Pocketfuls of Sunshine

Archive for December 2008

an angel gets its wings.

Yes, it is that time of year when we gather with family and friends to celebrate all that is good and right with the world. We open that bottle of wine that we never seem to have time for, find a cozy blanket, and watch a flurry of Christmas classics like It’s a Wonderful Life.

At one point, George asks Mary, “You want the moon, Mary?” Men, take note. It doesn’t get more romantic than that.

This year, I feel like I was handed the moon. And it isn’t round and far away. She is just down the hall, sleeping in her crib, holding on to her Bunny, Carebear, and Duck. She is two now, and I can now say with confidence that she will make big strides in this world. Somethings you just know, and this I know.

Right now, I’m not the only one that knows this. The Hubby and our families and friends have this confidence in little Beanie, too. And on Christmas Day, I”m hoping more people will know it, too.

On Christmas Day, before you run out to see what presents Santa has hidden under the tree, put your cozy slippers and robe on and run out the door to get your copy of The Detroit News. Our daughter’s story will be there, and we’re told it may even be the front page story. If not, it will be found inside Section A. Just look for her bouncy pigtails jumping off the page. You can’t miss it!

It will appear in all editions of the paper, and if you aren’t in Michigan, never fear. The Internet is a wonderful thing. Just check out www.detnews.com and scan away for those baby blue eyes!

You’ll learn her name if you check it the paper on that wonderful day. And that’s ok. Who knows? One day, her name might be bigger than any of us could imagine. Just don’t tell her that for a moment, when she was just a curled up bundle inside mommy’s tummy, I thought about calling her Zu-Zu. I really did.

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It’s been a busy time, as usual, around here. I’m sure everyone is feeling that time is slipping away as the holidays grow ever closer. I’ve never been one to say that I get “stressed out” about the holidays, though. Really, I have bigger things to “stress” about rather than gift buying and decorating the house. I consider those generally to be fun things to do. This year, though, many people are stressed about the finances associated with gift buying, decorating, and feasting for Christmas celebrations. This includes the Bloggerista’s family, which is why I am a deal shopper. I brave the crowds every year, with the exception of the last two years because I was with a newborn or very, very pregnant. This year, I took back my space in the parking lot and shopped on Black Friday.

Now, apparently, if you haven’t heard, we are in a recession. The economy is failing. Times are tough. However, if you were at a mall at approximately 6 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, you would think certainly this is a falsehood. Parking lots were packed, stores had lines wrapping around in circles inside so as to not cause the sensor at the front door to do that annoying loud beeping that nobody really checks out anyway, and people were making trips to their cars because they couldn’t carry all of their purchases. I did this. Three times. I told you, I excel at bargain shopping.

Ok, so it was Black Friday and people expect crazy shopping to happen that day. I’m sure you all heard of the poor worker trampled to death at Walmart because a bunch of people are nuts for televisions. It’s disgusting really. But that’s another post for another day.

Now I generally try to go to the mall with my kids during the week to walk, window shop, grab lunch while they watch the carousel, and count how many other mothers with strollers we pass making loops around the mall. It’s quite pleasant actually. You don’t have to say “excuse me” a thousand times or wait in line for a simple Coke and a cookie from Mrs. Fields. It’s relaxing, and if you do need assistance at a store, there are more than enough employees to help you.

In the last two weeks, however, I managed to arrive at a nearby mall on two different Sundays. I thought it would be a quick trip, as I am so used to the ease of weekday shopping. Ok, so maybe it might be a little bit busier. Surely, I couldn’t be turning into one of those people who says, “I don’t shop on the weekends. It’s too crowded. I don’t like the mall on weekends.” Who doesn’t like a mall based on what day it is?

Well, me. I’ve crossed enemy lines and I want my weekday pleasantries back, please.

Yes, I know it is the Christmas season. But I kid you not when I say that the ENTIRE parking lot was FULL. I was circling and circling, just waiting for that person who is always ever so slowly sauntering back to the car that is in a aisle she doesn’t really remember. More circling. Nobody was leaving.

Really? Everyone is in the mall, shopping, and nobody is leaving. I thought everyone was broke. Ok fine. I’ll be patient.

