Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

Picking up the Pieces

So my previous post was a bit DESPERATE, don’t you think?

I was in a pretty pathetic and desperate state of mind.

But today is another day and I’ve got some repairs to make.

I am happy to say I slept a good 10 hours that night. Something I definitely needed. Not napping created the crash and burn effect I needed to restart my clock. I’ve been eating better and taking my meds ON TIME, and at least TRYING to get on a better if not normal sleep schedule.

The morning after was tough and slow going. I had a very heavy patch of brain fog going on and it lasted quite a while too. But that was to be expected and I just made my way through it.

When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. - Dory, ” Finding Nemo “

When I woke up the next morning, I decided to take a ME DAY!

…and now I am thinking maybe it’s more like a ME WEEK. ….or 2 ….ish.

I really need to pick up some pieces and get back on track. Because believe it or not I was somewhat on track. Really, I was! December went fairly well for me in terms of getting things done.

As the holidays approached, I was able to Christmas shop, get my house back together, decorate, and celebrate with family and friends, but not without the HUGE, HUGE, HUGE help I got from Ron. (…and Leon too). Thank you, my loves!

All the clutter found a home or else it went into the trash. We cleared away piles of stuff that we really did not need any longer. And while there was/is still more work to be done, we were able to make our living space, livable and our workspace, workable again.

We decorated the house and the beautiful Christmas tree that Ron and Leon went out and chopped down, during the Annual Oldfield Christmas Tree Hunt. The house was finally a warm and welcoming place again. Everything looked so beautiful and inviting. AND PEACEFUL.

The lights are my least favorite part of decorating the tree

Awww fiddlesticks - half the tree lights don't work

We spent Christmas Eve at home with our family, both Ron’s and mine came for dinner (17 of us in total). And the thing that amazed me the most about it was how relaxed I felt. Tired, but relaxed.  Finally!!!

I love taking out my china for the holidays, it makes me feel like I'm almost a grown-up.

Can you see the tree in the next room?

I realized it was because my house was full of the people I love and who love me, AND because Ron and I had put so much effort into putting order back into our home.

Santa Ron!

My Family

My loveys

Like mother, like daughter

She's waiting for Omi to cave, an hand over the chocolate.

You blow boy!!! In a good way!

The Angel and the Devil, but which is which?

Cheers!

Cheers!

Cousins!

Much of the week that followed Christmas, was spent relaxing in the glow of the Christmas lights, watching Leon play with all his new toys. We spent some time visiting with family, Leon got to go ice skating (can you imagine me on skates, HA!), and we took our traditional trip into NYC to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and check out the Christmas Window Displays.  We ended our winter break and the year at the home of a dear friend watching the Doctor Who marathon. It was a wonderful little staycation for all of us, and it certainly ended the year nicely.

Leon and like a third of Grandma's Christmas Village

Our Tree! The lights flying off to the side are actually being pulled by Santa in his sleigh and his 8 tiny reindeer.

Leon and his Christmas haul! It was a very Merry Skylander Christmas!

Now in the midst of all that activity, I had made one big mistake. I ran out of refills for my Cymbalta and kept forgetting to contact the doctor’s office. So for about a week-ish leading up to when I completely snapped (see previous post) I was off meds.  No wonder I had been such a WRECK! – DUH!

But NOW, I AM doing better,

So to those of you who reached out, THANK YOU! AND I LOVE YOU TOO!

I am feelin’ better, so no worries. But I need to take some ME TIME.

So…   I am not ignoring you. I am just under repairs,     ….and probably not answering the phone,    …or emails.

But I loves ya!!

Oh and Happy Christmas, Season’s Greetings and a Joyful New Year to all!

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Today’s To Do’s

Find Christmas Lights and put them up

Get started on making the house more festive

Make a visible dent in the computer room (desk top and file cabinets)

Blog a bit

Put paperwork in order for Special Ed Meetings

Write note to teacher re: Leon’s checklists

Make returns to stores

Be happy with what I have accomplished today, and start again tomorrow.

 

 

I have so much I need to do. So, so much. So much that I have just been tripping myself up just thinking about it all the time.

