Posts Tagged ‘toys’

Holidays Time

I haven’t always hated the Holidays. when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas…..any excuse to have a few days off from school…the anticipation of new toys…..snow!!! It was all great fun, as it should be for any kid.

No. It wasn’t until I got older that I grew to dread the entire last 2 months of the year. I can’t pinpoint exactly when the change occurred, and it wasn’t just ONE event that changed my outlook on what should be a joyous occasion. It happened gradually, over many, many years. But-if I had to pick 10 reasons why I hate theholidays-they would be as follows:

1.Too Much Food:
Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Yams, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Bread Pudding, Homemade Noodles, Giblet Gravy— A heart attack begging to happen. We don’t need all that food-but we eat it!!! Every last bite. And don’t forget the cranberry sauce, and eggnog!! It doesn’t matter where you go…’s always the same……too much food.

2. Christmas: Have Your Gifts Become a Measure of Your Love & a Tool to Manipulate Your Perceived Status and Worth?
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. Each and every dysfunctional one of them. I love seeing them and spending time with them. But….my family is huge!!! There are over 50 of us when we all get together….and, who has a place big enough to sit 50 people down to eat a meal??? Nobody in MY family, that’s for sure. We rented out the Lion’s Den one year….but it was cold and uncomfortable. So now we all crowd into my sister’s house…..because she’s the only one of us with a big enough open space for all of us…..though most of us are left standing all night or sitting on the floor. But hey….it’s all about family…right??? Yeah, well…..all I can say is….Thank God it only comes once a year!!!

3. Too Commercial
What the hell is the deal with Walmart putting out Christmas decorations before we’ve even dealt with Halloween!!! I’ve heard so many Christmas Carols before November 1st, that by Christmas, they make me want to puke!!! And ….I love Christmas Carols!!! Well, used to, anyway.

4. Something Always Happens to Ruin It
The turkey gets burnt… someone doesn’t show… somebody gets hurt…someone says something to piss off somebody else Never fails. You just know… even if you do muster up some vacation spirit… it’s not going to last… because Something always happens.

5. Someone Always Ruins It
Yep, if not something, then someonecan always be counted on to screw things up for everyone else. The kids getting yelled at by Dad for being too noisy…’s Christmas for Pete’s sake-kids are supposed to be loud….they’re excited!!! Shut the hell up and let them have some fun! Or else, they’ll end up like me…..hating the luxury vacations !!!

6. Lonely
This is a new one. How can you feel lonely surrounded by all that family? Well…..get a divorce. You don’t know lonely until you wake up on Christmas morning, alone, with nothing under the tree for you….except the gifts you bought for yourself, from Santa… the kids don’t ask why Santa didn’t bring Mommy anything? Yeah… sucks!

7. Nephew died
On New Year’s Day, 1988. We were all gathered at Mom’s for Spare Ribs and Black Eyed Peas… a family tradition….when my brother showed up and gave us the news. My nephew was dead. We don’t get together at Mom’s on New Year’s anymore.

8. Brother Died
1:45 am New Year’s Day, 2006. Same brother… he’d been in failing health for years….really, since his son died….and it’s like he picked that day to give up. We were all called to the hospital… I was the only one who didn’t get the call that he had died before anyone got there…so I was the only one who saw him after he died. And I’m the only one who has to remember him the way he looked then… SO not fair. Try getting that image out of your head!!

9. Another Birthday is Coming Up
My birthday is in February….and I’m not getting any younger… so the holidays are just a reminder that I’ll be OLDER soon. I keep thinking I’ll quit having birthdays….but then, I guess they ARE better than the alternative!! But it really sucks being 40 something and single. Never thought I’d be in this situation. I thought I’d be married for 50 years…at least. Well… fat chance of that now. I don’t think I’ll live to be 90 something. That is, if I were to get married again….and even fatter chance of that! Been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt. No thanks!

