Our Kid is Healthier Than We Are

Much like my post of yore about our earth-friendly cats (just one kitty at the time of writing), it’s time to fess up about our toddler boy: he eats better than we do.

Well, for the most part. I mean, he’d still live on pickles, PBJ, mac ‘n cheese, pizza and pancakes if we’d let him, but as far as a diverse and well-rounded diet? I think he’s got us beat.

And, yes, I get the irony of the thing. I’m the one making these healthy choices for him, after all. I mean, we often ask him his opinion between two healthy options (or ask him which “meal” he wants and stick in fruits/veg as a side), but we’re also pretty lucky that he’s not a super picky little guy.

When I sit down to eat a lunch with him, I occasionally find myself thinking, “Hmm. How is his healthier than mine? Maybe I should skip the chips for an apple…” And, while Dave is a salad fiend, he’s probably the pickiest eater in the house (sorry, hon! At least you eat tomatoes!), so I find myself having a difficult time finding new recipes to try that we’ll ALL enjoy.

So, while we’re not working towards a weight-loss resolution this January 1st, one of my hopes is to get healthier as a family. As I mentioned in my “intentional New Year” post, we’re researching our CSA options (but that won’t take effect until late spring) and work towards purchasing more fresh fruits/veg and breaking our processed food habit. We’ve fallen off the farmers’ market bandwagon (we only went a few times this year), so hope to start hitting up the couple of winter market options. Soon.

The funny thing is that, while a lot of people use this time of year to focus on weight-loss and health, I find that my body starts to actually crave lighter foods. After the glut of sugar (and, believe me, I’m downright addicted to sugar), fat and generally heavy meals during the holidays, there’s nothing I want more than a nice salad or roasted vegetables. I’m hoping, also, to find a few nice vegetarian main meal recipes to throw in the mix.

Anyhoo, here’s some of Had’s advice (paraphrased) for you —

* If you love something, it’s delicious, even if it’s good for you. (Find what those delicious healthy things are and enjoy. He eats fruit and yogurt or pure applesauce as voraciously as he does a slice of pizza.)

* Try everything, at least once. (He will get three or four mouthfuls of something before he realizes that maybe, just maybe it sucks. By then, I can convince him to finish. ;-))

* Share! (I’ll often split an apple with him since he doesn’t generally eat an entire one on his own. I have to remember this when I choose to eat a pickle with a sandwich; he WILL see it and he WILL want one, too.)

* Mix-and-match. (Don’t just try to eat boring, good-for-you stuff. A sandwich or wrap is okay if it’s made with minimally-processed bread and healthy toppings, especially extra veggies. Hadman will even eat a complete salad if we drizzle a tiny bit of natural, organic ranch dressing on. Don’t beat yourself up over the “bad” on your plate; pat yourself on the back for upping your intake of the “good.”)

* Don’t drink soda. (I’m sure he would if he could…but I won’t allow it. Ain’t nobody got time for that crap. As it is, I’m trying to ween him down from the watered-down juice. Gah.)

* Treats are treats. (You’re not entitled to them — and, crap, neither am I. Hadley’s “treat” is all-fruit, all-natural fruit “gummies.” He gets them maaaaaybe once a week. Lately, he’s also been getting my gingerbread cookies a little bit, but he still knows they’re treats and that it’s a BIG deal to get them.)

I think it’ll be easier, in all, to remember our monkey’s relatively stellar diet the next time I start to choose a bagel over fruit and yogurt.

Christmas 2014 Recap

Holiday greetings, all! I’ve been in denial about Christmas being over; gotta ease into it like a cold pool, y’know? So, while working hard at avoiding the letdown (let’s face it; it’s depressing) and getting very little done otherwise, I thought I’d share a quick recap of our holiday this year.

Our actual get-togethers were awesome, and we were extremely lucky that gifts were kept in check (and what we did get were so thoughtful, sweet, and useful). By other “green mama” standards, we personally went overboard, I’m sure. By the standards of other parents, we probably did too little. But, for our purposes, it was perfect.

