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White Elephant Gone Wrong

I don't like white elephant (WE) gift exchanges. Yes, they may include laughter and good-natured teasing (I prefer bad-natured teasing), but they include the stress of finding the perfect gift. Plus, I don't believe in re-gifting trash. A box full of old magazines is not a good WE gift. No one wants it. Therefore, you are done with the exchange if you pick this gift, which is what happened to Husband.

My viewpoint is not shared with most people. One of those people is my stepmom who in recent years has included WE exchanges at our family Christmas. 

However, this year I was excited. If you have read my blog, you will know Husband is a saver. (We do not use the word hoarder.) We're also trying to get rid of stuff we no longer need. Husband also has friends that give him funny, ridiculous items that he saves. You can see how all this would add up to somehow already having the perfect WE gift. 

So there was hope. I'd already identified it - the velvet picture of a matador ki…
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Holiday Homestretch

Two weeks off, people. After today, it will be sixteen lovely days until I return to the world of meetings, projects and deadlines. Sixteen days. Christmas break is such a lovely perk to working in higher education. Those in the corporate world, feel free to brag about bonuses, profit sharing and the like. On your own blog, of course.

There are no big plans, other the the normal holiday family visits, which suits me just fine. Initially, I thought a few days would be spent painting the living room. It's embarrassing how long there have been drywall patches showing, but whatever. We have a baby. Nothing gets done. I've accepted it. However, Husband surprised me by having a painter take care of it last week. Hallelujah! Two days of freedom regained.

Now the home improvement snowball has started. New mantle for the fireplace. New vanity for the bathroom. Paint the hallway. Tile the backsplash. We'll be lucky if we get one done before spring.

We're also contemplating new furn…

Star Wars Costume -- Strike Two

So this was the second year we attempted a Star Wars halloween costume and it was the second time Bean was not having it. In an attempt to appease Husband, he has been allowed to select the costumes until she is old enough to have an opinion. As evidenced by the photos, her opinion is clear.



Wasted Saturday

I had a glass of wine last night while gabbing with a girlfriend. Then I had another. Then I lost count. As I heard the slurred speech coming from my mouth, my brain berated me -- Stop it. You are fine. Your nickname used to be Fun Jen, for god's sake. Two glasses of wine is not going to bring you down.

It brought me down. Hard.

Then it kicked me in the chin when the Bean woke up wailing at 5:15am. The super little sleeper decided this was the morning to lose it. Of course.

So Saturday expectations have downshifted. An early morning swim? Um, no. Yoga? Head still spinning, thanks. A large plate of cheese and crackers? That I can handle.

Bean and Trudy are napping. Husband is at the office. I'm drinking a Fresca and blogging to document how being hungover with a small child is worse than 8 a.m. econ class on Fridays. Yes, that bad.

Enjoy your Saturday, folks.

Bottoms Up

Is it really August 1? Seriously? Where has the summer gone? It's passed by exceptionally fast as I have taken on extra duties at work and now truly know the meaning of busy. (I know, I know, we're all busy, Jen. Quit bitching.)

August 1. Six weeks since I last blogged. Not that there haven't been stories to share. Husband's first father's day, the bean's first swim and yesterday - the major milestone of all first-time parents - birthday #1. My brain replayed the reel of the day she was born - how terrified I was, how I didn't feel an instant connection, how Husband initially took to diaper-changing much quicker than I did.

Now here she is, almost a full head of hair, scooting everywhere, eating mac 'n cheese (organic, for those who might judge) and drinking wine. We're so proud. (Of course the glass was empty, people. I hope you would already know that, but since this will be on the internet forever, I need to clarify.)

It's bittersweet when you&…

A little celebratin'

So much to write about; so little time. I'll take the easy route and cover my first mother's day. 

Crap folks, had I known this was such a big deal I would've had a kid years ago. Mother's Day is better than a birthday - equal celebration and no aging up. Fantastic. And I should be celebrated. None of this demure "oh you shouldn't have" attitude. Bring on the compliments! Bring on the gifts! I'm happy to receive them all.

Here are a couple reasons my mom-ship should be celebrated:

1. I let my kid chew on her report card every day when I pick her up from school. Husband does not allow this, but I don't care. Pink paper for everyone, I say.

2. In an effort to keep her occupied so I could prep for dinner, I let the Bean eat mail. It was just a credit card solicitation, but that envelope gave me 20 whole minutes. (Are we detecting a paper theme here?)

3. Sometimes I rotate between Tylenol and Advil just because she's fussy. Her liver will thank me late…

Fishing, Botox and the Cupig

This weekend was Husband's eagerly anticipated fishing weekend with the boys. I don't know the details of what goes on - besides fishing, obviously - but it seems to include a lot of meat. The grocery list he gave me included sausage, which we rarely eat, and previous trips have included meat wrapped within another meat wrapped within another meat. It makes me throw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it. He did take Trudy which left the Bean and me to hold down the fort.

It was a fairly uneventful weekend, which suited me just fine. The Bean loves the BOB stroller, so we tool several long walks around the Nelson. I did actually run with the Bean a few weeks ago and for the next week my calves reminded me how out of shape I am. Then I tried to run with Trudy last week and it was not a success. Maybe someday I'll actually get back in run shape. Sigh.

The Bean continues to amaze us with the most trivial of actions. She now purses her lip up to her nose and then blow…