Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Holiday Indulgences

(Also known as a post where I summarize the holidays and bitch and moan way too much.)

To be honest, this year’s Christmas was a strong motivator for us to start to compacting in 2007. Let me explain.

Christmas day started nice and simple at our house. This is the first year that Gabe really noticed the holiday as an event. He found “Ho, ho, ho” everywhere (his term for Santa) and loved the decorations (more than just something to see like last year). We got him a few toys, only four, and this and this are his favorites by far.

Then we get to my parents house where it becomes gift-a-palooza. The kid actually becomes bored with the opening of gifts because there are TOO MANY. Don’t get me wrong- I appreciate all of the generosity and the fact that he is their first (and currently only) grandchild. But geez! And there are things in the collection that I insisted would be saved for his birthday...and they weren’t. Again, love the thoughts but wish they had been spread out over a year’s time.

Then we go to see A’s parents (in another city). It seems that everyone in that town ignores the age restrictions on toys. He got so many things that said ages "3 and up", "5 and up", or just simply "choking hazard" from friends and family. The deadly toys were accompanied by many clothes that will not fit for a few years. Everyone is buying him 4T and 5T. The kid still wears 12month stuff at age 20 months. Ok? Does anyone get this? He is not his cousin who was always exceptionally big (the kid looks at least 10 or 11 and is 7) and saying "it’s ok, he'll wear it next month" does not make the outfit magically fit. Ok, fine, we can just put it aside for a few years from now, but geez, people, when the length of the pants is the kids entire height, don't you think they might be a little big? Just a bit?

The time with the family was wonderful, though, barring all choking hazards and large pants.

Speaking of that, what the hell is up with the big jump from 12 month to 18 month clothes? Gabe needs a 12 month at the waist and not quite an 18 month for the length. So, he either has plumber's crack (tastefully covered by a diaper) or wears floods. We have given in to sweatpants because of the top and bottom elastic, and I am now anxiously awaiting summer and shorts...which are supposed to be, well, short.

At the end of the holiday adventures, we attended the wedding of our friends (congrats again L and S!) in the way north. The wedding was lovely, the reception was lovely, and they are both lovely. And they had, by far, the best damn wedding cake I have ever eaten. And I LOVES me some cake. It was truly incredible. It had four small chocolate cake layers (1/2” thick as opposed to full size layers) with a cream cheese type frosting and strawberry preserves in between. I skipped the outside frosting for the most part (so that I could main-line the inside frosting) but the bits I got were good and not too sweet.

Mmmmmmmm, cake.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Good things come in compact packages

Shortly after the New Year, I ran into an article on The Compact (I cannot for the life of me find the article, though...sorry). Anyway, something about the concept really struck a chord with me. First of all, my husband and I are actually quite good about the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). The one thing we are still guilty of, however, is too much shopping. That sounds horrible now that I have read it again. Let me clarify- we love to bargain hunt. If, for instance, I see a great looking skirt for $5, I am prone to buy it even though I have 20 other $5 skirts hanging in my closet. It was a bargain people...don’t you get it?

Well, we have decided that we will give the Compact our best effort in 2007. In part, it will help us to become less cluttered. In part, it will help us to save some money. And, in part, it will help us to become less stressed (because of the two aforementioned parts). Overall, I see it as a win-win.

The first hurdle of 2007 was finding a toddler bed for Gabriel. Yes, he is only 20 months old, but he tried out the toddler bed at A’s parents’ house and he LOVED it. So, I scoured the used listings around the net, including an awesome one called Freecycle. Tons of locations have freecyclers, and a few have more than one. Essentially, the concept is that people can post available items and items wanted. The main rule is that no money can be exchanged. So, you give your things away to someone that needs them and, in turn, you get what you need from another giving their things. Anyway, after a week of scouring I hit paydirt. We picked up the bed on Wednesday, and because it was freecycled there was no cost. I am, of course, posting my stuff that someone else might need. I really like the community sharing concept and it will definitely help with the “reduce clutter” goal above.

I like this resolution much better than a diet, don’t you?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year 2007

I am back from holiday and am trying to catch up on all of the little things that seem to pile up while one is away. However, I did not want to pass up a chance to wish everyone well for 2007. I have a bunch of things on my plate for this year, and I'll be writing about most of them soon but for today I must keep it brief. I will, however, give you a snippet of recent conversations with Gabe:

Gabe: Beads! (referring to my necklace)
Me: Yes, mommy is wearing beads.
G: Nice.
M: Thank you, sweetie!
G: Welcome.
(my heart melted at this point)

Waiting for my husband on the steps of the daycare...
G: All done.
M: All done with what, honey? (fearing the answer to be poo)
G: Sit.
(I liked the "all done sit" versus "go now" structure of the thought...)