Life, Mornings, Mr. KK, NaBloPoMo, Screen time

Why I’m proud of my excessive “screen time”

‘Screen time’ is a buzzword, most often used by professionals and websites telling people how they are bad parents when their children get too much of it. Little Mister does not do a ton of screen time at home, however I question whether these experts who pooh-pooh ipads for kids have ever tried to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, eat a meal at a restaurant while it was still hot, or just wanted 1 hour to get the grocery shopping done without having to answer the question, “Can we get this?” 3,728 times.

Now, adults are being judged on their screen time. It was either with one of the latest iPhones or one of the millions of updates that I started getting these weekly “Screen Time” alerts, where my phone would scold me tell me how much time I spent on my phone in the past week.

(by the way, that “5:41” at the top is AM folks, not PM)Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.41.24 AM

I spend a lot of time on my phone.

I am an early riser. I mean EARLY. (Don’t even get me started on Daylight Savings Time, when for the past 2 days I’ve basically woken up in the middle of the night).

And when I wake up, I need something to do to occupy my mind and time that is not loud or disruptive. Sometimes I read. But most times, I’m on my phone, scrolling, researching, planning.

Sure, I’m catching up on social media and reading articles that Facebook thinks I’ll like, and mentally shopping all of the goodies I see on Insta with the #targetdoesitagain.

But these early morning hours, these are the hours I’m most productive.

Here are some of the things I accomplish while the world still sleeps:

  • Catch up on all my emails that came in the night before
  • Check my calendar and mentally plan out the morning, and my day at work
  • Sign up for exercise classes for the upcoming days/week
  • Organize my photos and upload them to Shutterfly
  • During the holidays, get inspiration for gifts and make lists
  • Shop! I’m Amazon’s best customer before the sun comes up
  • Peruse family vacation houses
  • Make a grocery list
  • Research anything that Mr. KK and I have been taking about in the last few days: recipes for Thanksgiving, activities for the Little Mister, the new brewery opening up
  • Secretly look up and price out beach vacations
  • Silently LOL at the funniest things parents tweeted for the week on HuffPo

Of course, when Mr. KK finally wakes up, it’s likely I’ve been on my phone for a few hours by that point, so he barely has an eye open when I start bombarding him with questions, showing him recipes and asking him to look at the 37 links I texted him while he was sleeping.

Hey, if I’m going to be awake, I’m going to be productive.

Life, NaBloPoMo

Hello! Let me catch you up!

It’s Day 1 of NaBloPoMo – and I’m back blogging after almost a year off since last year’s month-long blogfest.

I always like to start the month off with a little recap of what I’ve been doing for the last year, besides sneaking off to Target and single-handedly keeping Amazon in business.

A year in review.

December

As always, it was a busy holiday season. We decided that we would indeed introduce the Elf on a Shelf into our home (more on that guy in another post). As predicted, I thoroughly enjoyed finding new and interesting places for his shenanigans. I’m looking forward to threatening my child with no presents spreading that holiday magic again this year!

IMG_3333

In true Little Mister fashion, he SLEPT IN on Christmas morning! Bright side: it gave Mr. KK and I a chance to make tea and coffee and sit in quiet for a few moments before the craziness began.

We have never been big fans of going out on New Year’s Eve; I think we’ve stayed in the last 10 years. Mr. KK will mix up some adult bevvies, I’ll cook up a tasty meal and we’ll play games and watch my all-time favorite reviews of all the people who died in the last year. Since Little Mister joined us, we’ve had the same plan, except our gourmet dinner includes pigs in a blanket and faux countdown at 9pm. But…we still have fun!

IMG_3531

January

I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon. Mr. KK bought me one for Christmas (unlike some women I LOVE getting kitchen stuff for Christmas! Bring on the appliances and gadgets!)

IMG_3582

I’ve mostly made soups (split pea, chicken, tortilla), artichokes (revolutionary!) and buffalo chicken.

February

We tried swim lessons, again.

