30 December 2005

Good-bye 2005

I can't say I'm really sorry to see this year go. It hasn't been particularly bad or anything, but I feel ready to move on.

I really look forward to seeing the changes in Zoë this year. I can't believe she will be 4 in less than 3 months. By this time next year we will be registering her for kindergarten. Amazing! She is such a wonderful little girl. She has grown up a lot this year and I am sure this coming year will bring a lot of exciting things for her like learning to read and write, doing more and more for herself, and all things l look forward to doing with her for the first time like ice skating and maybe a Broadway show.

My big question is what are my New Year's resolutions and what do I want to accomplish in the year ahead of me. I don't count weight loss as a resolution this year. I am carrying that one over from last year. Yes, I have put back on a few of the pounds that I lost over the last year, but I am sure I will lose those and hope to continue and lose a few more this year.

I think my resolution for this year is going to have to be another old favorite -- I want to get my finances in order. We still have too much debt and not enough savings so we have to keep working on paying down the debt. I want to encourage Husband to find another job where he makes a somewhat more consistent and hopefully a slightly higher income. He is miserable in his current job and that really affects a lot of things. I want to try and get us on some kind of budget and I need to curtail the frivolous spending. I bought a lot of clothes and shoes in the last year -- that needs to slow down. I hope to be able to take a real vacation again someday. Maybe not this year, but hopefully by 2007.

27 December 2005

Christmas is over

The presents are all unwrapped, the food has been eaten and eaten and eaten, the stocking have been emptied, and the lights have been unplugged. I am feeling fat and finally relaxed. An awful lot of work goes into that one day and I have to say I am glad it only comes once a year.

Despite my complaints, Zoë had a good Christmas and that makes me very happy. Santa brought both things on her wish list and a whole bunch more stuff. She's even been happily playing with a lot of her new toys. She's not usually that big into toys -- strange as that may sound. Santa brought a pink Doodle Bear and a bell from his sleigh (just like in the book The Polar Experss). But, I think the best present from Santa may have been the two pair of scissors (toddler scissors, of course) that were in her stocking. You may recall from my post in the spring that Husband threw out her scissors after an unfortunate hair-cutting incident. She is so happy to be allowed scissors again.

Zoë got so many toys that I actually put some away to play with at a later date. Anything that she didn't want to open immediately I put away for a rainy day.

I'm not yet sure what my best present was. I got some really nice things and I was definitely spoiled so I definitely can't complain. I have a few returns to make, but that can be fun too.

Now, I have several dozen hours to put in at the gym in order to undo all the eating damage I have done in the past week or so.

24 December 2005

The stockings are hung

by the chimney with care in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

That reminds me, I once lost a spelling bee because of the word chimney. Needless to say I have never misspelled it again.

Our annual Christmas Eve party has concluded and now comes the relaxation portion of the holiday. Just as my husband likes to go skiing because he looks forward to the afterward (sitting in the lodge, drinking hot chocolate, feeling flush from the exercise/outdoors), I feel the same about our annual party.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

22 December 2005

5:54 am

Why is it that on the mornings when I set my alarm I always feel that I could easily go back to sleep instantly, but on the rare mornings that I allow myself to "sleep in" my eyes pop open some time before 6 am? This morning I woke at 5:54 to be precise and I was wide awake and ready to go. What is that about? I used to think it was because when I didn't have my alarm set I was afraid I was going to sleep too late, so I tried setting my alarm for later, but that didn't work either. Without fail, I still wake up earlier than necessary.

At least it gave me time to shave my legs.

20 December 2005

"Holiday" sweaters

You've seen them on some of the 40 and 50 something women around your office and around the mall -- the "holiday sweater." It's a phenomenon I will never understand -- or be a part of.

17 December 2005

Dessert Party

Tonight is a "dessert party" night for Zoë. Whenever husband and I go out I let Zoë have lots of desserts -- thus the party idea. I arrange a plate for her with cookies and candies. It is something I started when we were going through a strong bought of separation anxiety and it has been quite effective. I know, sweets probably aren't the best reward, but it works. It gives her something to look forward to rather than worrying about me not being home.

Meanwhile, tonight must be the biggest party night of the holiday season -- with the exception of New Year's Eve, of course. We have been invited to three parties all in the same night. Husband and I are hardly social animals so this is quite the unusal occurence. We are going to do our best to attend 2 out of the 3 parties. I am looking forward to putting on my party clothes in a couple of hours and hopefully getting into the holiday spirit a bit more. Christmas Eve and our own annual bash is only a week away now. Wow. Is it just me, or does it seem like the Earth is spinning a little faster these days?

15 December 2005

Happy un-Birthday

December 15 is my un-birthday. It isn't my half birthday, but a completely fake birthday. When I was young my parents managed to get a fake birth certificate for me saying I was born December 15, 1970 -- exactly one month earlier than my actual birthday. The reason for this was to get me into kindergarten rather than having me wait another year. For years I had to celebrate my birthday in school by bringing cupcakes on December 15. My birthday parties were around December 15 and I only celebrated my real birthday with my family. At some point the whole thing just went away. I think it was when we moved when I was in 5th grade. Every year the date December 15 stands out in my mind whenever I hear it until I remember, as I just did, that it is my un-birthday.

