Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dear Santa - From Mom

As a Mom of 3 under the age of 7, I thought this was great!

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM...!

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My 2yr Old Assistant

It's a very busy time of year for our Casting Keepsakes business so I decided to work in the shop Sunday afternoon to get a head start on orders that had come in over the weekend. Our 2 older kids were away on a play date, but my husband decided that one of the errands he had to run was not appropriate for our 2 yr old. So, he brought our little helper over to the shop for about an hour or so, which on the weekend isn't all that unusual.

Normally on the weekends (because most of the time I usually do have kids along) I just go over the inventory and other things that a child cannot usually interfere with. However, this Sunday (yesterday) I was preparing orders to ship. My little helper had to check out every box and at one point lost his toy truck and of course, we found it amongst a customer's order. Okay, time to find something else to do until Dad came back. I sealed up the boxes I had already prepared and decided to tidy up a little. When it came time to leave with Dad, my little helper realized he had misplaced both of his pluggies (pacifiers). We looked around and decided there was a very good chance they could be hiding is in one of the sealed boxes, which were ready to be sent to customers! I had prepared dozens of orders and in the process of cleaning up the area, had shifted them from one end of the room to the other and had no idea which ones I had last sealed. Perfect!

Now, my Monday dilemma - do I (or my employee) go through every box today (something we really don't have time to do), or do I let a customer find a potential surprise!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

How did I get here?

Working my second job as a biomedical engineer for another great company, my life and career were great! I had been married about 5 years by then (yes, looking back, getting married at 21 seems so young now) and had a great group of friends that were all childless. We were all finally out of college and making some money. We could do much of what we wanted when we wanted. A call would come in at 9pm on a Tuesday night to go bowling and within a half hour 8 of us would be there. So that was a good time to start having kids, right?

I worked full time throughout my first pregnancy (and then some) as I went into my 42nd week of pregnancy. My husband jokes that we are both so stubborn that neither of us would make the first "move." Anyway, I had everything planned out - go back to work after 12 weeks off with my husband and I each working four 10 hour days so that our child would only be in someone else's care 3 days a week. A family member and school teacher who was off for the summer watched our daughter for the first 2.5 months and it was perfect. Our second babysitter was a friend of the family, but for various reasons I won't discuss here right now, we had reasons to believe our daughter was not safe at that residence.

My well thought out plans were coming unraveled. I found a short term solution, but came to the conclusion that daycare was just not going to work out at that time. All of my immediate family lived several hours away and none of hour friends even had kids of their own yet, so I was looking at a daycare facility in a large city for an infant. That I just couldn' t do.

I had been selling on ebay "for fun" for about a year and decided that I could make enough extra money to justify staying home. [Keep in mind that this was back in 2000 and ebay was a lot different that it is today]. That is at least until I felt comfortable putting our daughter in a larger daycare facility. However, as that time approached, I became pregnant with our second child and I realized I was in this WAH situation for the long haul.

To be continued . . . [If you're still interested]