And, once again, our child took swim lessons from land:

IMG_4224

That was about as close to the pool as he got. Each week he would sit there and watch the class. One week he dared to put his feet in the water (!) and the swim instructor pulled him in the pool. The parents around me started to cheer and clap (as they, too, watched him watch swim lessons for weeks). Little Mister, however, was NOT having it. He started to scream and cry and when she put him back on the tile he looked directly at me and yelled: “I am so ANGRY right now!” Then he stomped off to the women’s locker room, with as much dignity as possible while wearing a rubber tube around his midsection.

Bonus points for him being able to express his feelings?

March

Perhaps the biggest news of the year, was that we added to our family! Meet: Rocco!

IMG_4152

Rocco is a shelter dog, and we rescued him when he was just 3 1/2 months old. I was home alone one Friday night, throwing back cabernet and scrolling through Petfinder (like all the cool kids) when I came across his face. I immediately texted the link to Mr. KK who distractedly responded, “He’s cute!” Which I translated into, “YOU MUST GET THIS DOG RIGHT NOW.”

Fast forward two weeks from that fateful night, and I picked up this little 7-pound fur baby. And we haven’t looked back since.

You can follow his antics on Instagram @therealroccomars

April

Milestone birthday for me.

Moving on.

We also discovered the Little Mister’s love of roller coasters! Who would’ve thought this shy child who wouldn’t participate in swim lessons would become a coaster junkie??

I think Mr. KK and I squeezed our adult-sized bodies into this rickety kiddie roller coaster 5 times that night. My back still hasn’t recovered.

IMG_4823

May

It was a good year for beer. Lots of new, high-octane hoppy releases from some of our favorite breweries. Now that I’m up in Boston so often, it’s easy for me to pop over to one of our favorite breweries and grab whatever’s new.

RenderedImage

This was a Quadruple IPA.

Not double.

Not triple.

QUADRUPLE.

And it was delicious. Smooth, hoppy, no bitter after taste. And not to sound pretentious, but it drank like a double IPA.

Summer

We took our usual family vacation to Maine, where Max fall in love (that’s a post in itself!) There is just something about the southern coast of Maine in the summer. Between the food and beer scene in Portland, and the beaches in Cape Elizabeth, and that laid-back summer state of mind, it must may be the most amazing place on earth.

IMG_6379

September

If you know me at all, you know that if it involves a trip to Target, I’m down. And if it doesn’t have anything at all to do with Target, I will force fit that sh*t.

Because LM’s Grandmothers ruined Target for me, I now have to have “the toy talk” before we head to the Happiest Place on Earth. Armed with the understanding that we were only getting a backpack and a lunchbox for school, we strutted around the store show off our Toy Story stuff:

IMG_6839

And see that yellow price sticker? That’s CLEARANCE, kids.

BOOM.

October

The Little Mister turned 5! I’m not sure how that’s possible, because it feels like just yesterday we were given the side-eye in a Virginia hotel when we stopped for the night with a 3-day old baby.

If the objective of the day was to keep a big smile on Little Mister’s face, then mission accomplished. We rented a bouncy house, and Little Mister jumped in that thing from the minute it was inflated at 8:45am until they came to take it away at 5:45pm.

IMG_7200

I spent a little time jumping in this thing, too. And I’m embarrassed to say that I was WINDED after a minute of jumping.

And that my legs were sore the next day.

****

There you have it – the year in review.

Get ready, folks. In the next 29 days I’ll write about my latest food obsession, college before technology, getting old and being told you’re old, and Little Mister’s thoughts on where babies come from.

Happy reading!

Life, NaBloPoMo

I hate how this world has changed me.

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 8.03.05 PM

I should premise this story by saying I’m a paranoid person by nature. When I travel alone I barricade the hotel room door. I triple-check the locks at night. I’m the one who asks, “Did you beep the car?” multiple times.

This morning I made an early morning grocery store run. I pushed my cart into the parking lot and stopped my cart behind my car so that I could load my groceries. There was a car backed into the spot next to me, lights on and running. As I started putting bags into the back of my car, the window of the car rolled down to reveal a woman inside.

“I love your glasses,” she said to me.

“Oh, thank you!” I told her, continuing to load my car. “They’re actually cheater readers because I’m old and I can’t see anymore!” I thought this would be the end of our conversation, but she pressed on.

“Where did you get them?” she asked.

“At The Loft,” I replied, hurrying up a bit.