Right now, I could go for a cupcake. Yellow cake, buttercream frosting, and a candle. And maybe 20 5 year-olds singing happy birthday.

12 December 2005

Christmas Tree Chopping

This past Sunday we went to Jones Tree Farm in Shelton, CT for our annual Christmas Tree chopping. As has become our tradition we went with my brother, my sister-in-law and my niece, Sophia and of course, we brought our dog, Spanky. I was really looking forward to it this year because Zoë was so excited about it. Unfortunately, Zoë had a jealous attack that kind of put a damper on the fun. I was holding one of Sophia's hands while my sister-in-law held the other so we could help her walk through the snow and Zoë just did not like that. Among lots of other little bad behaviors, she kept asking to be carried which was just not possible given how much she now weighs and how much snow we had to trudge through. And every time husband or I said no, we wouldn't carry her, she started to cry or whine. Part of me felt angry about it because she was ruining what should have been a lot of fun, but the other half of me just felt badly that she still feels so jealous of Sophia. I know she is only 3 and it is my job to help her with this kind of thing, but it doesn't stop it from being frustrating.

When we got home that afternoon and I finally had to send her to her room because her behavior was getting out of control, I realized I needed to talk to her about it. I did my best to explain to her that I love her more than anyone, but I also love Sophia and I don't get to see Sophia every day or even every week so when we're together I like to play with her. I told Zoë that didn't mean that I loved her any less. And just like she loves her Aunt, Sophia loves me too. I said, "You're my number 1, 2, and 3. Sophia is just number 4."
"I want to be number 4," was Zoë's reply.
"Then what can Sophia be?"
"I want to be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Sophia can be 7."
"OK," I agreed.

I just hope a little of what I said got through.

On the bright side, we did get a beautiful tree. It is a white pine and it is huge! Apparently white pine is a native Connecticut species of tree. I keep calling it the tree that ate our house. Husband put the lights on last night tonight we will decorate it. Zoë can't wait to put the star on top.

11 December 2005

Pride and Prejudice

I went to see Pride and Prejudice for the second time tonight. It wasn't exactly my choice to see the movie for the second time, but it turned out to be really good -- again. It really is one of the best film interpretations of the book that I have seen. There's only two things that bothered me about the movie:

  1. Keira Knightley's very obvious wig. I'm really not sure why the wig designer couldn't do a better job or why they couldn't have just given her hair extensions.

  2. The bite on Sixteen Candles ending. I haven't read it recently, but I don't remember that scene from the book. I'm not sure, but I think Ms. Austen would have been embarrassed and appalled.

10 December 2005

Second snow of the season

This storm had a much better reception. It was the perfect snow storm, actually. It started around 4:30am Friday so it didn't make getting home from work Thursday night difficult. It snowed heavily all morning making the morning commute treacherous thus all the local schools were closed including Zoë's daycare. And, best of all, my office was closed! Therefore I didn't even have to try to really work from home with Zoë here. I did some work, but nothing much. It stopped snowing around 11 and it warmed up so a lot of it just melted and we were able to get out of the house and go out for lunch by 1pm on Friday.

06 December 2005


There is a piece in today's NY Times about an eleven-year-old girl who...

...was taken to the hospital three months ago with a terrifying catalog of injuries.

Her teeth were broken, her face was swollen, her chest had old and new burns. She was extremely thin, her abdomen was sunken, she had cuts and sores, and her temperature was 81 degrees.

But the most severe injury was in Haleigh's brain: her brain stem was partly sheared, doctors said, leaving her in a vegetative state.

My question is -- how could anyone do that to a little girl? I just cannot wrap my mind around it. I don't even want to begin to understand it.

04 December 2005

First snow of the season

Woke up this morning to find it snowing and about an inch on the ground already. Usually I enjoy the first snow -- it's pretty and makes everything look clean. This time I just found it depressing. It's just the start of another season of complaining about the weather.

02 December 2005

NY Times 10 Best Books for 2005

Today the NY Times named the 10 best books for 2005. I do usually consider the NY Times to be an authority on subjects such as this -- most subjects actually, but I have to raise a red flag because "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld is #3 on this list. That book just wasn't that good. When it was first gloriously reviewed back in January I giddily rushed right out and bought a hardcover copy at full price. Sadly, I was disappointed. The book left me very flat. There is nothing new or particularly revealing in this book that makes it any more special than a hundred other books that were published this year. I would really like my $21.95 back.

Given all the press that the NY Times has given Ms. Sittenfeld -- including allowing her write nasty reviews of fellow female author's work, my only conclusion can be that there is some serious nepotism here. I mean really, how can you even put "Prep" in the same room with "Saturday" by Ian McEwan or "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith? Something is rotten in New York.