Saturday, December 31, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour

"It's hard to be a little girl with a little brother who is being so bossy!"


Thursday, December 29, 2005

If you have a minute...

please take the time you were going to spend at my blog today, and use it to go visit a good friend of mine. She is facing one of the most horrible, painful things that we have to face in life, and I know she could use some extra prayers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Our stay at Brooks Lake Lodge

Let me just start by saying that this post is in no way going to do justice to what may very well be one of the very best 24 hours in my life. (Click the links to view some of my pictures from the trip.)

We carpooled the 2 hours out with the president of the company (remember this was a company sponsered trip) and his wife. We arrived at the parking area right on time to catch the snow cat (a 10 passenger van on snow tracks) to take us the rest of the 5 miles to the lodge. The snow up there was incredible - they had just gotten nine fresh inches of it - everything was white and beautiful.

When we arrived at the lodge, it was made apparent to us that we were not to lift a finger. The service here was wonderful! We were given a tour of the lodge, which was built in the 1920s in just 90 days! We also got a tour of the spa, which was added in 2003. Of course many renivations have been done over the years. After the tour we congrigated in the bar area to enjoy some drinks, and play shuffleboard or darts.

Bubblehead and I were shown to our private cabin. We had a woodburning stove to help keep the chill off, and a beautiful claw-foot bathtub in the bathroom. The cabins had no TV and no phone. (The main lodge of course did, as well as wireless internet, but I vowed to stay off the internet during our stay.) We spent some time warming our feet by the fire and settling in before heading over to the lodge to join our group for lunch.

After lunch began the activities. Bubblehead almost had me talking into snowmobiling with him, (thank goodness I skipped that - go over and ask him to tell the tales.) I ultimately decided to go cross country skiing with some of the other wives. This was my first time on Nordic skis (unless you count my Nordic Track), but I did well and had a lot of fun. (I think it helped that I've been Alpine skiing since about Ella's age.)

After skiing we came in and warmed up with tea, served with fruit and cookies. Being the tea snob that I am, the "high tea" was dissappointing, but it was still nice. We visited with a man from New Orleans who was visiting Wyoming the first time.

After tea is was time for me to go have a massage. I had a hot stone massage, which was just amazing! I then showered at the spa (using all their wonderful smelling things!) and headed back to the cabin to dress for dinner.

Dinner was so delicious! I had a blackened sea bass with a berre-blanc sauce. (excuse my spelling please.) Bubblehead had the prime rib. After dinner we went to the tea room for dessert (the most amazing carrot cake I've ever had!), tea and coffee, and of course the gift exchange.

The gift exchange was actually not bad - we all had fun with it. Bubblehead "played" it well. When someone opened a gift with a $50 bill and a note saying that the money was theirs to keep and to pick another gift, Bubblehead paid attention to the gifts on the table, and the president, and was able to score the 2nd $50 bill!

The next day we had a lovely buffet breakfast. Bubblehead played some shuffleboard, and I took my book up to the spa to sit next to the fire for a little while. He then joined me for a soak in the hot tub, where we had the tub and the views to ourselves. Afterwards we sat in the sauna before getting ready to head out.

The entire stay was the most wonderful combination of activities and relaxing you could ask for, made even better by top-notch, personal service. I would love to go back in the summer for horseback riding, and to actually see the lake, which was covered in snow for our visit. It was the perfect way to start off our Christmas, especially seeing as we had absolutely no snow at home. If I could only bottle the feeling of happiness and relaxation I had being there, I'm sure I could get rich off of it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas can't be very far away

Well folks, I'm off. We're going over the river and through the woods to Brooks Lake Lodge. They actually have to "snow cat" us in! Can't you just hear the jingle bells on the dog sleds?! We'll have a lovely dinner, and a (kidless!) silent night. Let it snow! Then I'll be home for Christmas.

All I want for Christmas is to see happiness and excitement on my children's faces when they see what jolly old St. Nicholas left for them, and to snuggle up with them. My favorite things are my family.

From the Mommy Matters house to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a winter wonderland!

Sorry, I know this is lame. But it's late. Cut me a little slack! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour...

Me: "Ella, what do you want for Christmas?"

Gabriella: "I just want whatever the elves make for me."


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

BOB is back

So it's time for the second annual Best Of Blog awards. The BOB awards were created to help recognize the "little" bloggers in the blogosphere.

*insert tongue in cheek*

Of course I don't take such a thing seriously - I blog for me, as you know. I consider myself more of an artist, and how can you compare art? You can't. But as you know, it is an honor to be nominated. And if someone out there saw fit to nominate me, well far be it from me to deny them their opinion.

*remove tongue from cheek*

In all seriousness though, if this is taken in the right manner, blog awards can be fun. I will be nominating some of my favorite blogs in several catagories (and they have some fun ones!). Go on over and have a look.

I don't have a title for this, but keep reading anyway. It's good. Trust me.

Gabriella, bringing me a drawing she had just finished: "Look Mommy!"

Me: "Gabriella, that is lovely! Are those Christmas candles?"

Gabriella: "Yes!"

