Thursday, December 23, 2010

Window Shopping

The girls and I went shopping (or looking) on Tuesday. What a great time! We did eat at the Walnut Room (screw it - what's paying one more bill a little late?) and we got to go see Santa. At Fields (Macy's - ick) to see Santa you have to wind through this workshop with things to keep the kids busy so you don't realize how long you've been waiting, so there is very little whining. So they got to see Santa, and on the way out, Emma looks at me and says, "That must have been a helper Santa." When I asked her why, she replied, "Did you see that wig?"

Here is the spectacular tree in the Walnut Room.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have some Christmas Whine

I love the holidays. I really do. But I'm so angry and frustrated I wish it was January. I try to give my children a good Christmas. And I think I manage to. I don't do it alone. My mom and brother always help.

Presents are really just a small part. Emma is huge on tradition, so we have many. We always build gingerbread houses, pick someone off the angel tree at church to give presents to, ring bells for Salvation Army (which, btw, we have discovered that if you sing carols people give more and if you attempt the 12 days of Christmas people give even more). We open one present on Christmas Eve and they pretend to be surprised every year when they turn out to be pjs.

For them to get presents for me gets a little tricky. I usually can find a friend to take them shopping, or my brother.

Now, this really shouldn't be an issue for my ex, because he's remarried and they could very easily handle it. But I found out today that they never take the girls shopping for Christmas, so the girls don't have presents to give them. The girls never told me because they know money is tight. But it obviously bothers them, so today I took them out to buy presents. To make matters worse, it turns out they don't even buy presents for the girls. All the presents they get come from their stepmother's parents. Now money shouldn't be an issue, because they make at least three times, maybe four times what I do. They have three cars, one of which cost more than I make in two years.

Now, maybe this is selfish, but having to spend this extra money means that I can no longer do the one thing that I wanted for Christmas. I just wanted to take the girls into the city to look at the Macys (Marshall Fields) windows and then to lunch at the famous Walnut Room by the tree. And I know it is really stupid to let it bother me, we're still going to be able to go and look at the windows, we just will have to skip the lunch.

And I do understand how lucky we are, so I guess I should just shut up, get over it and move on. Hopefully at least I'm setting a good example by doing this and not complaining (in front of the girls anyway).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

more middle schooler headaches

The middle school Shannon goes to has a myriad of activities after school. Primarily on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So on those days there is a late bus to take kids home. But it doesn't take them home, it drops at the grade schools. So the theory is they can be dropped off there and then walk home. The only problem is it leaves the school at 4:30 and in the winter it is getting dark by then.

So Shannon was auditioning for something and I couldn't get there quite in time to pick her up, so we decided she would take the late bus and I would pick her up from the grade school. She asked me to pick her up at a different grade school from the one she attended, one that is actually a little closer to our house.

I went to the school and was talking on the phone while I was parked, waiting. After a minute or two, I started to wonder where the bus was. So I hung up and started to dial her number when she called me. I answered and she says, "mommy, I tried to walk home and now I'm lost." which of course made my heart sink. I should point out that we live in a very safe area, but there had just been two armed robberies in the area and in one of them someone got hurt. So I immediately started the car and asked her where she was, all the while praying that she's one a street I know. But she said, "I don't know. There's no street sign close by." Now, I have a rough idea where she is, because where the school is, there really is only one direction she can go in. I told her to walk toward the closest corner and read the sign to me, and I took a guess and started down a street. I told her what street I was on and she said she was on the same street but she couldn't see me. Probably because it was totally dark by then. I told her the name of the cross street I was approaching and she said that was where she was. I finally see her, pulled over and she got in. And I read her the riot act, asking her what she was thinking, etc. And she started crying and said she just wanted to see if she could find her way. Which I explained was an incredibly stupid thing to do AT NIGHT.

Later, she had church club and we picked up her friend. Her mom said, "You're not going to believe what my daughter did. She was supposed to call me from the school to pick her up, but she walked home alone in the dark!" Of course she was smart enough to get dropped of at the grade school she went to, so she knew the way home.


Oh, and they caught the robbers.