Here are some of the year’s superlatives as far as gifts (although it’s clearly NOT about the presents, but…y’know)…

Best “Free” Present – Dave and I agreed to “get” each other a free gift this year. Mine ended up being a few “gift certificate” type things (like purging/organizing/zen-ifying the office), which are fine but kind of lame. HE, however, made me stationery. Not just normal stationery, though. Included are envelopes and sheets of paper specifically to write Hadley letters, to be opened at special days (or not-so-special) throughout his life. Talk about a tear or two (or a dozen). So. Darn. Sweet. So, yeah. Dave won by a mile.

Hadley’s Gifts – We also ask Hadley what he’d like to get each of us (um, separately…in secret), which is fun. His suggestions for Dave changed daily, although he always went back to, “A car. A real one. Big. For him to drive.” Uh, no. Apparently he suggested the same to Dave for me. (A toy one wouldn’t do.) Finally, he landed on tools, which we picked up individually at Lowe’s, along with a couple of framed pictures for Dave’s desk. Dave proudly bought exactly what Hadley had told him – every day – to get me: red socks and apple pie (a Hostess, which we normally wouldn’t get). It was the sweetest gift, guys, seriously.

Most Successful Toys – Our little guy’s not hard to please. I grabbed some last-minute wooden train tracks to add to his collection (which he’s been using constantly) and any of the Lego sets he received are a huge hit. But, honestly, he seemed to enjoy absolutely everything (even some of the clothes) and is learning the “appreciation” part of the season.

Oh, and I love that he finally has a play knife (and wooden fruit that he can cut), some pie (um, I made more felt food as his “handmade from Mama” annual gift) and Santa’s felt board. I’d do a tutorial for the board, but it’s so simple I’d feel silly. I ended up using my upholstery stapler to staple the background felt on, then cut out simple shapes (you do NOT have to be artistic to do this!) You can even just do shapes; kids don’t care!

“Made” the Holiday Present – I guess this could be considered a “free” present, too, but the best part of the holiday this year was walking into my mother’s house on Christmas Day to find our out-of-town brother had traveled home to surprise ALL of us (our mom included). I immediately cried. It was insane and perfect. The fact that Hadley is still talking about the family members he now has much stronger connections to (especially Uncle Ryan, the relative that likes to rough house) is heartwarming.

The Grown-Ups’ Favorites – So much of this year was about awesome experiences, I feel guilty picking my favorite gifts. I got an eco-friendly pot from my sister (which was equally touching that she thought about what I’d like rather than just getting another pot) and  renewal to Ancestry.com from my mother-in-law, but generally all those practical things (and the books from Dave) touched my heart. Oh, and “turkey joints” (a local candy) is always a super special treat. Oh, and if I had to pick for Dave, I’m pretty sure his set of Batman (the entire 1960s show) was his absolute favorite.

From our family to yours, we truly hope that you had a glorious holiday full of new and happy memories. I do hope to get myself motivated this week (I’m actually feeling a little rundown, so hope that I can keep it at bay), but if it doesn’t happen until later in January, so be it. Is anyone else feeling like that this holiday season?

New Year Intentions

res-o-lu-tion (n) – a firm decision to do or not do something

in-ten-tion (n) – a thing intended; an aim or plan

I feel like there’s a big, mildly depressing letdown after all the Christmas cheer and busy-ness has come and gone, and the dull, cold winter ahead can appear daunting. The one bright light in the midst of it all comes from the freshness of a new year, and along with it the opportunity for internal (and external) transformation.

I have nothing against resolutions. I’ve flipped and flopped about whether I’m for or against them, and I know myself well enough to admit, simply, that they’re not for me. The idea behind trying to improve oneself or one’s life is awesome and I’m totally on board for it, but for the sudden, rigid change that is needed to accomplish a resolution is the reason that diets don’t work for many people — it’s so sudden, it’s so strict and all-or-nothing, that it’s near impossible to hold oneself to such high standards, no wiggle room allowed.

