Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chippy 2013-It's a Tough Job, but Someone's Got to Do It.

My recent lack of blogging is directly related to the indecent amount of time I've spent in the last few weeks moonlighting as an elf.

Yes, I'm well aware of how pathetic this sounds.

On my first morning as a stay at home mom, I spent forty five minutes making elf sized pancakes, digging out our elf-sized appetizer forks and pouring OJ into a medicine cup.

Forty. Five. Minutes. I'm still not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed by this fact.

A few days later, I used an entire roll of wrapping paper and twenty minutes of my life that I will never get back to wrap our toilet.

Dear God, I wrapped our toilet.

I dumped flour on our counters and forced elf arms and legs to make a snow angel.

I later had to spend at least fifteen minutes cleaning said "snow" off of our counters, cabinets and floors. And an additional twenty minutes giving a toy elf a sponge bath.

On a day of little motivation, I snuck into Tyson's room and colored his nose. I was proud of the idea that took such little time.

By the looks of it, Tyson was not.

I dumped blue food coloring in our toilet bowl, added goldfish and carefully constructed a candy cane fishing pole.

Read that again and tell me you don't think I'm certifiably insane.

I dug out all of our play and real doctor supplies and staged a "sick" day for the elf. I added used tissues to set the scene and tucked a stuffed elf into bed.

It was cute.

Until I realized I had staged the sick scene directly in front of a large bottle of wine. "Sick" elf doubled as "hung-over" elf.

Maybe I was sending myself subliminal messages?

Suffice it say, I am watching the clock and counting down the minutes until I can hang up my elf shoes for the season. Hopefully by the time Christmas 2014 rolls around, I will forget the hours I've described above and remember the minutes like the one below that makes this grueling job (somewhat) worth it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Retired (for now)

Today is my first day reporting to my new(and certainly more demanding) bosses:


When I returned to work after each maternity leave, I cried the entire drive in. Then I sat at my desk and cried some more.
If I’m being honest though, most of my maternity leaves were spent crying, so, in perspective a few hours at work wasn’t a huge ordeal. Hormones, man….  
After a couple of weeks back at work, I eventually realized I could survive being away from the kids for 10 hours a day. And so could they! I slowly adjusted back into my job and managed the working mommy thing pretty incredibly. It was hard-some days it frankly sucked.   I missed them a ton, but I also knew that they were gaining a sense of independence while we were away. I understood that daycare and, later, a nanny could teach them things that  Daddy and I couldn’t. I knew that I was proud of the work I was doing away from home. It provided me with a sense of accomplishment. It provided us with extra spending money. It allowed me adult conversation and a chance to use my brain for things other than remembering how long formula could sit out on the counter. Eventually it would teach our kids that Mommies are smart, hardworking, important, intelligent,  and valued outside of our standard job of wiping butts, doing arts and crafts and singing lullabyes. I can do math and I can change diapers!  I am amazing!
I was lucky. My company allowed me to work part time. After Mila was born, I reduced my schedule to just three days a week. They were accommodating in every sense of the word. They allowed me to leave early for conferences and arrive late when the weather was bad. They understood my situation and they valued me as an employee.
This made it hard to leave.  I knew I had it good. I knew I was lucky. I knew that I was teaching my kids values that I wanted to instill in them. But, ultimately,  I also knew that I will never regret being able to spend more time with my kids. On the other hand, I would regret having the opportunity and means to do so and not doing it.
And, so, here I am. Coffee in hand, puzzles on the table, Christmas music blaring, two kids running around like crazy and I’m happy. Deciding to retire at age 32 wasn't the easy decision one might imagine, but I'm certain it will be a good one for our family.
PS: This postscript was going to be about how awesome my husband is for letting me do this, but then I came home to this "retirement" present:
He's lucky he's still alive

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Last week, Daddy was out of town for 5 days straight.
Coincidentally,  Mother Nature dropped our first big snow storm of the season during his absence.
I’m pretty sure she hates me. Or, she just likes a good laugh.
My commute home on Monday took two hours. I slid past the entrance to our development and discovered a new dent in the back of my car upon pulling into our garage.  
Not one to let Mother Nature win, I plastered a smile on my face and told the kids we were going outside to play in the snow as soon as I walked in the door. Then I spent the last hour of daylight we had left putting on hats and straightening mittens and zipping up coats and pulling on boots and putting mittens under coat arms and adding extra layers of socks and putting up hoods and putting down hoods. By the time we were ready to go have fun it was nearly bedtime. Or I was just hoping it was bedtime.
We had barely opened the garage door when  I heard it. “CUUUUUTTTTEEEE!!!” And again, “CUTE! CUTE! CUTE!”  Sister was screaming “cute” to the snow at the top of her lungs. She ran outside trying to grab each little flake to tell it how “CUTE!” it was.

Moments like these, I thank God he gave me a baby girl. Because little girls can find the “CUTE!” in anything.  Even the snow storm/commute from hell/ new unknown dent in your car days.
And with every “CUTE!” she yelled my heart swelled a little thinking of how happy this snow storm that I was hating was making her. Take that, Mother Nature.
Brother loved the snow too. Snow angels and sleds and all.