“Is that in the mall? Where is The Loft?”

At this point, I started to get a little leery. Here’s where my train of thought went: a few months ago, a person was mugged in this very grocery store parking lot around 8am in the morning (it was 7:30am). I had just gotten money back when I paid the cashier. Had someone inside watched me? Who was behind me in line? Was this their getaway car? Is that why it was running? Did a husband and wife team work together? Was it her role to sit in the car and distract someone with small talk while her counterpart surprises them and robs them? Am I total nut job???

See, I told you I was paranoid!

I was trying to be nice, while checking out my surroundings, and getting the hell back in my car.

Also, for the record, my little cheater reader glasses ARE really nice. I do get lots of compliments on them.

“It’s in Milford,” I tell her, slamming my trunk. “In that little strip mall.”

I push my cart into the cart corral and hurry to my door, checking over my shoulder.

“See you later!” I tell her, hopping in my car and hitting the door lock.

Once I was safely inside, that’s when I started to feel badly. She really was just being nice, and here I was paranoid she was part of an elaborate mugging scheme.

The world has changed so much, and it’s disheartening. Ten years ago, I would never have had those crazy thoughts. I would have had a normal conversation with this woman without worrying that someone was watching me. I wouldn’t be cataloging in my mind everyone I saw after checkout who could have seen me get money from the cashier. (The fact that someone was robbed in that very parking lot didn’t help, either.)

When I look at what the world has become, I often wonder how any of us who grew up in the 80s are even alive. We left the house in the morning and came home for dinner. We didn’t have cell phones to check on (or for parents to track us).

It makes me sad for what the world is going to morph into as Little Mister gets older. Will he never feel safe outside? (Or, more likely, will I never feel safe letting him play outside?) When I was in middle school, I was considered a ‘walker’, which basically meant I walked to school. And, I would take the short cut to school, which meant walking through the woods. Can you imagine this happening today? A school saying it was ok for a 12-year-old to walk through the woods alone to school?

I know I will be a paranoid mother – probably more so than I have to be. Will he think I’m crowding him? Probably. Being over protective? Yep. Annoying? I’m sure. But it’s who I am for myself, and who I will undoubtedly be for Little Mister.

Mr. KK, NaBloPoMo

Day 28: What I love about Mr. KK

NaBloPoMo can be a stressful time in the KK household. The added pressure of coming up with new blog posts every day for 30 days – often at night, after we put the Little Mister to bed, when all I want to do is lay in a semi-comatose state on the couch – can wear on you.

What started out as an innocent question has turned into a bit of a joke. Every night I ask Mr. KK, “What should I write my blog post about today?” and every day he replies, “How about how much you love your husband?” He’s (mostly) kidding.

IMG_2180.jpeg

So the joke is on him, today. I’m taking him up on his blog idea. And I’m writing an entire post about some of the things I love most about Mr. KK:

  • He’s an amazing father to our Little Mister. Even when LM was going through his ‘mommy phase’, and he didn’t so much as want to give Mr. KK the time of day, Mr. KK was patient (for the most part!), finding special times for just the two of them to hang out (and give Mom a bit of a break). Now they’re best buds.
  • He’s a perfectionist. I make fun of him for this, how we can’t hang something on the wall without using 47 tools and it taking 3 hours. But his attention to detail and desire to do things the right way, say a lot about who he is as a person, his integrity, and how he approaches his job and his life in general.
  • He’s a good sport when I make fun of him for “blowing leaves”. We have a term in our house: blowing leaves. I actually posted about it a few years ago. Blowing leaves is described as this: starting a task that bears no relevance whatsoever on the situation at hand, and having said task take up WAY too much time and energy, both of which you do not have. For example, we’re cleaning up the house when we have people coming over, and Mr. KK pulls out 3 months of bills and receipts and starts to organize them. REALLY???
  • He’s my biggest fan. When I told him I wanted to change careers a few years ago? He 100% supported me. He loves all the meals I cook. He doesn’t question my crazy ideas and decisions. He takes over when I have to travel for work like it’s no big deal. And he knows I don’t mean it when I act a little crazy.
  • He’s humble. Mr. KK never wants to be the center of attention. Even when he’s the smartest person the in room, knows the right way to do something, or is being told he’s wrong when he’s really right, he keeps quiet. He’ll usually choose the path that makes life easier for others, and not complain. Unlike his lovely wife. 🙂
  • He’s a good human. He was raised well (hats off to you, mother-in-law KK!) and he genuinely cares about other people’s feelings. I tend to push him to be a little more aggressive when it comes to advocating for himself, but that’s probably why we balance each other out so well.

