In honor of Thanksgiving, I'd like to make a list of the top ten things I'm thankful for. And since it's Tuesday and I'm a big fan of alliteration, I'm going to call this Top Ten Tuesday.
**Disclaimer - obviously the top things I'm thankful for are my family, our friends, our health, and the love we all share - this blog is lighthearted and fun and those things are not.**
1. The fact that my kids are no longer babies. I mean, sure, there are times when I miss the feel of a warm, squishy, baby in my arms. And there's really nothing like a baby's laugh. Babies are great. But I am so glad I'm done with my baby stage. I love that I'm not worrying about car seats and day cares and most of all, mom judgement.
Not to say there's no mom judgement when your kids are over the age of 10, but I guess you just kinda stop caring what other mom's think as much. I mean, I've been doing this a while and so far, so good. I don't care if you think my kids watch too much TV or if they smell a little funny (when did you last take a bath?) or if they eat too much Halloween candy. They're cool. I've kept them alive this long.
When your kids are babies and toddlers you are always worried what someone is thinking of you and how you're raising your child. Breast feeding guilt (did you? how long? did you pump? did you do it in public?) is at the top of the list. Followed by how long your child was in a rear facing car seat and whether they watched Baby Einstein or you read Goodnight Moon to them every night as they fell asleep. Seriously, new moms. Let all that go. As long as you're not hitting the crack pipe and leaving your babies in the care of convicted felons so you can work your shift at the Eager Beaver - you're doing fine. (And no disrespect to those stripper mamas out there. Work it, girl. Money makes the world go round.)
Did you know that babies aren't supposed to eat purees anymore? Yep, that's a thing. I don't know why and I don't care to research why - but the food that all three of my children ate when first started to eat is evidently a big, fat, mom judgey no-no. I guess you're just supposed to give them a banana and hope they don't choke to death.
2. My minivan. Our old minivan wasn't doing so well, so earlier this year we got a new to us minivan. It's an upgrade from our old minivan in that it has no dents, doesn't smell like cheese, and doesn't require me to add water to it before every trip. There are no dummy lights on, all the windows work, the AC works and it even has heated seats that I use almost every day even though I live in South Florida. I like a toasty tush. It's pure luxury, y'all.
Originally when we bought The Man's SUV we made sure to buy something that had third row seating because we figured when my van finally died (this was like 5 years ago and we thought the old van was on her last legs then - nope) I'd take the new SUV and The Man would get a car. The Man's SUV is nice. It's got all the bell and whistles and it drives nice and all that junk.... but I loved my van and when it boiled down to it, I didn't want to not have a minivan. There's something magical about the amount of stuff you can fit into a minivan, the amount of legroom every passenger gets, and the fact that it drives like heaven.
I'm pretty sure this will be our last minivan. The next time I have to buy a car the kids will be old enough that I won't be carting them around everywhere and they'll be starting their own lives. So I'll probably buy something smaller, a little sportier hopefully, perhaps something with a sun-roof and a trunk.
3. Coffee. I don't drink coffee every morning. I used to, but I've tried to wean myself off of it, actually. Still, there are those dragging days when I'm just so happy it's there. People are weird about their coffee, too. Have you noticed this? Whether it's flavored or black or two sugars or a pinch of sugar or no cream or soy milk. People are really particular.
I'm not so particular. I dabble with different flavored coffees (right now I'm having Blueberry coffee - it's smells like the inside of a Dunkin Donuts and tastes delicious), get excited when the International Delights creamers are BOGO at Publix, some days I like it a little sweeter, some days I put almost no sugar in there. A caramel macchiato at Starbucks is my ultimate coffee but I only splurge on it maybe twice a year (that's what makes it special, though - $5 for any coffee beverage that is non-alcoholic is really ridiculous). I think being a barista would be a kinda cool job only in that I'd like to learn to make all the fancy coffees.
I'll drink coffee pretty much any way you give it to me and I can appreciate it every way. Super strong, super weak, lots of milk, black. Cuban, Italian, and my personal favorite - Irish - they're all a-okay with me.
4. Parenthood - the show. Do you watch this show? Y'all, I have gone through all 6 seasons with The Bravermans and now we're down to just 4 episodes left. I am so sad it's ending. It may be harder on me than the series finale of Friends. (The Man had to take the kids and leave the house to give me alone time for that one.)
I wish I didn't watch it so I could start from the beginning and watch it with fresh, new eyes. It's a heart-wrenchingly beautiful show and I really love all of the characters. Somehow this family makes you feel as though you are a part of them, like they're your family.
I get excited for them, my heart breaks for them, I get angry at them, and I want to defend them against other people. They are my TV family and I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss them. Last week's episode about killed me. If you watch it, you know what I'm talking about.
Please Parenthood writers, please don't make anyone die. I know you're going to, I know you kinda have to - but please, please don't.
5. Costco. I used to make fun of Costco people. You know what I'm talking about. They're always telling you what great thing they got at Costco. They have square milk jugs in their fridge. There is some sort of weird trail mix in their pantry and they have a lifetime supply of paper towels in their garage. Going to Costco is an activity for these people - a place where they actually want to spend their Saturdays. They spend $300 on a cart full of "necessities" and eat free samples for lunch. Or maybe a hot dog and soda for $1.50.