Me: "And what is this?"

Gabriella: "That's the Christmas soap!"

Well, of course it is.

Me: "Christmas soap. What is the Christmas soap for?"

Gabriella: "For washing your hands."

Ask a stupid question...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Half past Jingle Bells

Bubblehead's mother, when putting together our Christmas gifts, always includes a few extras that are to be opened early, on days she specifies. The kids love this. These gifts are usually Christmas decorations for us to enjoy before the holiday.

Our December 5th gift this year was a clock, with snowmen on it. The obnoxious fun thing about this clock is that it plays Christmas carols - a different one for each hour of the day.

Now I was sure I was going to hate this clock, but it actually hasn't been too bad. It has a light sensor on it, so when it's dark, it doesn't sing. I wouldn't want this clock around all year, but I can tolerate it for a month, because my kids love it.

It has changed the way we tell time around here, though. We have started to say things like "Is it 'Deck The Halls' already?!", and "At 'Joy To The World' it's time to start picking up the playroom".

Oh, and bedtime? Appropriately, is 'Silent Night'.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

That's what friends are for

I have a post for today, but I'm going to put it off for now. Please stop by and visit a good friend of mine. She could use some prayers and support.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The office gift exchange

Why? That's the only question I have. Why?

Now every office if different, and maybe the office exists that everyone really would like to buy a gift for everyone else that works there. I can only give you my take on it. And I'm going to.

Bubblehead's company is treating all of their upper management and their spouses to an overnight in an amazing lodge near here, complete with ice fishing, snow mobiling, dog sledding, high tea, spa treatment, etc, etc. The center of the trip will be the group dinner, where the president will (hopefully) hand out a lovely Christmas bonus, although from what I understand it will be a gift to his managers. That's nice, too, and quite frankly, I plan to just be happy with a lovely overnight away in a snowy Wyoming lodge. That has a spa. Did you get that bit? There's a spa there. (I can't tell you how I'm looking forward to this. I'm sure I will get there and decide to just live there.)

Now the other day Bubblehead sent me an email saying that they've decided to do a gift exchange, so every person needs to bring a gift valued at around $25. (Oh, and it's also going to be "Yankee exchange", which is a whole other rant, but I won't go there today.) So I have to go out and spend $50* on gifts for people we don't really know, and wouldn't otherwise buy a gift for.

Bubblehead makes fairly good money. We took a significant paycut to leave Denver and come home to live, and we knew that. It was worth it to us. We are also paying off debt. We made the decision several years ago that we needed to do something about it, and all of our spare money each month goes to paying it off. I'm not looking for sympathy on this point, because we got ourselves into that situation, and we are getting ourselves out. It isn't easy, but we're doing it.

So now I have to go out and buy $50 in gifts which will be impersonal (because we don't know who will get them). That is $50 I could have spent on my children, or quite frankly, my groceries this month. I will come home with a gift that is just as impersonal, and most likely something I don't want.

In my opinion, the gift exchange is for situations where there are so many people you'd like to buy a gift for, but it just isn't realistic, and therefore you draw names and exchange as a group. I think it's just stupid that an employer would tell all his managers that "this is what we're doing". Bubblehead doesn't see a tactful way out, and damn it I'm going to that lodge! So I will grit my teeth and do it, and consider $50 a bargin price for a night at this place.

I just hope Ella likes the overpriced picture frame, or Sanford's gift card, or binoculars I get from the evening, because if our budget is too stretched, she may find it under the tree with her name on it.**

*I guess I didn't explain: Bubblehead and I each have to bring a gift - hence the $50.

**I'm exagerating a bit - but only a bit.

Thank you....

for all the words of encouragement and support you all left for me. I can't tell you what it means to me, or how it has helped. I do have more to say about this, but for today I'm going to set it aside.

Buffi tagged me with this meme, and I have to say this is the easiest one I've seen. :) And so, Five Random Things, by Christine.

  1. Little Man just came through here pretending to vacuum the floor, and Gabriella said to him, "Oh, this house is really dirty!" Part of me wants to kiss her for playing along with her brother, instead of bossing him around, and the other part of my wants to smack her for a comment like that. What do you mean this house is really dirty?! (Okay, she's right.)
  2. I try to preplan out our menu for the week before I go grocery shopping. It doesn't always happen, but when it does our house runs so much smoother. I love it!
  3. This is one of those weeks it did not happen. I have to come up with a dinner idea for tonight. I hate that.
  4. I guess I should be vacumming my floor, considering what my 4-year-old thinks of it. (This is the same little girl who said to her grandma "When was the last time you cleaned this place?" And my mom's house is really clean!)
  5. I sit down at the computer with a cup of tea in the morning, and when my tea is gone, then that's my cue to get my butt up out of the chair and do something. Today I think I'll go make another cup of tea!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

So she hasn't babbled about this in a while

I went off of my medication last week. Just cold turkey, without any real thought or plan. Mostly I was thinking I needed to see my doctor to get a refill and I wanted to wait until after the holidays to have to worry about that. That's a good reason, right?

