I admit it, I’m guilty of sucking at Valentine’s Day. I am guilty of forgetting to get David a card until minutes before the deadline. I refuse to get the children gifts. David, I went all 1980’s and made a mix-tape, well CD, for him of his favorite 1980’s music. Jen would be proud. But like all of my mix-tapes it was probably the wrong theme of the week!
Before we were married I went all out for V-day. We would go away for the weekend especially if it fell, like this year, on a 3-day weekend. A huge gift, a sappy card and something from Victoria’s. Those days are long gone my friends.
Now it is just another day for me. Which makes me sad in some ways. But more angry in others. Why do the marketing geniuses have to make me guilty for Valentine’s Day? Isn’t it enough that I tell my husband and children that I tell them I love them every day. Multiple times during the day:
- When they wake up
- When I or they leave
- When I talk to them on the phone
- When I or they come home
- When I am about to scream loud enough to cause a sonic boom over homework but still say I love you but DO YOUR FREAKING HOMEWORK
I counted and yesterday I told every member of the family I loved them a total of 173 times. That number may or may not be made up. But wait there is more! I also show them I love them every day:
- When I feed them
- When I shower them (the girls not David)
- When I provide clean clothes
- When I do not murder them for not starting the laundry (the David not the girls)
- When I give them the last brownie–homemade mind you
- When I do not throw away all their toys when I step on a Barbie shoe in my bare feet
- When I put down the wonderful book I am reading (Fault in Our Stars) to play a game with them
- When I do not let them win at Connect Four
Combined I spend every minute of the day (awake, asleep and somewhat comatose) loving my family. Why on earth do I have to spend $6 proving it with a card?
So I plead guilty. I am guilty of not falling into the trap of
Merchandiser’s Valentine’s Day.
Not to insult my other friends, but each year there is one party that I look forward to more than any other. The Sirens Christmas Party. While I see a lot of the woman throughout the year, this is the only night where all of the fire department wives leave the brave fire fighters home with the
sugared up lovely children and have a night out with wine, food, laughter and a Yankee Swap.
There are only two rules to our annual party: you have to be over 21 and you have to have some relationship to someone on the fire department at one point in your life. Oh and if you can bring a bottle of wine rule number 2 is easily forgotten!
Not all the wives make it every year, I believe this was one of the quieter years. However the veterans, we know this is the one party you want to attend. I know what you are thinking, a Yankee swap? Those are so boring or you end up with crap. But that is only if you don’t follow the rules:
1. Only invite one person who will bring a crap gift (aka a candle), all other guests must be reliable to bring something one or more people will want to have in their home.
2. Count the number of people at the party (do this before the wine is open, trust me on this one).
3. Put numbers on tiny bits of paper and place in a hat/bowl/shoe.
4. Have everyone pick a number without looking at it, knowing that the host will probably end up with the first number or the last (this is important information, I hope you are paying attention)
5. You begin to pick gifts in the order of your number. So, number 1 you go first.
6. From that point on you either steal a persons gift (please do) or open an unwrapped one. This continues on until the last unwrapped gift is open. Then person #1
7. You can only steal an item once, so if you really want that chatski you have to begin to create an alliance. This is where the real fun begins.
For example, you really had the perfect gift and your arch nemeses stole it. You are no unable to resteal. BUT you have an alliance with 3 or more people. You have some one else steal for you, you then steal what they want. Working together, you make sure that you go home with the gift you want and not the buddah butter that Kate got stuck with!
In past years our swap has included: lobster, anything fire department related (yes, we are fools), beautiful jewelry, alcohol (the more children we have the less sought after this one is), home décor you would actually hang in your house and the ugliest nutcracker you have ever seen that has a stipulation that you have to bring it back the following year.
In our case, the Swap lasted just over 2 hours. We have had epic ones that lasted over three. Last night, one woman almost peed her pants, one fell off a chair and there was much shenanigans to make sure you didn’t end up with the scratch tickets. Especially after they were all losers!
Happy Holiday Parties everyone, don’t shudder at the thought of having a Yankee Swap. Just remember the rules: Wine, Friends and only one crap gift allowed!
