Thanksgiving Brunch Just Didn’t Cut It

Thanksgiving. In theory, it is the most brilliant holiday we have. (Other than the national holiday that is My Birthday). Show up, eat delicious food, visit with the family, go home and take a nap. To be fair, there is a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work required to execute a successful Thanksgiving  dinner.  However, unlike Christmas, preparations take hours, not weeks, and dishes are far easier to clean up than messy Visa bills…

credit cards 300x203 Thanksgiving Brunch Just Didnt Cut It

You Are Everywhere I Want To Be… And That Is The Problem…
source

Both of my parents are only children, and were transplants to the St. Louis area (my grandparents lived out of state). When it came to family holidays, we had five people total, meaning that the absence of even one of us meant the party was twenty percent smaller. (This concept totally blew my husband’s mind as his ‘small’ family parties have thirty people). Needless to say, holiday celebrations were not the long, drawn out, sometimes painful  wonderful, all day experiences so many people have.

My parents have a wonderful network of friends, who became our adopted family. Like every other family, we wanted to all celebrate the day together. However, all of our “family” also had real relatives of their own, and were therefore booked for dinner. My mother is resourceful (if nothing else) and a wonderful hostess, so the idea of not having a party for Thanksgiving never occurred to her. She simply moved the “dinner” to a “brunch”.

At our house, Thanksgiving turkey was actually Turkey Tetrazzini casserole, and pumpkin pie was actually pumpkin cheesecake (which is so amazingly life changing, by the way).  Our “family” came over around eleven and sipped mimosas and bloody marys instead of bourbons and red wine.

While I appreciated the great party, fantastic food, and the chance to visit with family, the older I got the more bitter I became. I wanted a roasted turkey with all the trimmings! I wanted my pumpkin in a pie, not in a cheesecake! And, I wanted to have Thanksgiving when it was dark outside, like everyone else!  I finally got my wish in high school, when I started attending my boyfriend’s Thanksgiving. (Although I have lost touch with him, I still make his family’s Party Potatoes every year!)

Six On Sunday, Another Monday Verison

1. Pinterest.  I am proud to report that I am not a full fledged addict and that I am using Pinterest responsibly.  Also, how freaking cute is this?! Thanks, Pinterest!

 

baby pics Six On Sunday, Another Monday Verison

still on family room floor but you get the idea

 

2. Pumpkin Pie. I love love love pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie and Chardonnay is my second favorite meal (as loyal readers know, my first favorite is champagne and petit fours). Every year, I have the same conversation with myself:

  •  I won’t make pumpkin pie this year. I just end up eating half of a pie in a day and then I’m mad.
  • I will make pumpkin pie and have just a taste. Or a really small piece.
  • I will go the gym extra tomorrow to make up for the amazing goodness that is pumpkin pie!!

 

3. Hungry Girl.  For those who don’t know, Hungry Girl is a gal named Lisa who has all kind of recipe swaps to make foods healthier. This Thanksgiving, we tried the Save-The-Day-Stuffing and the Too-Good-To-Deny-Pumpkin-Pie. (The pie was an attempt to trick myself. It didn’t work. I totally ate the real one AND the healthy one.) The stuffing was great. The pie probably would have been great, but it was served next to the real pumpkin pie and therefore at an unfair disadvantage.

 

4. Sleeping in. Emma decided to sleep in until eight every morning! Yay Emma! She gets a pony for Christmas! Except for Sunday, when she was awake at 6:38. It was a Long Day.

 

5. Sick Toddlers.  Sunday was also the third day of Emma’s cold. She was feeling miserable, and as a parent it was so hard to watch her suffer. She even told us her nose was “cranky”! However, by Sunday, pitiful had changed to whining/crying/demanding/moping/howling. It took a lot of Mommy Reserves to remember to be patient and that she didn’t feel well and therefore wasn’t being a pill on purpose. A lot of Mommy Reserves.

 

6. Uniforms. Emma has moved up to the preschool class at school, which means that she will now wear a uniform. I wore a uniform every day of my life until I went to college, so to say I am a big fan is an understatement.  (I did have a crisis when I got to college because I had no idea how to dress casually. When I wasn’t wearing my uniform, I was in comfy clothes- yoga pants and tee shirts- or ‘go out clothes’- cute jeans and uncomfortable shoes, so getting dressed for class was a nightmare. I didn’t even have casual clothes- I remember part of my college shopping included items like long sleeved shirts and casual sweaters!) Uniforms made getting for school so easy and so quick…. thanks to the rules. When Emma started school, I think the front office thought I was crazy for asking about things like uniform shoes, socks, and hairbows. Emma is “asserting her independence” these days, and getting dressed is a huge production, even if we lay out her clothes the night before. This morning, she happily got dressed in her uniform and practically skipped down the hall to breakfast. 

Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

1. Only Child. As much as I love my sisters, I have always wondered what life would be like as an only child.  This weekend, my parents came to visit us. Thomas spent the weekend in Boca (insert in-law joke here), so I had my parents all to myself. We had a wonderful time, and in small doses, being an only child seems like a good gig… however, there is no one to run interference and/or distract them… this would have been problematic in high school…

sisters Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

Laura, Julia, Jen

2.Coats. Here in Atlanta, most people do not need a coat. I am freezing cold unless it is eighty degrees outside, so I don’t count. I grew up in St. Louis, where one definitely needs a coat. And snow boats. Every time we left the house, my parents grabbed their coats… and then roasted. Isn’t it funny how a ‘good’ habit can turn into a ‘bad’ habit so quickly? Also, they looked pretty silly in coats because it was almost seventy degrees!

3. Shorts. My husband wears them year round. Regardless of weather conditions… Not only does he look a little silly in January, I have a tough time explaining why Daddy can wear shorts and Emma cannot.  We actually just had this discussion again five minutes ago.

4.  Bubble Necklace. I want one! I found two… which one?! Please vote!

red bubble necklace Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

navy bubble necklace Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

5. Another Necklace. Too much? I love it… but I have been wrong before…

 Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

6. Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil.  We toured the home last time we were in Savannah, and I am so looking forward to reading the book! I am about seven pages in, and am feeling very smug enjoying it more because I have been to many of the places referenced in the book.

Mommy Brain Mixer Woop Woop!

Come on over this Saturday for a wonderful new blog series called “The Mom Connection!” You don’t want to miss out on parenting tips and advice from some of your favorite bloggers, so put this Saturday, November 10th on your calendar! We will be discussing the topic of sharing between siblings!

——

Welcome to week 16 of the Mommy-Brain Mixer, ladies!
Last week we had a wonderful 95 link-ups! The Mixer is thriving!

If you haven’t noticed, one of my favorite things to do here at Two In Diapers is to share stories about motherhood and my littles. One of my favorite things about sharing these stories is your comments with stories of your own children!

Welcome to…

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At the Mommy-Brain Mixer, we will be linking up our writings about anything and everything motherhood!We want to see funny posts, serious posts, sweet & sappy stories, mommy-brain episodes, memories from when your older children were younger, thoughts & lessons learned, and anything related to motherhood or little people. You know that post you wrote yesterday about your teething baby? Or that hilarious post you wrote about your 2nd grader’s school play? Those are perfect, so link ‘em up! 

The Mommy-Brain Mixer is the perfect place to find some great new blogs to follow, make some wonderful new blog friends, and enjoy some entertaining new reads!

To make things even more fun, my friend Mar, over at Raising Bean, is hosting a sister link-up
for you to join, too!
Head on over there after your finished here and link up your recipes, DIY, arts & crafts, and sensory activities!  

Let’s get to it, friends!
 
RULES:
{the first link below}
If you are new to the Mixer, please leave me a comment so I know to follow you back! I try to get around to all the posts but, as the Mixer is growing, there are some weeks that I’m not able!
2. Follow your co-hosts
This week’s lovely co-hosts {the first 3 on the linky} are:
Jennifer from Pushing The Lemons
Julia from Julia’s Math
3. Link up your mommy post!
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link-up and maybe even follow them!
{and comments are always loved}
5. Tweet about the Mommy-Brain Mixer to help spread the word! 

 
6. Grab this adorable button and place it somewhere on your blog!
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7. Don’t forget to check back throughout the week, as we gain many new links throughout the week!If you are interested in co-hosting a Mommy-Brain Mixer, send me an email at twoindiapers@gmail.com!


Like my blog? Don’t forget to vote for us! One click on the banner below = one vote for our blog, and you can even vote daily to keep us at the top!

 

 

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Stalin’s Halloween… Why I Send My Mother My Therapist’s Bills Every October

After we came home from Trick or Treating, my sister Jennifer and I were stuffing our faces with our Halloween candy as fast as we could; with the fervor of starving children who were in danger of having their bread and water taken away.

bread and water Stalins Halloween... Why I Send My Mother My Therapists Bills Every October

The fervor was TOTALLY JUSTIFIED because my mom would TAKE ALL OF THE CANDY. SHE TOOK IT AND DUMPED INTO TO A COMMUNITY COMMUNIST BOWL.

I KNOW.