So, this year, I’m choosing to make intentions. As you see the definitions above, an intention seems more flexible, less strict, and even a less stressful of a decision. We can aim for a particular goal while making steps, big or small, along the way. It’s definitely a slower, more intentional (see? Intention?) way of hopefully putting forth positive change in your life.

Here are some of my goals and a few of the steps I hope to take as part of this new year:

Get healthier. I love that this isn’t a specific goal beyond FEELING healthier. A little at a time, I’m hoping to get our diet even cleaner (we’re currently pretty much natural and organic, but still need to eat more ‘real foods’) and have finally told Dave that, yes, we’re going to take part in a CSA when the season comes. It wasn’t worth it, financially, before because much of the stuff we’d be receiving wouldn’t really be eaten by 2/3 of the family. I’m determined to make it work, though, and to start diversifying our diets. Oh, yeah, and I need to get into yoga or SOMETHING again since I’ve fallen off the “exercise for energy” bandwagon.

Enjoy gardening. I’ve had issues with our garden (last year was a complete failure thanks to neighborhood cats), but I think that if I learn to enjoy the process of gardening, I’ll be more successful with it. That said, I’ll do smaller-level gardening due to the CSA I already mentioned.

Embrace the happy. This is probably the biggest of them all. I try to do this currently, but being more present and seeking out the simple joys of our family life is a priority that needs to be appreciated. This also involves our quality of life, which means that we may be doing some house hunting and some other changes may be on the way. Even in the midst of changes, though, it’s important to remember that it’s not important to seek out “bigger and better,” but rather to take the everyday miracles to heart.

Write more and find opportunities to share it. I’ve finished the premise of one children’s book and have one or two stories on simmer, in addition to the writing I do for Green Child Magazine, but would like to find other opportunities to flex those writin’ muscles. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing (or else I wouldn’t blog, of course!), so nose to the grindstone! The steps here include regularly hunting for freelance opportunities, searching for writing competitions to enter, researching publishing options, and partaking in writing prompts. Bam.

Blog focus. I’m still not super happy with the look of this tiny corner of the blogosphere, so I hope to work on the aesthetic. Also, though, I’d like to get the business side of things and, of course, quality content organized. Hand-in-hand with this is the fact that I’ve been slowly but surely saving up for a DSLR camera, so I’m itching to finally buy the thing (and take some online classes to get to know it).

Continue to simplify. This time of year, we always do a big purge, so that’s nothing that new. However, especially with the thought that we may be moving, I’m hoping to REALLY purge every last thing, keeping only what will truly serve a purpose. Simplification can also be seen figuratively…so, yeah, I hope to do that, too. 😉

What about you guys? Share your resolutions/intentions/goals for 2015 in the comments and we’ll be sure to send you positivity and support for achieving them!

Wordless Wednesday

What better day than Christmas Eve to share a Wordless Wednesday? Here are a few moments from around our house lately…

Sharing our cookie…

Making gingerbread boys ‘n girls…

This last shot is one of two handmade projects for Hadman’s Christmas. I decided not to kill myself over them and chose just ONE type of felt food — he requested “pie” for Christmas, so of course I took him quasi-literally — and a felt board, which I’ll show in the future. Oh, and Santa’s giving the felt board. I’ve given him fake felt food in the past, so it’s clearly a “parent gift.” It’s also pretty cool that we can keep adding to his collection depending on his interests. Oh, and the textured one is apple and the other is blueberry (or use your imagination, really). 🙂

And, last but not least, our wish to you all. Thanks for reading, and we truly hope that you have a joyful holiday season.

How’re things with you guys? Ready for Christmas? I’ve got a little last-minute wrapping and one quick project to finish, aside from a couple of recipes and probably one or two “oops, forgot that!” loose ends to tie up. We’ll also drop off a neighbor gift and a treat and coffee at the police station before joining one of our family celebrations tonight. Let the fun begin!   

A Star for the Tree

It’s the height in hilarity at our house that the second Hadley saw our finally upright tree after his nap (after shouting “Christmas tree!!! Goody, goody!!!”), he insisted that it needed a star on top.