My fellow Sirens, I will see you next December. I am already on the look out for my contribution!
This week I am thankful for so much and am happy that The Considerer, Kristi and Joy have created this weekly remembrance. A time to look back on the week that was and say, you know it didn’t really suck.
10. School is officially out. Now, I know I will be singing a different tune next week. But to have no homework battles? Allie is doing the happy dance.
9. A night out with colleagues. I never go to business dinners. I usually
make excuses don’t have the time. But this week I went out to a nice restaurant with peers whom you would think outside of work we had nothing in common. Holy crap did we laugh. It was truly a beautiful night out, even if the Bruins lost.
8. I fit into my skinny shorts without having to suck in my gut, that much.
7. Remember that tent/tunnel system? Well guess who moved in…
|Yup, Bailey discovered the tent
So I am thankful some one in the house is using it.
6. That while Allie did not get the BEST TEACHER EVER for fourth grade the one she ended up with she is not nervous about.
5. That Boo’s summer program starts in just nine days. Please understand, her teachers and aides so deserve a break. I do not know how they do their job day in and day out with a smile on their face. But I am beyond thankful that they will be back soon. Even better her aide Sydney should be returning.
4. At a recent party there was a bounce house. Boo not only went into it willingly she loved it. The older kids ran all around and she laughed, jumped and was involved. This is huge from just a couple of months ago when the bounce house terrified her.
3. Kristi for letting me know how pet rocks came to be. It had been really bothering me for a long time. In all seriousness, Kristi’s posts make my day. The fact that she took time out of her busy life to help me with a photo issue has not been forgotten.
2. I have two nieces due to be born within the next week. Kind of funny that they are being born so close together when they live a million miles apart. After a long time waiting to have children, my brother and step-brother’s wives are due on the same day. I just hope they don’t choose the same names.
1. That there are only 66 days left of
hearing I’m bored summer vacation.
Happy Weekend everyone! I hope you take a moment to enjoy a glass of wine, a ray of sunshine and a quick thank you for making my days easier!
I don’t know why people do not pay attention to rules. Rules make life more organized and enjoyable. There is also less mom-torture with rules. For example, if you do not give a child a toy that makes obscenely loud noises the mother may invite you to the next party.
My mother-in-law, whom I do love, enjoys flaunting the rules. She will give the girls a present that she is sure will be loads of fun. But she never thinks hey what will happen when they try to take it out of the box?
See my mother-in-law loves QVC. She even went on a cruise with QVC to see some cracker lady live and in person. Her obsession is so bad that one day Allie saw a commercial on TV and replied, only 3 easy payments of $19.99 with your QVC charge. And this is how my MIL defies the rules. She buys from QVC where a savvy mother cannot then quietly exchange the gift for clothes or diapers. Her other trick is yard/estate sales. Yesterday Allie came home with four more Barbies. To go with her collection of 500 currently residing under her bed.
My MIL is also a fabulous regifter. For example, she bought Allie a tunnel system when she was about two. Fast-forward eight years later and MIL finds the gift she forgot to give to Allie. She then regifted it to Boo last fall.
I hid the gift in the basement and was successful until Allie went down to escape the heat of our 76 degree heat wave. Up she comes with this wonderful gift asking why isn’t it put together?
Guilted into putting it together because ‘we are so bored’ with our current toys I took an hour away from
playing on Facebook cleaning the house and viola a new play structure was born.
The fact that I had to rearrange the living room to fit the tunnel system into the house just added to my joy.
Added to after all was said and done Boo refused to go into the tunnel system made me think of a proper revenge gift for my MIL.
Notice how Boo isn’t even in the room that the tunnel is trying to escape from? Yeah, I did too. So I stole her IPAD and Puppy and strategically placed them closer to the teepee.
David came home and said: Let me guess, my mom gave them this gift? Exactly how did he know which grandparent was responsible you might be wondering. No he is not all-knowing.
You see, my mom doesn’t live in our town. She knows if she gives something this wonderful she will not have a place to stay in July.
What is the worst gift the grandparents have ever given your children?