This year has not been kind to me (that post is coming soon). It’s as if my life was involved in a 10  car pileup. One thing went wrong, then another, and another, and another, and so on. And detangling it all is a mess in itself. I would get so over whelmed with the enormity of it, that I would feel road-blocked and paralyzed to do anything. I just never knew where to start. Anything that I did start would be dependant on something else getting done first, and getting that done would also depend on another thing happening and so on and so on. I just did not know where to start.  So in the end I mostly ended up doing nothing and the pile-up would just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger and so on. And there I was trapped somewhere in the middle of it all just getting more and more depressed over what a failure I am as a wife and mother and even at taking care of myself.

I’ve always been a list maker, and that has usually worked for me. But this year somewhere along the line I lost my way. I would get stuck on making the list and never actually get to the work truth was the lists wouldn’t be made up of 4 or 5 things to get done it would be 4 or 5 pages of things I still haven’t done. Eventually I just stopped making the lists all together, again because of the enormity of it all. I felt like I was failing at life.

At some point you can either give in and become a hoarder or you have to get a plan to get things done.

I had a plan to get a plan. But I  wasn’t sure what that plan was yet or even where to look.

I finally found one I want to give a go at, in a hot tub, at the base of Hunter Mountain, just a few weeks ago.

I was enjoying a soak in the tub with a few friends and a few drinks during my brother-in-law’s wedding weekend in the Catskills. We got to catch up with friends we hadn’t spent time with in a long time. The wedding was a blast and I walked away from that weekend with a new plan.

Melissa is the one who told me about a book I should look into. I was drunk that night so by morning the details were a bit hazy. But what I pieced together from our conversation was that it had something something something to do with seven somethings or other, in which you decide who you are, and who you want to be, and what you want to accomplish and then you assign a priority or a percentage of your time to it or something like that, …I think?

It went something like, what percentage of who I am is a wife, a mother, a blogger, PTA volunteer, crafter, etc… and then assign a percentage of your time to that part of you and work on a little bit of each part of who I am each day. So like if I am 50% homemaker and 25% crafter and 10% blogger, the time I give to each of those things should be divided accordingly. This way I can start making a dent by freeing myself up a little bit more each day in all the parts of my world that are important to me, including the parts that wants to do more than just clean house and chase after what I haven’t gotten to yet.

I was drunk at the time, so I could have gotten it all wrong but I did get something out of it that makes sense to me. At the time I thought she was referring to this book which I had read about previously (but I never actually read the book itself), and I had already put it on my universal wishlist.  I later learned via a Facebook convo with her that she actually meant this book, which also looks like a good read. I haven’t read either book as of yet, but they are both on my wishlist now and I do plan to read them when the avid reader in me jumps up to a higher priority in my life.

So while I am not following any specific magic formula as of yet on how to get things done, I was inspired by what I had learned from my friend to come up with a plan I could actually follow. For this plan I need to set priorities and assign a specific amount of time in my day to each of these priorities. And just get done what I can in the amount of time I give myself. And I also need to allow myself to be happy with what I have accomplished for the day and not wallow in the muck of what I still have to do, there is always tomorrow.

So, Melissa, if you are reading this, thanks for the info, and the kick in the pants to getting things done.

Now excuse me while I go look for the Christmas lights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Message from Santa

 

Dear Jill,

Hello from the North Pole. I bet you are surprised to be hearing from me, here, on your blog. I hope you don’t mind me posting this note on your blog, but I wanted to make sure that your son Leon get’s my message. And who better to trust with such an important task then his own mother?  You must be extremely proud of him. He has come such a long way. I’ve been keeping my eye on him and I have to say Mrs. Claus and I are very proud of him too. Not only was his report card filled with 3’s and 4’s but I heard from my elves today, that he just won 1st place in the category of photography for his school in the PTA Reflections Contest. I hope he saves the Target gift card he won for something really wonderful. 