All of that hard work, the valiant ‘soldiering on’ through the elements in pursuit of just one more Snickers, for nothing. All of the careful sorting, the answering of tough questions- are Sixlets chocolate? What about chocolate Necco wafers?- and nothing to show. All of the hard own victories on the Trading Floor- three rolls of Smarties for one Butterfinger  is totally fair- rendered hollow.

In the history of Unfairness, this is the Most Unfair Thing Ever.

UNfair Stalins Halloween... Why I Send My Mother My Therapists Bills Every October

Even the UN couldn’t save us…

My mom explained that this was the Fair Way.(To this day, I do not know who died on Halloween and made her the Fairness Fairy. She certainly wasn’t the Fairness Fairy the other 364 days out of the year.) Laura (our youngest sister) did not get as much candy as Jennifer and I did (because she was a pansy  because she was younger than us), and we all needed to have a fair share to the good candy; that it wasn’t fair for Laura to get stuck eating the waxy peanut butter things while Jennifer and I enjoyed our Now & Laters, Snickers, and Fun Dip. Even at eight and six, that seemed pretty fair to us- Laura did not trudge through sleeting rain, freezing her bunny tail off to get the goods… so she shouldn’t get the same candy.  Of course, Laura sided with my mom.

sleet Stalins Halloween... Why I Send My Mother My Therapists Bills Every October

Once the seizure of the candy occurred, my mom would dump it all- no respect for the careful sorting of each piece- into her large wooden salad bowl and put it on top of the refrigerator, where it would sit and taunt us. After dinner, she would lug the bowl down and with all the empathy of the KGB , would allow us to pick one piece of candy. ONE PIECE. And? We had to rotate who would go first. My friends would have Halloween candy in their lunch boxes for weeks. I had fruit. (Today, I am on board with this choice and credit my love of fruit to my mother. However, a piece or two of candy in my lunchbox would not have killed me.)

KGB Stalins Halloween... Why I Send My Mother My Therapists Bills Every October

looks like her sorority?!

This week, I reminded my mother (as I do every Halloween) how much her Communist style approach to Halloween has scarred me. I will be sending her my therapist’s bill, as I do every October.

Mom I love you.

Laura, mom might have turned you into a commie, but you are not a pansy. I love you too.

How My Mom Turned Halloween Into Red October

Note: Mom, I still love you.

I am still mad about the sharing Stalin style Halloween rules.

So is Jennifer.

(I’m pretty sure Laura is still a fan.)

julia jennifer laura3 How My Mom Turned Halloween Into Red October

Julia, Jennifer and Laura. Clearly Jennifer is still really upset about it.

Sure, dressing up for Halloween is tons of fun. So is the actual Trick or Treating. For me- and I suspect most children over the age of six-, it became a Mission. I had to get as much candy as possible. I was like the Post Office- no amount of rain or snow would deter me from my Mission. (Growing up in Missouri, it was always cold enough to snow. All costumes had to be designed with a snow suit in mind.)

snow pumpkin 537x402 How My Mom Turned Halloween Into Red October

Standard Halloween weather

Personally, my most favorite part of Halloween (credit my OCDo level of commitment to organization) was the post Trick or Treat Sort.

 

My husband grew up on a farm (which, by definition is in the middle of nowhere), and his Trick or Treating career was far different from mine. (In fact, until Tuesday afternoon, the man had never even carved a pumpkin!) and looked at me blankly when I referenced “The Sort”- the categorizing and the trading of the evening’s spoils.

sorting candy How My Mom Turned Halloween Into Red October

Some people used broad categories- Chocolate, Non Chocolate, and Gross Peanut Butter Waxy Things (I actually tried those a couple of years ago, and they are pretty good- no joke!). I was always far more detailed in my sorting (shouldn’t be too surprising), and used subcategories as well- Butterfingers in the Chocolate pile, SweeTarts in the Non Chocolate pile.

 

Once the candy was sorted, the negotiations began. Said negotiations were fueled by an unholy alliance of too much sugar, overtiredness, and bloodlust. It was not pretty. These negotiations always included my sister Jennifer, who is two and a half years younger than me. (My other sister, Laura is five years younger than me and therefore was always too young to go and get her own candy.) My mom was concerned that I would dominate the negotiations because I was smarter older, but, Jennifer could hold her own. She always preferred the Non Chocolate to the Chocolate, so many trades were made.

NegotiationBootCampCover3 How My Mom Turned Halloween Into Red October

As taught by kids geeked up on sugar on Halloween

Perhaps all ambassadors should be required to trade Halloween candy with a ten year old prior to assuming their post. They would learn a lot in both negotiations techniques and how to function in a combative environment(all of it above board, of course).