I finally get a spot, three hundred yards away, and my mother and I haul the kids into the stroller and make a mad dash for the department store doors. Once inside, we take off their coats and hats and position the snacks and sippy cups accordingly. I should have dressed them in short sleeves, though. It is so packed inside that we can feel the warmth of too many bodies in one place. Ick.

Speaking of bodies, there are far too many in the Apple store. Now, I know that people like their technology. I’m using a wireless laptop to blog on as I type, and I have convinced myself that it is an essential item in our household. But, I’ve never quite understood the mass of people loitering around in the Apple store. How many iPods do you need, really? I still don’t own one, and at this point, I’m thinking of making that a permanent mantra (unless someone bought me one for Christmas–then I will gladly accept). Anyway, the last few times I have been to the mall, I walk past the Apple store to get to the center, where the all-knowing, super-plump Santa sits. The kids like to wave and look at Santa, so we head there first on most December days. But as we pass the Apple store, there is a distinct smell.

I know it well. I taught high school, remember? It’s too many people in one small space. It instantly takes me back to those passing times where I watched two hundred kids cram their backpacks, coats, and books into lockers that were only 6 inches wide. You do the math. Average high schoolers are wider than 6 inches across, but somehow they are all supposed to stand there simultaneously and shove their belongings in that space in one minute flat before running off to the other side of the building. But, I digress.

This smell is obnoxious. But the store isn’t as packed as a high school locker bay. It’s just full of people who mill around and touch every little screen they can get their greasy little fingers on. You think I’m kidding? Check out those touch screens when you walk by one day. There are little prints all over them. You wouldn’t need a CSI team to catch a criminal there. You can visibly see multiple sets of hands on each little device.

The last time I went to the mall was with the Hubby, and I mentioned the Apple store and its stench. He caught a whiff, too. And we quickly moved on. It reminded me of a Seinfeld episode, as many things do in life. “When the B leaves, the O goes.” That is how it is supposed to work. And really, with the economy faltering as it is, more people should take note. Save your money and have cleaner air. Now who can argue with that?

So today was the big day. We decided to do a joint birthday party since Beanie turned 2 and Bubs is turning 1 shortly. Their birthdays are only 5 weeks apart and, added to the Christmas season that is upon is, it just seems fitting to celebrate together with one party. Now, some people would call me crazy for combining their parties as birthdays are often seen as big solo events, but I think most people were happy to do it all at once rather than duplicate the parties weeks apart. Not to mention that the kids are only 13 months apart and, for Beanie, it’s almost as if Bubs has been here all along. A joint party makes perfect sense for the two of them. They are little buddies.

She really is patient with him–for the most part. With the exception of her Bunny, Nee, and a select number of books or Little Einstein figurines, she is a great sharer. And if he does manage to get ahold of the precious Nee, she makes sure that although she takes Nee back promptly, she gives him something else to play with–usually something she identifies as his toy or something “baby”. I really think she understood that the little guy is turning 1 and they looked cute next to each other, ready to blow out the candles on the cake.

Some big thank yous are in order for making the day a success. And, if I leave anyone out, it’s just my exhaustion kicking in. We really are thankful for everyone who made their party full of fun and family. A big thanks to everyone who came, and everyone one who wanted to come but wasn’t able to, especially on the snowy roads today. We are glad everyone made it safely! Thanks to The Hubby’s family, who came far and brought veggies and fruit! They were yummy! Another big thanks to my brother, let’s call him Snickers (he will probably flick me in the ear next time he sees me for giving him that name in the blogosphere) and his wife (who I could call Oatmeal–she gets what I mean!) who helped to set up and brought all the balloons with them today! A party isn’t complete without shiny balloons–good picks! And a huge thanks to my parents (who Beanie lovingly calls “GaGa” and “Bumpa”) who offered to have the party at their house! It was a great setting and they helped immensely with all the preparations! THANK YOU!

And now that it is over, I’m sitting at the kitchen table, blogging. I should be putting all the generous gifts away. The are piled around me and need new spaces to lose their parts and be fallen over as the kids discover all that they do. As I see all of it, I can’t help but think that the newborn days are over–for now, at least. In a couple of weeks, the battle of the bottles will be over too. I can’t believe I have been bottle feeding for two straight years–with the exception of a three week period in December 2007. And now, I am officially the mommy of two toddlers–the second whom is about to take off walking any day now.

It just keeps getting better and better. Happy Birthday kiddos!