He is maturing very well and becoming such a responsible young boy. I really enjoy seeing how well he does his homework right after school. I would urge him to slow down a bit though, it is important to take time and work carefully when doing school work. I have noticed some improvement in his handwriting too! There is more work to be done, but I have every confidence in him. I’ve seen him do great things.

He is taking after you artistically, isn’t he? The combination of his wonderful imagination and the talent he is showing  when he draws make for some beautiful and creative artwork. I especially like the winter scene he drew, with me in my sleigh sailing through the sky. That one is by far the best work of art I have seen him do so far. You really should add it to the art gallery in your livingroom if he will allow you to. 

He also has the potential to be a great musician too, if only he would practice his instruments. He seems to be doing very well in orchestra with his cello, according to his teacher, just  imagine how good he would be if he actually practiced, I do hope you will urge him to practice! And not just his cello but also the guitar too. Did you know he wrote me a letter asking for a piano keyboard AND an electric guitar, along with some Lego and an Xbox? There is only so much I can do. Between you and me I think the electric guitar should wait a bit. I’d like to see him practice the instruments he is already learning more often and on a regular basis before I get him the electric guitar. Please tell him I said so.

He will be getting at least one thing he asked for in his letter under the tree, on Christmas morning as well as a few other things that the elves and I have overheard him talking about. And I will admit that we do check out his Universal Wishlist on Amazon regularly. What a smart thing to do. Kudos to you Jill, for making things a bit easier for folks.

There is something else I have noticed about Leon lately and I am very glad to see it. I see him being even more caring and generous with others and in life, than he has been in the past. It is truly wonderful to see Leon getting into the true spirit of Christmas. As you know, Christmas is not about getting presents, it is instead about giving, just as God gave us his son, Jesus Christ.

Leon has a lot to give this world and he is off to a wonderful start.

The message I would like you to pass on to him is in this link, I was able to record a video just  for him through my portable North Pole, please have him watch it; 

 http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/guest/i0o2DZwhRB515cEvAUZugg

And don’t you worry Jill, I haven’t forgotten about you either. I received your letter too. It was very unique of you to write your letter to me on your blog, although in this new age of technology it isn’t surprising, you wouldn’t believe all the tweets I get, and don’t get me started on all the “Dear Santa” Facebook status stuff.

Regarding the wishlist in your letter, I am not so sure I can do anything about the time thing, you might want to try Father Time, but I don’t think he takes requests. All I have to offer you is advice; if you want more time in the day to have to yourself , you are going to have to make it. Try not to be so accommodating. It really is okay to say no every once in a while and take care of yourself first.

The will-power to continue to lose weight is already within you, so I will work on sending the soft-serve calorie-free, fat-free ice-cream your way. I’ll have to remind the elves to pick up some dry ice, before we depart the North Pole on Friday.  But incase we can’t get Jack Frost to share, rest assured you will find a gift under the tree from Santa. Afterall while looking under Leon’s name for his wishlist on Amazon.com, I looked up your name, and Ron’s too.

As far as the last thing on your list in your letter to me, that too, is something you already have. God has provided you with the perfect family just for you. Just as he made Ron for you; he made you for Ron. And then he answered your prayers and gave you Leon.  Praise God always and anything you could ever need will be yours!

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

                                                                                            Love,

                                                                                                Santa

P.S. I actually prefer Kahlua and cream with my cookies but I don’t drink and fly, so skim milk will be just fine. 

Dear Santa,

 

Dear Santa,

I have been very, very good this year!

I spent much of my time this year helping out friends and family, planning weddings and parties, taking care of other people’s children and my own, being a personal shopper, researching everything from ADHD to Las Vegas weddings to Sensory Processing Disorder, driving my kid all over town to swimming, and guitar lessons, and cub scouts; correcting homework, volunteering in the PTA, and so, so, so much more.  So for Christmas this year I’d like to ask for a bit more time in each day to just regroup and take a moment just for me.

I also joined Jenny Craig this year and lost 40 lbs, and even though I gained back 10lbs of it, I think that’s still pretty good. So I would also like to ask for a bit more will-power so I can lose another 40+ lbs. And if you could manage it, some calorie free, fat free, soft serve ice cream that doesn’t taste like air or cost an arm and a leg would be GREAT!