Huh. Yeah. We didn’t have one.

As kids, we had our own hilarious time making fun of our omni-drunk angel tree topper (um, she was always crooked, no matter what we did or shoved up her dress to straighten her out). I guess we weren’t a star family back then, and I didn’t think I was part of a star family now.

It’s even more ironic since we’re a pretty non-religious group. We feel that we’re spiritual and insightful, but don’t relate to one specific religion. We’re all baptized Catholics, and at times (usually around Christmas), I feel the pull of mass, but all-in-all, we’d like to educate our son about morality more than doctrine. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

So, there he was, sweetly demanding a star topper, then again later that night, then again in the morning. After seeing some crappy store versions, I turned to Pinterest (clearly my real religion…that’s a joke, guys) to see if I could figure something out.

During my star search, I also heard a sweet story about my grandmother, who would annually cut out a star out of cardboard that came from my grandfather’s starched shirts, cover it in tin foil, and cut a hole in it. She’d stick it on top, pull a light up through the hole to let it “shine” and call it a day. Classic, sensible and creative. Apparently, everything my grandmother was.

So, I got to work. I cut a cereal box up to expose the two large sides. After printing off a star shape, I traced it onto each box and cut them out. Then, I creased inside each point for some dimension and glued each side together. (Before it was fully dry, I trimmed it further and pressed it together again.) Finally, I glued an empty toilet paper tube to the back.

You could paint the star, cover it in glue and glitter, or put foil on it. I decided to keep it natural this time. I’m not sure if the best part is the fact that it was totally free, that it appeased the little guy’s craving for a star, or that it was a pretty old-school way to handle the issue. And not to mention eco-friendly up the wazoo!

Oh, and while I’m at it, I thought I’d share another tree that has taken up residence at our house. It’ll probably be up until Valentine’s Day, with how long it took me to finally toss it up.

I just cut out a tree shape from a large piece of green felt, then a textured piece for the trunk and a “skirt” from red. Then, I cut out random shapes, including a little snowman and present, and of course a star for the top. I used Command strips (the poster kinds) on the back and the “ornaments” and such attach without any adhesive (one of the best parts of felt). I’ve also made a felt board for pretend play as a Christmas gift, a “piece of pie” to add to his collection of fake food, and may make another piece if I find the time before Christmas eve.

Felt = the perfect toddler plaything!

So, what type of tree topper do you use in your family? We’ve used bows in the past, and even a scarf last year (I’d LOVE to find an old antique top hat with holly berries!), but we’re always willing to change if the little guy dictates a better idea.

Currently / 12.19.14

Hiya, folks! If you’re stopping by from the linky party, thanks and it’s great to see you. Here’s this week’s themes:

I’m currently LOVING the fact that today’s the last day of school before a two-week vacation. Sure, the day’s jam-packed with singing in the teacher’s chorus, squeezing in a quick class, the nerves of having my husband invited into school to do one of his famous readings of “The Polar Express” (and watching my 2-year-old in the process), and my usual classes, but there isn’t a real complaint in the mix. Oh, and I’m even going for one of my 2-3 times-per-year hair cuts tonight. Exciting stuff, people. Ex-citin’.

I’d like to think that READING more would be high on my list of 2015 goals, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself since I always seem to have at least a half dozen books going at a time…and rarely find myself completing a single one. That said, this was shared on FB by one of my librarian buddies (for those that don’t know, I’m a school librarian by day) and sparked my interest. UGH! So many great ideas to go after on that list, but to avoid the inevitable failure, I’ll aim for a handful this year. Maybe that’ll be doable.

Lately, I’ve been CHOOSING between sleep and getting projects done, and guess what’s actually happening. Right. Neither. While I’m waiting for that bolt of energy to strike me motivated, I sit there spinning my wheels while staring at a computer screen (only half getting anything off-topic finished). So, I’ll have to work harder than Santa’s elves to get a couple of the handmade projects I’ve got planned for Hadley done in time!

