happened to you today?

Thanks for coffee and sorry I monopolized the conversation. I'm off to Amy's to see what magic she's brewing.


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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five Minute Friday {On Saturday}: Tired

Let's write for five minutes, just write. Ready...


I'm tired of the bullshit, the whining, the angry words. I'm tired of repeating myself over and over again and getting nowhere.

I'm tired of hearing "I'm not your friend anymore." and "That's not fair" screamed behind slammed doors.

He's only four and I'm tired of the attitude already. It MUST change.

I want him to know joy, to be positive and see the glass half full instead of half empty. I want to see smiles instead frowns.

In order to find a solution I only need to look in the mirror. Children model what they see, and what he's seeing must not be good. I need to start walking the walk and talking the talk. Stop being petty, and jealous and angry. I must learn to forgive even if it takes every ounce of strength I have, because once I let go of the mad, sads and angrys I will be tired no more.

And then the joy will flow.


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Friday, December 2, 2011

A {Wintry} Sound Bytes of the Week

Holy crap! Not only is it Friday but it's December. Really?

I guess it's true because I saw some snow flurries. They were little but they were there. And I've been hearing Christmas music and decorating up the ying yang. {Retirement Community + Holidays = SEVEN Christmas trees...YIKES}

In the spirit of the season {if you haven't noticed} I'm coordinating a Holiday card exchange. Just email your address to tinystream{at}yahoo{dot}com and I'll email mine back. I don't know about you but I L-O-V-E getting Christmas cards in the mail. We recieved our first one of the season yesterday. It was from a friend of my dad's. Got me all teary-eyed. It's amazing how Christmas brings everyone together. So, come on what are you waiting for just send me your address already...I'd love swap cards with you.

The Thanksgiving holiday and this crazy week have produced some WONDERFUL Sound Bytes ... so without further delay....

3. "He laughed so hard a greenie came out his nose."
This gives new meaning to the word "funny".

2. "I'm the poopy king and you are the pee pee queen." 
Wow! Do they have a crown for that?

1. "Santa in a mini-van? That's silly they need a sleigh."
UGH...this kid is too smart for his own good. Unfortunately, "Mrs. Claus" needed an umbrella from her car and E witnessed the whole thing. I covered saying it was probably a friends mini-van...butt...he's getting suspicious.

Now it's your turn.

Well, I'm braving the crowds tomorrow and hitting the mall for some shopping. I just want to get it done, so I can wrap everything that's my favorite part.

Hope you have a GREAT weekend, and if you brave the crazies make sure you bring your crazy face.

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