Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Attitude of Grrrrr-attitude

3 Dec

Whine: Morning and I do not get along. We never have. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of waking me up can attest to that–I once hit a girl who tried to wake me up on a long road trip (So sorry, Carmen). And yet, thanks to the magic of parenting, I no longer need an alarm clock.

Cheese: Despite an early-morning wake-up call, I haven’t hit anyone. Today. (Poor, poor Mr. Dad.)

I hate waking up so much that my mother used to come in my room blowing a whistle and banging to pot lids together like cymbals. And after I finally stumbled into a darkened bathroom to take my shower, I’d lay a towel on the floor and catch a few more minutes of shut-eye before my mom figured out that the shower wasn’t actually running and came back with her homemade marching band.

And here I am, a mother myself now. But I definitely have the opposite problem. These kids don’t need clanging cymbals to rouse them in the morning. The fluttering of a moth’s wings two doors down is sufficient. And forget about trying to use the bathroom between the hours of 5 and 7 am (which happens frequently when you are up with little babies) unless you want really crabby company for the rest of the day.

But mornings aren’t all bad. The fact that Brother Bear woke me well before 7 is the only reason I have time to blog today. So even though I grunted and scowled my way through the first few paragraphs, I’m almost glad to be awake. (It’s still before 9am; let’s not push it.)

That’s what we’re working on these days. Replacing cranky, whiny, stinky attitudes with gratitude. And the kids are working on it, too. At first there’s definitely a little more emphasis on the grrrr. But as we keep flexing our thankfulness muscles, finding the good stuff gets a little bit easier every time.

The other day, I wanted to try out this handy new reframing habit. I could hear the sisters were bickering in the back of the car. I couldn’t completely make out the words, but the tone was enough to inform me of their malicious intent. So I interrupted them and told them to each say something nice about the other.

Big Sis looked over at her beloved sister and said, in all seriousness, “Lil’ Sis, I like the way you have snot running out of your nose.”

Sigh.

In a related story, Christmas is a total beatdown for parents. Not just because of the hustle and bustle and teetering around financial pandemonium. But because of the challenge of teaching our kids to be content with a house bursting with toys and games they mostly don’t play with, despite the fact that they desperately need a whole ‘nother house filled with MORE toys and games for them to use once then ignore.

Which leads to pretty continuous conversations about what everyone else has and how much and how we can never be happy because she has the super-deluxe-edition dolly and I only have the regular-deluxe-edition one. Isn’t life SOOO unfair? And right as I’m schooling my sweetie that the best cure for a raging case of envy is to find all the good stuff you already have, I catch myself drooling over the souped-up 2011 minivan with all of its hubcaps that is driving by.

So I guess I’m thankful that I have kids that force me to face the sad, five-year-old state of my heart so we can learn contentment together. Or should I say grrrateful?

 

*Come back Monday for Part 2 of this post. Two posts in a week? Now that’s something to be thankful for.

 

The Turkey IS a funny bird. . .

26 Nov

Whine: Sorry, too full of pie  for any whine today.

Cheese: No, really, I’m too full for any cheese either. There were actually fourteen pies at dinner tonight. I’m ashamed to say I only managed to sample four of them. In my defense, two of them were gone before I even had a chance. What can I say, these guys eat like a pack of wolves (my husband’s side of the family, of course.)

About a week before Thanksgiving last year Big Sis’ three-year old preschool class hosted a Thanksgiving feast. We walked in to find a handsome table, that they had set themselves: forks on the left, spoons on the right (no knives, of course, they’re only three for heaven’s sakes) sitting atop little homemade placemats and turkeys. Being a first-time preschool parent, my eyes welled up a little to think that my BABY was setting a table. Those sentimental tears transitioned almost immediately into ones induced from giggles as they performed their Thanksgiving song in tradtional mumble-sing, stare-at-the-ceiling toddler style:

The turkey is a funny bird

His head goes wobble-wobble

He just knows one funny word

Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Speaking of those funny birds, I like them soaked in a mysteriously tasty brine and roasted until they’re juuuuust right.  And then I like to keep them company on my plate with overly-sweetened sweet potatoes, stuffing whose butter-to-bread ratio is roughly 50/50, a healthy portion of just-like-my-momma-makes sour-cream mashed potatoes, and most importantly, a  special helping of the Thanksgiving classic, the “I’ll-kill-you-if-you-eat-the-last-of-it” green bean casserole. (You gotta stand your ground when you’re surrounded by wolves. Wolves, I tell you, wolves.)