Hopefully, I’ll be DESIGNING several things in the new year: a new website, re-designing the blog (still doesn’t feel quite right…what do you think?), but most importantly, myself. Internally. Not, like, a superficial makeover, but a total rehab of the good ol’ interior. Mhmm.

WONDERING if I’ll actually have the guts to get some stuff published this year. Wondering if I’ll have the motivation and guts to write more, and to try for some freelance gigs in 2015. Wondering if it really matters. Wondering what my focus needs to be, aside from the usual musts (family and friends). But, more importantly, wondering if we’ll have a white Christmas this year. (We weren’t supposed to last year, but we had an unexpected, unpredicted coating that filled me with joy and excitement. This year, there’s a chance for a storm, but it might include ice and rain, sooooo…)  

Do tell! What’re you loving/reading/choosing/designing/wondering currently? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Linking up with the fabulous Ot & Et and Harvesting Kale

Gingerbread Pancakes

There’s something about molasses. The mere smell or tiny taste of it automatically transports me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Her spice cabinet was filled with its scent, and I vividly recall sitting on her countertops staring into her bowl of molasses cookie dough (and occasionally giving it a stir). Her soft cookies were a family favorite.

So, it’s no surprise that I’m also a gingerbread fan. Like, huge. My mother once brought gingerbread to celebrate my birthday instead of a cake in college, and it was AWESOME. There’s just something about the spongy, spicy goodness (topped off with homemade whipped cream…always homemade).

I decided to make some of my “mug” pancakes in the gingerbread tradition, complete with (real) butter, (real) syrup, aaaaaand whipped cream. Yep. Let’s just say they’re perfect for your Christmas morning. Oh, and try using some greased cookie cutters on the griddle to make adorably festive shapes!

Gingerbread Pancakes

1 mugful flour
1 mugful milk
1 egg
about 1/8 – 1/4 c. molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
sprinkle clove
1/4 tsp. ginger
pinch salt
1 1/2+ tsp. baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whisk together dry ingredients and spices. Separately, whisk egg with molasses and vanilla, then add, along with milk, to dry ingredients. Don’t overmix.

Cook in greased skillet or griddle over medium heat in spoonfuls (depending on size you prefer). Flip when you see bubbles appearing.

Top with butter and syrup, cinnamon and sugar, vanilla yogurt, or a dollop of homemade whipped cream (or a variation of any of these).


These would be a perfect holiday breakfast, along with some sausage or thick-cut bacon and sweet potato hash browns. Hope you enjoy them, too!

Welcome Back, Red

In the early days of my blog, I had a lot of red decor in my house — and I HATED it. So, over the years I neutralized things with a white slipcover, a switch-out of pillows/curtains, and (the best part) a freshly painted no-longer-crimson dining room. I had a huge bias against anything and everything red.

But, now it’s Christmastime again, and I decided to pull out some candy cane colors…mixed with some traditional neutral, vintage and woodsy items, of course. It’s how I do.

I’m a great believer in picking a theme every year. It makes it way easier when I’m looking at the bins of decorations, deciding which to use (can’t possibly use them all in our tiny house). It also helps me flex my creative juices, which I always find fun. I even found a few minutes to string some white and red pom-poms onto some red threat for a homemade garland (to add to a banner that I made in the fall and totally forgot to share with you…so let’s pretend that’s new, too, mkay?).

One of my favorite things is that everything except for that new garland (which was super cheap; under $5 with plenty of materials leftover) were free from our stash. I’ve had a stack of vintage Christmas cards that I bought in VT years ago that my husband loves as much as I do, so I love that I was finally able to pull them out and find a purpose for them. With all of the old-school movies were tend to pull out this time of year (okay, and throughout the year), it’s very “us” to use these, with messages and images that harken back to those lovely, simpler times. 

I’ve added a thing here or there since these crappy cell phone pictures were taken, like building up the greens more (had to trim the tree) and I realized that the chunky trim above our built-ins is PERFECT for displaying Christmas cards, like a free ledge shelf.