I’ve probably embarrassed him enough, so I’ll stop now.

But as you can tell, he’s really pretty great.

Christmas, NaBloPoMo, shopping

kk’s favorite things: 2018 edition

Everyone is coming out with their best gifts of the season lists, so here are mine!

  1. Lou & Grey Poncho

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 8.58.39 AM

A girl can never have too many ponchos, that’s my motto. And, it’s in my signature color: GRAY.

2. Everlane Commuter Backpack

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 10.18.07 PM

Speaking of gray, I love the shade of this backpack, perfect for my trips to Boston. This compact size will make it easy for the train rides, and the outer pockets made it easy to reach water, my phone or kindle.

3. Turquoise utensils from WayfairScreen Shot 2018-11-18 at 9.04.17 AM

Our kitchen utensils are approaching 14 years old – which is like 150 in human years. This bright turquoise color will complement my orange stove perfectly.

4. Lap DeskScreen Shot 2018-11-24 at 8.28.57 PM

I haven’t had a lap desk since college, when I would write my papers on my Brother word processor on my bed. This lap desk would be perfect for the times I’m writing blog posts on the couch, trying to balance my lap top…like right now.

5. Anthropologie Spreaders

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 8.32.35 PM

These are almost too pretty to get dirty! I love the bright colors and patterns. One more reason to entertain.

6. Crate & Barrel Marble Cheese BoardScreen Shot 2018-11-25 at 5.44.08 PM

One of the gifts I gave to my mother-in-law recently was a square marble cheese board. Every time I’m at her house and it’s out on the table I’m so jealous – and mad that I didn’t get one for myself.

7. Opalhouse Holiday Wreath from Target

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 7.59.40 AM

I have resisted the urge to buy this about 73 times (even today, when it is 30% off!). I just love how fluffy and festive it is, everything Christmas should be.

8. Felt Laptop Sleeve

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 8.01.50 AM

Just when you thought I couldn’t add any more gray into my life, there’s this awesome laptop sleeve. My Mac will fit snuggly inside, and this case will fit snuggly inside the commuter backpack above.

9.  Scout Duffle Bag

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 9.29.43 PM

Oh, how I love me a Scout bag. This duffle is the perfect size for an overnight trip (hint, hint, Mr. KK!), with lots of pockets and a shoulder strap. And a cute little dachshund logo to boot.

10. L.L. Bean Cozy PajamasScreen Shot 2018-11-26 at 3.01.04 PM

I’m always cold, so these cozy flannel pajamas are perfect for me when the temperature drops below 55 degrees. Bonus: they come in petite sizes!

Hopefully you saw something here that would be perfect for someone on your list! Happy shopping!

Kids will be kids, NaBloPoMo

From the mouth of a 4 year old.

Ah, the uncensored, mostly hilarious – yet sometimes mean – mouth of a preschooler.

If you’re looking for honest feedback, find the nearest 4-year-old. They speak their minds, have no filter. They also pick up on things they hear and that you say to them, then turn around and use those same phrases in shockingly proper ways.

Here are some recent gems:

When he sees a toy commercial or a toy in a catalog. “I would like that toy from Santa! Wait, was is that toy? What does it do? Doesn’t matter, I still want it!”

IMG_2455
“I’ll take one of these, and one of these, and one of these…”

Little Mister was pretending that me and Mr. KK were babies. He woke us up and told us he needed to go to work. He put on my scarf, kissed us both good-bye and said, “Now don’t do anything I wouldn’t do when I was you!”

I was drying him off after his bath, and he ran to the bathroom before we put pajamas on. When he came back, he informed me, “AND, I didn’t even pee on the floor! Well, except that one drop, but that’s right in front of the toilet, so it’s ok.”

