Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning...

No need to search for the Bright Side today. It's right in front of me... great day to be a mom. 


Although it's true, this Kodak moment was followed up by a diaper blow-out of epic proportions. Alas, I won't be brought down today. Feeling so blessed! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life Lessons with Santa...

Last year my daughter was 2 when we went to see the big guy in the sleigh. Here's how it went down: 
  1. To avoid a panic situation, we practiced what to ask Santa for as a present multiple times for several days. 
  2. We waited in the excruciating long line for over an hour with a 6 month old and a 2-year old singing, dancing, and practicing more. This was a real test of patience...
  3. My daughter reaches Santa and is instantly scared, near tears. 
  4. I get the joy of sitting on Santa's lap with her on my lap. There's nothing more awesome than sitting on a strange man's lap who is dressed in a red fuzzy suit when you're a woman in your 30's.  
  5. Santa asks what she wants for Christmas. She blanks and I am envisioning the movie "A Christmas Story". 
  6. As we're walking away she finally blurts out, "a Jasmine" as I'm whispering in her ear. She really wanted the movie "Aladdin." She was close.
This year we got smart. We arrived early, in line before Santa even arrived! When he did roll up, literally, he was riding this rad motorcycle decked out in Christmas lights with a Rudolph front fender. Only in St Pete...
Alas, it was another Red Ryder BB Gun moment. We practiced but there's no preparing for the pressure of Santa's lap when you're 3. She really wants the movie Peter Pan but when asked what she'd like for Christmas we again got the blank stare followed by, "a movie." Of course Santa needed to clarify which movie and I instantly felt a Ralphie "football" coming on. She blurted out, "Cinderella!" Which we already own and have for 2 years. But she gets an "A" for effort! 

And the Bright Side beyond the hilarity of the situation, the joy of sitting on Santa's lap as an adult, and seeing Santa arrive like boss hog on his Harley? I think she received another good life lesson in how to deal with high pressure situations. Might as well start young, right?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bringin' Home the B...


It was just a matter of time really before a bunny entered our home. Try as he may, my husband couldn't argue with 3 animal lovers, he was out-numbered. And truly, who could say no to a 3yr old that genuinely takes patience and time to be gentle with small animals in every opportunity given. She earned the bunny. 

I've mentioned in the past that my life is already in a state of disarray, so perhaps adding yet another fuzzy mouth to feed may seem a bit crazy. And upon day 1 it was. So please, sit back and enjoy the bunny tail.. 
  1. It all started back in July. We visited a petting zoo and our daughter held a white bunny on her lap. It truly was love at first hop and I understood exactly how she felt. I grew up with small animals. Every kind they sell at the local pet store from guinea pigs, to rats, to bunnies. NOTE: Looking back my parents were incredibly patient to deal with those animals because let's be honest, while I learned some responsibility I am pretty sure I wasn't cleaning up after them daily... Umm... thanks mom. 
  2. In any case, I slowly began the process of talking my husband into allowing me to get our daughter a bunny. This step took several months but at least it didn't take a PowerPoint presentation like I had to create in order to get the horse. (That's a true story. I was years ahead of that Microsoft commercial with the boy using PPT to get a dog). 
  3. We determine Christmas is the right time to get the bunny. 
  4. I begin my usual process of obsessing over the next big thing. In this case the obsession started with the bunny house. And wow. Who knew about the castles available for bunnies! Some bunnies may have more square footage than I do!
  5. I begin my search for the actual bunny doing research as to what type of bunny will be right for us. 
  6. A week into the search, a friend finds out I'm looking and of course she has a friend needing a home for a bunny. A free bunny with cage, accessories, food, etc. All great except of course the small fact that it is NOT Christmas. 
  7. I decide to take the kids just to "see" the bunny and gauge whether if might be a good fit for us - knowing full-well I may end up with a bunny and I may end up in trouble. 
  8. On the drive home (bunny in box on the seat next to me) my husband calls and asks what we're up to. Before I can even answer a small voice from the backseat yells, "Mom! Don't tell Dad we got a rabbit!" The jig is up. 
  9. We name the bunny. A very common choice... "Caramel Hotchi". "Hotch" for short. 
  10. I face the wrath of the spouse, who is thankfully fairly calm due to the fact that everything came free. Every so often his frugality works in my favor.
  11. I foolishly attempt to allow the dogs to see the bunny - allowing them to run in the yard while we are behind the fence on the patio with the free-range bunny.
  12. Dogs proceed to act insane as I try to stand on the edge of the fence and shout at them to calm down. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed this.
  13. Calming the dogs is a fruitless effort that ends in me tripping and actually falling through the fence and completely knocking a section down. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed this even more.
  14. Both children scream and cry thinking I'm hurt. And for the record, it did hurt although nothing more than a few bruises and heavily wounded pride.
  15. My daughter then makes me pinky swear that I'll never fall through the fence again. Good Lord let's hope not! I've never been called graceful but this was the first time I took out a fence. 
In the end the bright side is this. Caramel Hotchi s a fabulous bunny and I think I may have finally convinced my hubby that while the timing was wrong, the bunny was right! He doesn't bite, he's litter trained, and he loves attention. Thank God or the bunny poo would have hit the fan - or at least the fence! 