So, here’s a little view of our Christmas cheer this year.

Hard to see, but here’s some detail…

The tree is super simple this year (it’s a Toddler + Cat Tree). Looking through the pictures, I realize how many are personal touches. I grabbed some red books from our upstairs shelves and mixed them with my winter magazine collection. The beautiful, rustic blue painting in the dining room is one Dave did in high school (I know, right?!). We mixed antiques and chalkboards (did a quick reindeer sketch on my $1 board and a surprisingly simple drawing of Nest of Posies’ printable) and some of my favorite all-season accessories (like mercury glass candle holders and switching out vase fillers).

I like to think this mix makes the house feel fun and festive but in a cozy, hint-of-the-modern way. Oh, and I only decorate those few spaces, usually. (No bathroom or even kitchen decor here this year.) What about you guys? Do you decorate the same way every year? Do you try new things or find comfort in the tradition of your favorite pieces? How does your place look this year?

And I totally know I don’t have a tree topper. I’ll actually be talking about that later this week. 

The Real Santa

Isn’t it strange how belief and acceptance can come in phases? It can be applied to much in life, but for today, I’m talking Santa.

My belief in the big guy only lasted until about second grade. I wasn’t out to “find out” about him. I didn’t really question a single bit of it. I was riding merrily along in full belief mode, ignorant of the facts.

But, then I found myself in a storm of constant sickness. One evening, I was resting poorly in my mother’s bed (to avoid getting any siblings sick), flailing around uncomfortably, when I absentmindedly fell out of bed. When what to my eyes did appear but…Teddy Ruxpin.

I furrowed my brow. Huh. Well. Maybe Mom bought him for me instead of Santa since she knew how badly I wanted him. Yeah. That.

So, on Christmas morning, when I opened the gift and noticed that the tag did, indeed, say that the gift was from the jolly man in the red suit, well…I was depressed. The fact that good ol’ Teddy only lasted a week before he started speaking a low, eerie language all his own that even my grandfather couldn’t fix added insult to injury.

Fast forward 25+ years. I’ve been excitedly attending the Candlelight Evening at a local living history museum on and off since I was a teen. At this event, it is always the coldest time you can imagine having on planet Earth, and it is always incredible. There are white bag luminaries and lanterns lit throughout the grounds, where you can visit “local shopkeepers and vendors” like the printer, doctor, pharmacist, tavern, church and more. There’s a working farm with animals that you can greet, and wassail cauldrons over bonfires strewn throughout the space. Delicious comfort food is served (can you say “gingerbread”?) and you can buy handmade goodies (or more touristy stuff) at several shops, all while hearing the sound of carolers and performers wafting with the sound of horse-drawn carriages.

I mean, seriously. What’s more traditionally Christmasy than that? We hear so many songs about jingle bells and horses, sharing cheer and the like, but how often can you see it in person? It’s unimaginable.

The best part of all, though, is St. Nicholas. My God, guys. It’s the REAL Santa. Seriously. He talks in the schoolhouse about the tradition of St. Nick, as well as telling a story about what preparations were made for Christmas in the 1800s (“saving the best apples in the cellar from the autumn harvest”), before wandering around outside for people to interact with him. When my nephew was younger and in that is-he-or-isn’t-he-real phase, he saw Santa, dropped his jaw, and went up to him to say, “It’s such a pleasure to meet you, sir!!” I mean, good!

So, of course, after Dave experienced this whole thing for the first time (we even dragged some friends along over the years), we decided that it would be a tradition, barring bad weather, for our family. I honestly don’t recall whether we brought Hadley when he was a baby-baby (I almost think so…?), but last year was his first memorable experience (check it out here and here). It was cold and snowy – terrifyingly so on the ride home – but wonderful. He met Santa, who knew our names (!) and the rest is history. And of course we’ll be visiting this year, although we have a far antsier little toddler on our hands who may or may not allow me to sit and enjoy my gingerbread (an old fashioned peppermint stick bribe may be in order), but as long as we can see THE Santa, we’ll be happy.