Little Mister brought his stuffed monkey in the car with him on the way to daycare. I let him know that he needed to leave his monkey in the car when he went into school. His response, “Ok, but I don’t want your girlfriends playing with my monkey all day.” Oh boy.

 

Never a dull moment in this house!

NaBloPoMo

Since when is the movie theater your second living room?

Fun fact about me: I am HORRIBLE when it come to movie trivia. Unless your questions are about Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Meet the Parents, Wedding Crashers, The Hangover or Pitch Perfect (the original), I’m pretty much useless. Don’t ever pick me for a teammate for movie trivia night.

On average, Mr. KK and I average possibly less than one movie per year. Some of you are probably gasping at this, because you frequent the movies and have seen all nominees come awards season. Us? Unless there is a movie that we are dying to see/features one of our most favorite actors, we’ll maybe catch it on tv.

Just because we’re not big movie buffs, we don’t want to project that onto the Little Mister. So today, we took him to his very first movie: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

We really talked this event up to the Little Mister. He has a tendency to be excited about something for a while, but when it’s ‘go time’ – i.e., time to change out of his pajamas and actually leave the house – he all of a sudden doesn’t want to go.

Needless to say, we made this movie event feel better than the second coming of the Lord. And Little Mister was right there with us.

Not being seasoned movie goers, I was under the impression that we could just go to our local movie theater and purchase tickets for the movie that was starting in 20 minutes. You know, how you used to be able to go to the movies. Oh, but no. Now, all off the tickets must be bought online (fine) and you choose your seats ahead of time. When I checked Saturday night, all shows in our theater only had seats in the front row available. I was not taking Little Mister to his first movie experience and making him sit in the neck-ache first row.

We ended up getting online tickets to a theater one town over, where we didn’t have to choose our tickets ahead of time. And guess what? It was fine. In fact, there was only a few families in the theater when we arrived, trough-sized popcorn in hand.

This is when I met the most annoying movie goers on the planet. If I wasn’t with my child, I would have truly said something snarky to them because they deserved it.

Not the best view in this video, but you can see how they have basically moved into the movie theater.

The theater was not large, and all of the seating was accessible by one aisle along the left side of the theater. We found a row that was occupied on one side by a family but had 5 free seats all the way against the wall.

Let me set the scene for you: the family consisted of 7 women of varying ages, who more or less appeared to have moved into the movie theater, claiming the row as their new home. Each one was reclined in the movie seats (fine), legs propped up, pretending people weren’t trying to get into their row. They had brought blankets with them from home (BLANKETS – like the ones from their couches), and the walkway in front of them and the seats was littered with backpacks (yes, BACKPACKS) so much so, that no one could walk through if they tried (let alone my 4 year old who could trip on air).

As I tried to enter the row, the mother hen – who was sitting on the end – looked at me with a look that said, “Really? You’re going to come in our row?” (I could have slapped her on that look alone.)

“Do you think we could get by?” I asked, as Little Mister asked loudly, “Are we going to sit here???”

She looked down the row to the empty seats, then to all of the shit on the floor, then to me. “We figured anyone wanting to sit there would enter from the other side.” She said, then went back to sipping her soda.

“This is the only way into the row,” I pointed out.

She made a half-hearted attempt to look down the aisle and then back at me. Her little brood at there avoiding looking at us, staring at their phones and stuffing popcorn in their faces.

“Come on, buddy,” I said to Little Mister, guiding him up the stairs. “We’ll find another place to sit.”

“Yeah,” the mother said to me. “That would probably be best.”

ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME????

We sat in the row behind them, close enough that I could hear her nasally, annoying voice, but far enough away that I could shoot secret looks to Mr. KK and complain about her.

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that the movies were now a place where you practically MOVED IN with your family wearing basically pajamas (as an adult) and bringing half of your living room blankets with you.

Annoying family aside, Little Mister had a great first time at the movies! I’m pretty sure the big tub of popcorn was his favorite part of the day, but he was totally into the movie. He didn’t say a word from the time the lights went down until they came back up

We’re ready for the next movie, and now we’re prepared. I know I need to buy and reserve seats at some theaters a week ahead of time, and I know the family that we need to avoid at all costs. Oh, and we’ll be leaving our blankets at home, thank you very much.