For about a week, I've been doing fairly well. I certainly notice a difference in my ability to handle stimuli - as in I'm not filtering it as well. Too much going on at once is a little more than I can handle. My frustration threshold is low, as is my irritation level. I could feel those "symptoms" there but I was doing a good job in handling them.

No sooner had I very happily and optomistically told my parents that I was off my medication and doing well (like a blathering idiot) than I was struck down. I lost it.

Now I realize that life is full of frustration and irritation. (I'm not stupid, but thanks for the memo.) But if you don't understand what it's like to be where I am, then you can't understand that there is a difference.

It is normal to get frustrated and upset with your kids. It's even normal to yell at them on occasion. But to actually "lose it". I don't think that's okay, and today it happened to me. Again.

I will add here for you worry warts that my children are fine. I have never hit my kids, and that still stands true. What happens is what my husband says is lecturing, although I think perhaps half the state can hear it. Something happens (in this case it was a series of messes) that I just can't seem to handle and I'm pushed over the edge. (Even now as I'm typing this I feel the frustration, and am barely able to contain my emotions.) Now I get to spend the rest of the day completely useless, in a state of deep sadness. It's hard to bounce back from this. (Won't Bubblehead be happy to get home tonight!)

So for those of you who have thanked me in the past for talking about PPD, and in doing so helping you in some way, I could use a little encouragement here. I don't know what is "normal". Part of me wants to jump right back on the lexapro, and part of me wonders if a period of adjustment is to be expected.

I guess I'll be calling my doctor in the morning.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Let them be little

A moment to remember
Originally uploaded by kabiel.
"cause their only that way for a while..."

As you can see, I've been looking at "old" pictures all teary-eyed. This was taken two and a half years ago, the day after Little Man was born. Oh she loved him at first sight!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Is this the help desk?

Can anyone tell me how to post a video file to my blog?

Yes, I'll hold....

Just a picture today

We happened upon these Big Horns next to the road near Flaming Gorge. (click to enlarge)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The story of how my heart was broken

When I picked my darling daughter up from school on Monday, I was handed a letter to Santa that she had worked on. Her teacher told me she didn't want to write a letter, but apparently she was talked into it, as the little paper tied with ribbon indicated.

In the car, I was told by a nearly-in-tears Ella that I wasn't to read the letter. "That's alright Sweetie. We can just leave it out for Santa on Christmas Eve." Oh no! The thought of this upset her more! Santa was not to read the letter, I was not to read the letter. NO ONE WAS TO READ THIS LETTER, and it was to remain on the floor of our van for eternity!* Okay then. I dropped the subject.

I'll skip ahead a bit, just saying that her father and I, with some careful, gentle prodding, finally got to the root of the problem come bedtime. This poor angel-girl of mine does not want to celebrate Christmas! No going to see Grandma, no presents or stockings or carols.

"Why in the world is that?" I hear you asking. Well I'll tell you.

Gabriella heard through the grapevine (the grapevine in this case being those loveable claymation Christmas classics we all grew up with) that Santa has a naughty list, and that naughtly little children get coal. My precious baby thinks that SHE is on the naughty list!

*queue the sound of shattering glass (symbolizing my heart) crumbing to the floor*

I literally weep at the thought of Gabriella - the sweetest little girl to ever grace this Earth - sitting and worrying about being on the naughty list. She actually thinks that she will wake up Christmas morning to find her stocking filled with coal.

Well of course I told her how all little children, and grown-ups too, do naughty things once an a while, but that doesn't mean they are naughty. I told her I was sure she was on the good list - how could she not be? She is the best little girl I know! This, along with a funny story of her naughty, naughty mommy as a child**, seemed to help the matter somewhat, and she went to sleep.

Luckily, her ever-resourceful Daddy was able to seal the deal when he came home from work the next day with the information she was seeking. You see, apparently "the big guy" rides the same bus as Bubblehead. (We were told he teaches a toy making course at the community college. Is there no end to his surprizes?) Anyway, Bubblehead couldn't let such an opportunity pass him by, so he just asked him right out if Gabriella is on the good list. Thankfully, she is indeed, which I think has put an end to her worries, and to her mommy's heartache.

Of course she is such a smart girl - the thought has crossed our minds that all of this was just a ploy to get a few extra gifts beneath the tree come the 25th. ;)

*Yes, of course we did read the letter, although we did not tell her that we did. Being concerned, caring parents, it is our job to snoop when we feel it might help us solve a problem. There was nothing unordinary in the letter, although it was a bit silly. I won't reprint it here, to respect her wishes that NO ONE ON THIS EARTH read that letter.

**There is only one story of her mommy being a naughty little girl, because I was ALWAYS (save this one time) well-behaved and good.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour

(Said to me as I was tickling her brother...)

"Mommy, be careful! You'll break his heart!"


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour

"Mommy, you ruined my feelings."

Name: Christine
Location: Wyoming, United States
I'm the Mom of two. They drive me crazy. I love them dearly. I want one more. I'm not insane, yet. My hubby says I'm a snob with an inferiority complex. There is more to me than being a mother. I just don't remember any of it.

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