But I WILL have my gingerbread. Oh, yes. Make no doubts about that.

I’ve always tried to keep the Santa concept going with my young students, although it used to be awkward and kind of difficult for me. Now that he’s part of our vocabulary, though, I find myself having total dialogues with Dave (or even myself) about what Santa’s life must be like, and how he gauges between a naughty deed and being a truly naughty child, and so forth. As if I’m part of a play that turns incredibly “method”, I have actually started to believe again.

I mean, of course I realize how the whole thing works. Clearly. But, thanks to this little boy (and the help of a few hundred elementary students and one incredibly convincing old-fashioned Santa), the spirit of St. Nicholas is still very much alive and well in my heart.

And, really, isn’t that the idea of Christmas?

So, be honest, guys. Do you believe? Has anyone else had a “rebirth” regarding the issue? Or go ahead and tell us how you found out “the truth”?  

Holiday Cleaning

Things may be fully holiday decorated at our house, but things seem more disheveled than usual. I’m pretty sure it’s because we a) have a super small house, b) bring so much additional “stuff” in (like gifts, Christmas cards, wrapping, etc) this time of year, and c) didn’t plan ahead and clean before the onslaught of the holidays. So, today’s just a brain dump of all the “unfun” stuff to do so that my brain isn’t swimming by Christmas. Let’s blame my mother; she always had the house quite clean for the holidays. I always assumed it was because we were having a special guest (Santa) come; it was probably actually because of the REAL guests (family) coming. Duh, Meg.

Anyhoo, some of this I’m sure I won’t get to, but I also have T-W-O whole weeks off for the holidays, so I foresee a “New Year project” or two here…

Kitchen walls/shelves. My open shelving area is a bit of a hot mess. The dishes we use all the time are perfectly clean, but the shelves themselves have a layer of grease (which attracts more than a little dust and probably cat fur) and need a good scrubbing and reorganizing.

Kitchen cabinets. Also in the kitchen and also in need of a good scrubbing are my cabinets. The insides are also SUPER disorganized (namely the bottom ones, which hold all cookware). Truth be told, a scrub + paint job are in order. Blah.

The damn “V.” Okay. So. Over Hadman’s crib, I applied papier-mache letters that spell out “LOVE” when he was a baby. They’ve worked perfectly up until this point. One day, while he was supposed to be napping (that’s a whole other issue lately), I hear over the monitor a weird clicking noise. Come to find out, he had pulled the “V” off of the wall and started using it as a clapper — tearing the middle of the letter so that he could “clap” the two sides together. I. Was. Livid. He got pretty upset, too. He’s still asking where the V is and I have a hard time not snarkily responding that he’s responsible for the death of the V. (sigh) I don’t say that. But I want to. :-\

 Office disorganization. This is an ongoing headache. For now we’ve just gotta pick the place up and make it look presentable, but ultimately we’ve gotta figure out our storage and do a total overhaul of how we use the space.

Gifts are messy. I love giving gifts, and even kind of enjoy wrapping them. But, keeping the joint somewhat picked up is a pain. I always end up with a bag containing tags, ribbons/bows, tape, and a pen that I use for the whole shebang, and generally keep a large box of boxes, bags, tissue paper, and gift wrap nearby, but I’m not one to schlep the whole thing down to the basement when done only to drag it back up later. Maybe I’m just lazy? We also have a HUGE gift that arrived, box in shambles, that’s giving me an eye twitch.

This is all aside from the fun “responsibilities” of the holiday, of course, and the usual upkeep of the joint. Can you say floor mopping? 🙁 I was hoping to get a chore or two (along with a fun “chore” or two!) out of the way today, thanks to some inclement weather, but that didn’t turn out to be very bad. Blah.

I didn’t really do a good fall cleaning this year, so if I had I’m sure I’d be less bummed about these jobs. So, please don’t take this as complaining as much as my own mental checklist of crap I have to do — and commiserating, if you will! 🙂

What about you guys? Any chores you dread doing but that you’re sick of having hanging over your heads this time of year?