NaBloPoMo

“Just one more thing…” and other 4-year-old stall tactics

I was scrolling through social media this morning in bed, right after I woke up at 5am (on a Saturday…of a long weekend…) and came across this HuffPost blog featuring hilarious tweets from parents of 4-year-olds. While trying to keep my laughter to a minimum as to not wake the misters, I came to realization that we are all pretty much raising the same 4 year old.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 11.03.20 PM
Image from some ecards

One of the biggest challenges in this house, is bedtime (getting out of the bathtub is a close second; I swear our child would stay in the tub for hours and turn into a prune if we let him). No matter how great of a day you could be having together, the minute Little Mister hears that magical 3 letter word B-E-D it’s all over. Our child has negotiating skills that would put some government officials to shame.

Bedtime looks something like this…

Bedtime in 45 minutes with a 4 year old.

The routine in our house is: bath, jammies, TV show, brush teeth, read a book (two if we’re relatively on track), tell a story and light’s out. But even this routine – the same routine we’ve been doing for just about 3 years now – can feel completely new to a four year old.

Here’s one night at bedtime in our house:

8:15pm: our selected TV show of the night has ended, Mom and Dad announce it’s bedtime and shut off the show. “NOOOO!” he screams, angered that we had to shut off his TV after we told him we agreed to one show and not getting mad when it was time to turn it off just 30 minutes earlier. The nerve of us.

8:16pm: Tantrum continues. “BUT I’M NOT READY YET!” Oh, but guess what, small human? Mommy and Daddy ARE ready; we’re so exhausted we’re practically sleeping on our feet. (Also, that grumbling sound you heard during your show? That actually WAS Daddy snoring and sleeping!)

8:18pm: We remind Little Mister one more time that we need to start the bedtime routine. He tells us, “I just have to do one more thing.”

8:23pm: Seventeen “one more things” later, including deciding right now is the perfect time to drag out his Mister Potato Head and his 346 pieces, we make it to the threshold of the bathrrom, arms filled with toys.

8:25pm: He steps INTO the bathroom at the speed of a turtle.

8:26pm: Little Mister arranges the menagerie of animals he has brought into the bathroom with him on the small bathroom sink. He painstakingly stands and arranges each and every one of them.

8:30pm: Success! We have one foot on the stool!

8:31pm: Little Mister takes one look at Daddy holding his toothbrush and announces, “Only MOMMY can brush my teeth!”

8:32pm: Dad and I switch places and I ask him to open up. He takes one look at the toothbrush I picked out and refuses to use an orange toothbrush. Cries about it, actually. And while we’re at it, the toothpaste I’m using (child’s Berry Blast flavor with Paw Patrol on the tube) is way too “spicy” for him.

8:33pm: The bottoms of his teeth are brushed!

8:36pm: Little Mister gets mad that he’s brushing his teeth when it’s dark out.

8:37pm: Teeth are done!

8:38pm: Little Mister wants to pick out a book because “He’s never allowed to do anything he wants to do and it’s just. not. fair.”

8:42pm: We finish the first book.

8:43-8:44pm: Little Mister is presented with the choice of one more book, or a story instead. He diplomatically informs us that he would like both a book AND a story. Cries hard for a minute when we tell him that it got too late for another book.

8:45pm: We tell Little Mister the ‘story of today’ which is 99% made up since I last saw him in the morning and he’

8:50pm: Little Mister is ravaged by a thirst so strong, he needs a drink that very minute because he’s ‘just so thirsty’

8:51pm: We tuck him in for the first time (foreshadowing!) and I tell Little Mister the story of the day.

8:52pm: “But Mo-o-om, I’m not tired.”

8:53pm: “Did you hear me? I said I wasn’t tired.”

8:54pm: “Where’s my big seal? I can’t sleep without my big seal!” We locate his big seal, with whom he hasn’t slept in over two months.

8:55pm: His feet are hot. We take off his socks.

8:56pm: Philosophical questions commence: “Why do we go to sleep?” “Why is it so dark right now?” “Why don’t we eat candy for breakfast?”

8:57pm: “I didn’t brush my teeth!” he yells, starting to climb out of bed. We gently remind him that he did, indeed, brush his teeth. Deflated, he lays back down.