 

As soon as the Final Bell rang on the trading floor, Jennifer and I would shovel as much of the candy down our throats as we could. We ate the candy with the fervor of starving children who were in danger of having their bread and water taken away.

 

We had to. The candy was about to “redistributed”…

Six On Sunday, Version 24

1. Bangs.  Right after Emma was born, I got bangs. I had been wanting bangs for quite a while, and clearly was not going to commit to them while preggo. I loved them for about six months. I HATED them for the twelve months it took to grow them back out.  I recently sent my friend Caroline some old pictures.  After she received them, she sent me a text asking why we had ever allowed her to have bangs. The great irony is that one of the main reasons I got bangs was because they looked so cute on her! I maintain they looked cute on her regardless of what she says!

bangs Six On Sunday, Version 24

2. Getting Gas. I hate hate HATE getting gas. In the nine years I have known my husband, I can count on one hand the number of times I have gotten gas if he is in town. It’s awesome, and a reminder that chivalry is not dead.

 

nerinx hall marker Six On Sunday, Version 24

GO MARKERS!

3. High School Mascots. I saw a bumper sticker this week that boasted of the Terriers… When I hear ‘terrier’ I think little yippy dog.  This image does not strike fear in the heart of any opponent… however, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  My high school mascot was The Marker… short  for The Hallmark of Excellence.

nerinx hall Six On Sunday, Version 24

4. No more free weekends. We are currently scheduling into January.  In case anyone is interested in plans… Every year, right after my birthday, things get crazy busy- the holidays, family visits, etc.  It is great to be in such demand, but a little frustrating at the same time.

 

julia how big Six On Sunday, Version 24

forgot to use this on my birthday post and it is WAY TOO CUTE to not use… so enjoy!

5. My Birthday. I finally had to accept that my birthday is, in fact, over.  We decorate our mantle with cards as the occassion arises- Valentine’s Day, birthdays, etc .  I took down all of the cards (and put them in my card box in the attic. I have every card I have ever been sent, including cards my mother received when I was born). Now my mantle is bare =(

bday cards Six On Sunday, Version 24

6. Gangnam Style. How can you not love it? Emma LOVES this song! One of the reasons I think she loves it so much is because her father is AMAZING at replicating it! Enjoy!!

 

My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

As I am sure everyone knows, last Thursday was my birthday. I am sure everyone knows this because my birthday is a national holiday. At least in our house.

birthday big deal My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

I have always loved LOVED my birthday. In fact, I am a fan of the “Birthday Month”- why limit the special treatment to just a day? The best part about my birthday is that everyone has to do Whatever I Say Because It’s My Birthday. Shockingly, my husband isn’t as big of a fan of my birthday as I am.

Growing up, I had the most fabulous birthday parties. One year, my parents turned our living and dining rooms into a casino. I had a costume party one year (I was a hula girl… a hula girl with a sweat shirt and sweat pants… hey, it’s cold in St. Louis in mid October!). Another year, we went bowling (even with the bumpers I am terrible!).

julia candles My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

In high school, I would bring cake for everyone (my high school had 136 girls in my class). Girls I only spoke to once a year would smile sweetly, wish me a Happy Birthday!, grab some cake, and disappear again for the next 364 days.

When I turned 18 while away at school, I celebrated hard… So hard that I ran away when I turned 21 (I ran to a formal brunch at my parents, so don’t feel badly for me).

Thirty was fun. I spent the first night away from Emma (who was eight weeks old) when Thomas took me for a mini staycation.

julia cake My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

Recently, we have traveled to New Orleans (a trip that was supposed to be free with our hotel points and airline miles. At the end of the day, our “free” trip cost us several THOUSANDS of dollars. Night. Mare.). Last year, we traveled to Chicago. While there, I was reminded of why I no longer live in Chicago… it was 70 degrees and sunny when we left Atlanta. Chicago’s weather: 38 degrees and sleeting…

This year, on the fourth anniversary of my 29th birthday, I celebrated with best friends and family.

I finally got my BFF necklace!

BFF necklace My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

Finally, after waiting twenty four years!

And of course, cake and champagne!!

Underwear Update, and Other Fashion Nightmares

A couple of Saturdays ago, I endured torture known as The Mall. I was shopping for new underwear. I found this to be very traumatic. I am so glad I do not have to do that again for years!!  I’m sure everyone is wondering if I am pleased with my purchase.  Well, I am pleased because it means that I do not have to subject myself to more cruel and unusual punishment, however, I am not as happy with the actual fit; they tend to ride up on me… TMI?