And I have to say, if you're looking for a bunny, visit the SPCA. You may just find your own Caramel Hotchi and who doesn't want that?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...

I have a lot going on. An excessive amount of chaos really. However, even as the madness ensues I try to do the right thing. Try to follow the rules to a "T". I may not bake the best cookie or maintain the ability to whip up cute crafty crap, but believe me, I read gads on how to raise children and follow the advice. I took lessons for over 2 years when I decided to become an equestrian to be sure I was safe for both me and the horse. And being in marketing I try to read everything I can squeeze into my day about the latest and greatest way to sell the widget. I am honest and never play poker because I would only go broke.

All this said, when the "Buy Local" movement started to take off I really considered the concept and embraced the goodness of it. Apparently for every dollar spent in locally owned businesses it generates over three times the local economic impact as spending with national chains.

As a majority of my family lives up north, I have to admit that for many years past I've done a lot of my Christmas shopping online with my friends like GAP, Toys 'R Us, and Best Buy. But this year I made the decision that I would put in the time to shop our local stores and try to find as many gifts as I could and go that extra distance of shipping on my own. With two small children (1 and 3) and a husband that travels, I cannot tell a lie - this is a project and a pain in my as*! However, I like the concept and I think it's good to instill the value of community support in my children.

So, I pack up the mini-humans pulling them away from their toys and dragged them to go shopping with me. We arrive in downtown St. Petersburg, my city and a place I love... aside from the parking. Damn those meters. However, I've been burned before and like I said, I follow the rules so I went out of my way to scrounge up all the quarters I could find before leaving home. I have the quarters in my pocket but opted to get the kids before plugging the meter because I don't want to waste 5 cents of time, clearly.

We quickly rush in and out of a couple stores and approximately 12 minutes passes when I realize... SOB! The quarters are still in my pocket!! In my mad dash I forgot to feed the hungry meter! I rush the kids back to the truck but it's too late.

Got me. Forgive me if I am a little burned on Buy Local today. The money I would've spent is now going to my TICKET!! I know there are many, many worse things in life. But some days life is not fair. Alas, I will follow the rules and pay the ticket.

The Bright Side of buy local? Of course I found multiple new local shops that I will be sure to continue to patronize. My online shopping experience cannot compare to the passion shown by these owners.  And since I do truly believe in supporting my neighbor I'll pass along some standouts I have discovered:
  • Paper Street Market: Forget Christmas shopping, I'm furnishing my house!
  • Sweet Divas: Not only amazing "REAL" chocolate, but cute little stocking stuffer ideas.
  • Whim So Doodle: They made me feel like I "could" be crafty. Inspiring shop. 
  • Savory Spice Shop: Spices are always a fun gift and this store is knowledgeable and they will ship! :)
  • Paciugo - Gelato: While this is a chain, I believe it is locally owned by a franchisee. And I will just say this, if you visit downtown St Petersburg don't be stupid. Get the gelato. It is worth every penny AND every calorie. 
So go on and buy local! It's worth the effort, just be sure you actually USE the quarters...