10. People Have Forgotten Why We Celebrate
Schools don’t call it Christmas break anymore… it’s winter break. They shortened Christmas to “Xmas”. The most important thing to just about everyone is getting to the stores the day after early enough so you don’t have to wait in line forever to exchange that ugly sweater Aunt Norma gave you. Might as well erase John 3:16 from the Bible….”For God so loved the world that He gave his only Begotten Son…..” Come ON people…..Christ was born……the savior of the world….the messiah… The reason we have Christmas!!! The tradition of gift giving dates from the time of Christ’s birth and the Wise Men giving him gifts of gold, frankincense and mir… duh!!! Whatever happened to “It’s better to give than to receive”? That is the number one reason why I hate the holidays!!! You spend half the year trying to find that perfect gift…just to find out it’s not what he wanted….or it doesn’t fit….or it doesn’t work….or it’s the wrong color… Argh! I want so badly to go back to the times when gifts were homemade…and you only got a few… if that many….and they were made with love….and you knew you were going to love it….whatever it was….because it was made just for you. Maybe we should pass a law……no gift shall be bought….or bigger than a bread box.

I don’t know……maybe when I have grandkids, the joy will come back into the holidays for me……but I doubt it. I think I’m doomed to be a Scrooge forever. Makes me want to just crawl under the covers and not wake up until Spring!

How to Travel with an Infant

Flying with an infant can be challenging especially when you are the only caregiver aboard, but it doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare. When my daughter was under one year old, we traveled from Oregon to Maine with nary a problem. I will admit we lucked out with an exceptional flight crew who all happened to love babies so they were begging to take turns holding her in their downtime. However, even if you aren’t as fortunate as I was, there are steps that you can take to get your trip off to a good start, as well as improving the travel experience of the other passengers.

The first thing you need to do is pack for the baby. In your diaper bag, be sure to include plenty of wipes and spit up clothes. Babies may experience a bit of nausea on the flight and you will not want to be stuck with nothing to clean him or her up with. There is also the chance that you will be cleaning yourself. A spare change of clothes, cleaning cloths and a few spare diapers will be essential to everyone’s comfort in the case of stomach upset.

Packing several toys will help in keeping your little one occupied and amused throughout your travels. Choose toys that are soft, as baby may have a penchant for tossing them about. The last thing you want is an angry person across the aisle because your baby has hit them in the head with their hard plastic toy. Another rule for airplane toys is to keep them quiet. Nobody wants to listen to rattles and bells in the close quarters of the plane. Stuffed animals, teething rings, soft books, etc. make great friends for baby on the plane.

If your infant will take a pacifier, toss more than one in the bag. Babies are especially prone to getting earaches during take-off and descent. These can be very painful and provide a good reason for tearful shrieks. Chewing on a pacifier or the teething ring will aid in the avoidance of this problem. In case your baby does not have the good fortune to avoid the earaches, pack along a couple of styrofoam cups and cotton balls. On the take-off and descent, request that the flight attendant dip the cotton in some boiling water. Place the cotton balls in the bottom of the cups and hold gently over the child’s ears. This will help to alleviate the pressure and thus, the pain.

If the baby is old enough for snacks, be prepared to purchase them in the airport after you have made it through the security checkpoint. You will not be allowed through security with them already packed as no food products are permitted on flights other than those which are purchased from an airport vendor.

Other than packing these essential items for the baby’s trip, you can do several other things to make the trip more pleasant. Because turbulence is felt more obviously and abruptly in the back of the plane over the tail, request seating towards the front. Babies do not usually do well in these shaky situations.

Choose your flight strategically! Red eye flights may be the best bet for your trip with baby. It is possible that they may just sleep through the trip since it is during their normal sleep hours. Encourage this time of rest with a nice comfy car seat and a cozy blanket and PJs for him or her. When you are making your travel arrangements, ask which cheap flights are typically less booked than others and try your best to get on one of these. A packed plane with people practically sitting atop one another is terrible with a baby. You want to be able to get up and take your darling for a walk as necessary and this is very difficult on full flights.

Naturally, just prior to flight, it is important to change your baby and give him or her a good, hearty feeding. A relaxed beginning of the trip will make a pleasant impression on your traveling companions and most likely, encourage them to show some mercy if there is a bit of fussing later on. In making the holidays as comfortable as possible for your baby and yourself, you will be sharing that courtesy with the rest of the plane’s passengers as well. Your fellow travelers will thank you!

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