I was going to tell you this long story about how our culture has ended up calling boy turkeys “Toms” that I heard on the radio on my ten-hour traffic vomit whiny baby road trip to Kansas City. How it all started because Ben Franklin was mad at Thomas Jefferson, etc, etc, etc. But then, because here at Whine and Cheese we value the whole truth and nothing but the truth and we never exaggerate or anything, I googled it. Turns out it’s probably not true at all. But still, I can’t complain, it passed at least three of the six hundred minutes I spent in what felt like a very small car with what felt like very loud and irritated birds in the back seat.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dad is driving contentedly along. Why? You ask. Was it because he is just that zen and can tune out the whole back seat? No, though he is very zen. Was it because he loves driving that much that he didn’t care about the Antsy Pantsies constant demands? No, though he does love driving. A lot. Was it because he brought along his industrial-quality noise-reduction headphones and piped Johnny Cash in from his blackberry? Yes, that is exactly why.

After a few hours of driving in this most inequitable situation (he says it was only an hour, but time flies when you are not wishing you could rid yourself of the gift of hearing) I ripped the headphones from his head, tuned into some Tim McGraw and immediately felt my blood pressure drop from “I hate this whole stupid road trip idea” to ” why this isn’t so bad.” I could see him dealing with the demands from the backseat as I blissfully tuned them out. Which, since he was driving may not have been our safest bet, but then, hey WELCOME TO MY WORLD, MR. DAD.

But we arrived safe and sound last night to find many, many excited relatives jockeying for position at the front door as we clambered up the walk. I’m surprised nobody got hurt, really. There was actual pushing and shoving. And this morning, certain other relatives, after staying up waaaayyyy past their bedtimes chatting, got up with my kids. So I could sleep. And that is one the nicest gift I’ve ever received. We had our traditional Thanksgiving church service this morning. And this family, though we all just cram into the living room, is bigger than some actual churches. The little girls sang the aptly titled “Make a Joyful Noise” with a little bit of bicycle horn, tambourine and harmonica. (Sound familiar?) But mostly cowbell. Lots and lots of cowbell. Which is a good thing, cause I had a fever. And the only prescription was more cowbell.

This was a good day. A very good day. Full of family, food, naps (for the kids) and football. And although Thanksgiving is about all those things, it’s about a lot more too. It’s really about attitude. About being able to find something to be thankful for even when you kinda just think everything stinks, like the vomit-covered car seat positioned directly behind you. About listening to a cowbell symphony and thinking it’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard. And about tasting everyone’s pie and telling them how insanely delicious it was, even if you they may have burned the crust just a little.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, I hope you can find lots of little somethings to be thankful for today!

Gold Stars: Thanksgiving Edition

27 Nov

Whine: No whine today. Gave my sommelier the day off.

Cheese: Sweet potatoes. Pie. Green bean casserole. Pie. Ham. Pie. Mashed potatoes. Pie. Turkey. Pie.

 

In honor of Thanksgivng, the gold stars today go to the things and people for which I am very thankful.

The gold stars today go to:

1. Clairol. For ten-dollar hair-highlighting kits. Because everyone thinks I’m a blonde. And an extra-special gold star to my sister-in-law, who punched 134 little holes in the cap and pulled my hair through each and every hole, all while two crabby babies gnawed at her ankles.

2. Toyota. For making a car that refuses to lock when the keys are in the ignition. Not that I would know anything about that.

3. My beloved family, friends, and readers. Without you there’d really be no point–to blogging or to living.  And aren’t they the same thing?

4. ABC. For bringing Scrubs back. I can’t hardly wait for January 6.

5. Campbell’s Soup. For inventing green bean casserole. Enough said.

6. Mr. Dad. For everything. For making chocolate milk for me when I could just as easily make it myself. For not being too mad when I wake him in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep. For giving me two little sweeties and loving them as much as I do.

7. Lil’ Sis. For giggles. For slobbery kisses. For “So Big!”

8. Big Sis. For being the wittiest person I know. For curiosity. For love. For teaching me how to pray.

9. Naps. For allowing me to deal with numbers 7 and 8 above.

10. God. For always giving me  his unfailing love–the only gold star I really need.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!