I started thinking about grown up clothes in general. I remember being a little girl watching my mother get dressed to go to a party, or to church, or to a meeting (my mom was able to stay home with my sisters and me, so she did not get dressed UP for work). I remember trying on her high heels, clomping loudly down the hallways of our house, and what I remember the most is how glamorous it all seemed.  It was almost magical to watch how clothes could transform her (not that you were not always beautiful Mom, especially in the Perm-Matching-Track-Suit era).

 mom and dad Underwear Update, and Other Fashion Nightmares

I am now a “grownup”- I have life insurance and a mortgage to prove it! Today, I am able to wear all of the glamorous, grown up fashions that I want to and it turns out that I don’t really want to!

Fancy outfits require fancy accessories.  I think that strapless bras were created by a group of all male trolls. There is nothing more uncomfortable than that feeling of your bra slipping down your back!  Has anyone found a way to discretely yank that thing up?! Or, even better: a way to get it to stay put!  Sometimes, you get lucky and can wear a regular bra. In reality, you are only lucky if the straps stay put. The constant yanking up of shoulder straps can really take away from the sophistication of the outfit.

too tight socks Underwear Update, and Other Fashion Nightmares

Feet are perhaps the most unlucky of all when it comes to fancy occasions. High heels were created as evil torture devices by malicious men.  I could go on and on, but I think you understand.  Some ladies claim that their feet do not hurt in high heels, and in fact they would rather wear them than any other type of shoe. I believe these ladies somehow transfer their pain to ME as my feet hurt even when I am wearing Birkenstocks! That or else they are LYING!

I also do not like too tight socks. Socks that leave a tell-tale ring around pale ankles. I do not care how cool you are, if you have sock impressions on your legs you are not cool. Not even a little bit.  I have actually gotten leg cramps from trouser socks that are too tight. (If that is not the most pitiful sentence I have ever written, Lord help us all. My socks kicked my ass.)

HOWEVER. Even with all the pinching, sliding, and general failing of my undergarments, I still feel like a million bucks when I am all dressed up! All of the pain and aggravation is totally worth it. Also, fancy clothes call for fancy drinks! There is no shoe too tall, no sock too tight, and no bra too slippery that champagne cannot fix.

julia curlers Underwear Update, and Other Fashion Nightmares

Emma Will Not Eat Tofu (Not That I Blame Her)

My daughter, Emma is absolutely adorable (even strangers tell us, so we assume it is not just us). However,  she has her moments.  As of late, there have been more and more of these moments.  While I was pregnant, I connected with several old friends who were also pregnant at the same time. We commiserated together, moaning about aches and pains, whining about swelling, and swapping recipes to satisfy food cravings (oatmeal cake mix PBJ bars? YES PLEASE!). But now, when I go on Facebook, I see only beautiful, clean children.  These children are always smiling and according to their mothers, these children always say please and thank you and never ever have meltdowns.  Their vacation pictures portray smiling children on the beach, whereas our family vacations have A LOT of tears… from all parties involved. Seriously, traveling with a child is one of the most stressful things I have ever done!

family fun Emma Will Not Eat Tofu (Not That I Blame Her)

 These mothers say that their children eat everything that has been put in front of them, including- but not limited to- every vegetable you have ever heard of. That is the one thing that irritates me the most.  I know these mothers are lying when they claim that their homes are meltdown-free zones, however, I find myself buying into their claims about their toddler’s eating habits.  Steamed tofu with a side of brussel sprouts? For real? I wouldn’t put that in my mouth, let alone ask my three-year old to eat that. Which is a good thing; because I can assure you we would have an epic fit on our hands!

tofu Emma Will Not Eat Tofu (Not That I Blame Her)

My child exists on a diet of apples, strawberries, cheese, hot dogs, popcorn and PBJ (on multigrain bread- give us some credit!)- We tell ourselves it is very “French” in that she is making a meal out of fruit and cheeses. So far she appears none worse for the wear.  Recently, Emma started a more formal day care that provides hot meals at lunch for the kids.  Thomas and I are thrilled! This is the first exposure she has had to hot food that did not come from the grill and is not frozen pizza. She is less than thrilled, and has no idea what to do with things like casseroles, potatoes, rice, and broccoli. Tonight we made pancakes (I have not made pancakes in at least ten years), and she was amazed that Mommy knew how to make them!

emma baking Emma Will Not Eat Tofu (Not That I Blame Her)

Mommy does have a few tricks up her sleeves. However, she does not have the tricks that it would take to get Emma to eat steamed tofu, but if anyone does, I will be checking Facebook . You can message me; I won’t tell anyone that your toddler isn’t perfect!