8:59pm: “Good night, Little Mister!” we say. “Goodnight Mommy!” he says back. “Sleep tight! See you tomorrow!”

So we can do it all over again.

(PS: at 9:01pm Little Mister is out cold._

NaBloPoMo

I have a black thumb.

I kill plants. It’s a gift, really. I honestly can’t keep any type of plant alive. I just forget about them, and they die of thirst. The only plant I was somewhat able to keep alive was a climbing ivy that I had next to my desk at work. And the only reason that plant survived was because every day I would dump the remnants of my water cup from the day before into it each morning (99% of the time this was water; a few times it was seltzer and maybe ONE time it was ginger ale).

Because of this, we had serious doubts about me keeping a human alive before Little Mister came along. (NOTE to DCF: he is just fine, and I have never forgotten to feed or water him).

Needless to say, we don’t have many plants at our house. Or if we do (like our very large garden), I’m not in charge of them. It’s just better that way.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t TRIED to raise plants.

IMG_2492.jpeg

I’d like to introduce you to Rita the Christmas cactus. Rita was a gift to my grandmother Rita when she was in hospice a few years ago. It sat in her windowsill and was blooming beautifully at a time when my grandma Rita’s days were probably a little gloomy. After she died, I took Rita the plant home, as a reminder of the real Rita.

Unfortunately, I just about killed Rita. I sort of remembered to water her, but she didn’t bloom in the spring when she was supposed to. So Rita the cactus went to live with my mother-in-law, to mingle with her Christmas cacti who were thriving. That Christmas, Rita bloomed. She also bloomed the following spring, and the winter after that.

This year, when my mother-in-law saw Rita’s very first blooms, the plant came home with me so I could enjoy her pretty flowers. Admittedly, I was nervous. “What do I have to do to take care of her?” I asked.

“Nothing,” my mother-in-law replied.

“Do I have to water her?” I asked nervously. This was usually where my care taking duties fell down.

“Nope. Just enjoy her!”

So, I enjoyed her. Her flowers were a pretty pink and purple this year. She bloomed, and bloomed and bloomed.

Today would have been my Grandmother Rita’s birthday. I’m so happy her namesake cactus is blooming beautifully (no thanks to me), reminding me of the woman my grandmother was: beautiful in a quiet way, blooming when she was comfortable, and not giving up when someone forgot to give her water for 4 straight months.

This post is dedicated to Rita: the Grandma and the plant, who always made life a little brighter and had a thirst for life.

NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving

Besides being the biggest travel day of the year (I’m sure everyone has a story of nightmare traffic…I know I do!), it’s also the biggest going out night of the year. I’m sure there are millennials around the globe putting on makeup and flat ironing their hair, selecting outfits to make ex-boyfriends jealous, and pre-gaming before heading to the town bar.

Ah, the old days.

My current Thanksgiving Eve consists of clipping preschooler fingernails and toe nails and watching Blaze and the Monster Machines. And honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for my past life because in my currently life, I’m able to be in bed by 10pm. (9:30pm if I’m lucky).

These days, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving means the day off from work, prepping all the delicious food for our feast, and doing a little afternoon drinking with Mr. KK.

Today’s prep went rather smoothly, with me sailing into the kitchen at 7:30am, fresh off of my drive home from Boston. I chopped, sliced, diced, sautéed, mixed and blended my way to being ready for guests tomorrow.

IMG_2578

And every year – every. single. year. – when I make my pumpkin cheesecake, I follow the directions religiously (don’t over mix, reduce oven heat, leave in oven for 2 hours when it’s done) to avoid cracks…to no avail. This year’s crack is rather impressive, I sure hope it tastes good!

This year is the second year we’re not going to do our Black Friday tradition of shopping and lunch. I’m not talking 3am wait in line madness; no, we used to head to the mall around 9:30am on Friday. At that time all of the early birds were wrapping up and clearing out; it was like a changing of the shopping guards, so to speak.

So whether you’re heading out to the bar or heading to bed (it’s almost time!), may you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We all have so much to be thankful for.

(I’m thankful I’ve kept up with my NaBloPoMo without driving Mr. KK crazy (which is what usually happens) when I have writer’s block.)