Now I am those people. Sort of. I mean, I'm a careful Costco shopper but I have seen the light. They've got me. They got me with their $3.29 ground beef in whopping six pound packages. It's so lean you almost don't have to drain it at all. They got me with two loaves of bread for $4.29. A rotisserie chicken all cooked for $4.99? Yes, please. Costco is now a twice a month adventure. I don't trust that everything at Costco is a good deal - sometimes it's not - but I do find that shopping at Costco shaves a couple hundred dollars a month off of our food budget. And who am I kidding? It's nice to be part of the club.
I long to be a Type A personality, actually. I longingly look at their clean houses and their perfectly manicured nails and their children that smell clean and have recently had haircuts. How do they keep it all together?
But as much as I wish I could be a Type A person, I think deep down I'm glad I'm not and that they are. Because I don't handle constant pressure well. I mean, sure, if you give me a deadline for a project I will stress out two days before it's due and make it happen and I'll say something like "I work best under pressure" - but in reality, I can only handle that pressure for a small amount of time. If I pressure myself like that for two days, I need a week of doing absolutely nothing to recover. It's probably what made college such a challenge for me.
7. Amazon Prime. I don't actually have an Amazon Prime membership - but one of my BFF's does. And she's awesome and lets me piggy-back right on that thing. It's kind of amazing. You can have pretty much anything you need, anything you want, anything you can think of shipped free and on your doorstep in 2 days.
For real. Goober wanted the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. He wanted me to order it from his school's Scholastic book flyer. Do you know how long a kid has to wait for a Scholastic book to come in? Weeks! I ordered that baby from Amazon on Thursday night (kinda late even) and it was delivered Saturday afternoon. Bam! (Goober read it in about 3 hours like a ravenous beast. And then it was over and he was kinda sad.)
Amazon Prime has saved my ass more than a few times. Munchkin gets invited to a birthday party this weekend with no time to go out and buy a gift? Amazon delivers the day before the party. The Man gets an order for twenty Minnie chalkboard heads and we're out of red polka dot ribbon? Amazon delivers before he's done cutting those babies out. Bug tells me he has to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for school and his book report is due in a week and a half? Amazon delivers him a copy with plenty of time for him to read it and write a Grade A report. BAM.
8. Revlon Colorsilk Hair Dye. Y'all, I do not like going to the salon. I do not like it one little bit. I don't like being trapped there for hours while my hair gets done. I don't like having to make small talk with the hair stylist. (Seriously, I don't know you. Why do you care what I do for a living or whether my kids like the school they go to? Just don't screw up my hair, okay?) I don't like being touched and I don't like paying hundreds of dollars for the privilege of doing all these things I don't like.
Especially when I can pay $4 for a box of Revlon Colorsilk Hair Dye in #61 Dark Blonde and cover up my incessant grey roots in the privacy of my own home. It works great, it costs next to nothing, and I never look like I just dyed my hair. It's so much better than going to the salon I can't even tell you. Maybe it doesn't work this awesomely for everyone, but it does for me. Time saved, money saved, sanity saved, it's a no-brainer.
9. My cat. We have two cats actually and a dog. And I love them all. But one of them loves me the most. That's Mr. Baggins. He's a tuxedo cat and he's a bit of a wuss. He gets his ass kicked on a daily basis by our other cat, Smeagol. (Yes we're geeks, what of it?) Mr. Baggins runs from the kids (especially Munchkin - he is scared to death of her) and hides on our bed most of his life. He is afraid of pretty much everything - I guess you could call him a scaredy-cat - except he's not afraid of me. Well, only if I sneeze or make a sudden movement and then he runs away. I don't know where he's running to, exactly, since he's afraid of pretty much everything in the world.
Baggins loves to be pet. He will longingly look at you with big green eyes at silently open his little mouth to meow a plea. "Pet me, please, it's all I really want." He will watch your hands as they move around because he sees hands as nothing other than petting machines.
He is always there for me. With a couple little clicky sounds, Baggins is running to me wherever I am. I know he's only wanting to be pet, but lucky for us, me petting him is usually what I want to do. He's so soft and squishy and fluffy and warm. He rolls around and turns upside down with joy that he's being pet, his claws going in and out with utter pleasure and his whole body vibrating with happy purrs. He's a hedonistic little bugger, but I love him.
And the most exciting, biggest thing I am most thankful for this year is....
10. My phone. Don't look at me that way. Read the disclaimer above. Judgeypants.
I love my phone. I didn't know how much I would really love it before I got it - but seriously, I love it. I've had smartphones for a while, but this one I think I love the most. It is fast, it looks pretty in it's purple Speck case, it has lots of games and fun stuff to do, my calendar is updated on it, and it keeps me connected to the people I love the most (and many of the people I just sort of like and unfortunately several of the people I really don't care for at all).
I use my phone for pretty much everything from a calculator to a camera to a flashlight to an alarm clock. I keep coupons on it, I look up anything I'm remotely kinda curious about on Google, I use it in the kitchen to look at recipes. It reminds me what I need to be doing and when, it plays music to lift my spirits, and it tells me when I'm not moving around enough and to get my ass up out of the chair. My phone is totally my friend. It's blinking at me right now. Hey there, pretty lady.
I don't know if this Top Ten Tuesday thing is going to actually be a thing so I'm going to refrain from making some pretty little graphic that I'll never use again. If you're a long time reader of my blog you know what I'm saying. We'll see what happens next week, shall we?