But the thing I’d most like to see by the tree this Christmas, is my family happily thriving, and enjoying each other and this wonderful life that God has given us.  

                                                                               Love,

                                                                                   Jill xoxo

P.S. Do you prefer whole milk or skim with your cookies?  

My first ever “Newsletter”

Today, I sent out a year end “newsletter”. My first ever. I’ve always liked the idea of newsletters. It’s a really nice way to keep up with what’s been going on in our lives. It’s unfortunate that life has a way of getting in the way of life. And as a result the tendency to lose touch with friends and family is inevitable, at least for a little while. So the newsletter just like this blog is my way of reaching out and touching someone. I wonder who will touch back?

Here’s a copy (with just a few omitions for privacy):

Hiya,

It’s still January so I still have time to wish everyone a Happy New Year!I did not get any Christmas Cards out, but I did manage to get a few New Year’s cards out. For anyone who did not receive one I apologize but either I did not have your address to begin with or I no longer have your address. 2008 was a pretty good year for us, although there were a few pitfalls as usual. This year we won a small (but very helpful) settlement from my car accident back in 2005. We were able to use it towards our debts and still manage to keep some aside to go on a well deserved trip to Disney World for Leon’s 6th Birthday, with the help of the money I am now making in my new position as full time childcare provider for my brand new baby niece. Yup I became an aunt this year, i can’t believe she will be a whole year old next month. I also sit for another cutie patootie about 20 hours a week. I don’t make as much as I’d like, but it helps pay the bills ( and got us to Disney!). We celebrated Ron’s 20th Annual 4th of July BBQ with friends and it was a blast, despite the rain. We are looking forward to this year’s BBQ and hoping for sunny skies. Leon started 1st grade, joined Cub Scouts and started taking Karate. He was having some problems in school in both Kindergarten and 1st grade as well as at home, but fortunately he is doing sooooo much better now after being diagnosed with ADHD and getting the proper treatment. Through testing we got conformation of what we already knew, but I have to boast anyway. He is in the very superior range with an overall IQ of 138 and he reads at a third grade level. Watch out Bill Gates my kid is a ROCK STAR! I was lucky enough to travel back to Germany for the first time in about 5 years, and realized how much I had missed going. I joined a Disney discussion board and made some new friends, I joined Facebook and reconnected with some old friends. Last month I started a photo blog which I intend to keep up regularly. Well, due to technical difficulties it is just a blog right now but as soon as I can start uploading pictures again it will be a photo blog with at least one photo per post. Hopefully you will check it out from time to time and leave me a comment or two.

It was definitely the year of technical difficulties. I almost turned Amish when everything electrical I touched turned to #@$%. My van died a few times this year (electrical problems), my camera was destroyed, and my computer died and was resurrected several times this year (thanks to Laurel) until it’s final dimise on Christmas Eve. Currently I am using a loaner until I can purchase a new one which should be very soon (again with many many many thanks to Laurel who is DA BOMB!). As a result of all my computer woes the worst of the worst of 2008 for me was losing all my files and photos!!! That included most of my addresses and phone numbers for everyone, some files I relyed on for info and about 90% of my digital photos from the last 5 years. YES, I KNOW, I KNOW, I AM AM ASS! I should have backed up my files! We have tried to retrieve them but no luck. It completely and totally breaks my heart!!! So much of Leon’s life was documented through those photos. Plus pics of Ron and I are gone, as well as pics of friends and family. The year ended with our magical vacation in Disney which I plan to fully document on my blog in a trip report, complete with pictures, information links, and one on one interviews with Leon and maybe Ron if he will co-operate, as soon as I get a new computer; a wonderful Christmas with close family at home, and a proposal. My sister said “yes”!

For 2009, I see myself getting a new tricked out computer (fingers crossed), a decent new camera (maybe for my birthday?), and going on at least one trip back to Disney for sure. At least that is my hope. I will have to bide my time and save up however because we also expect to have quite a bit of medical expenses coming our way over the next few months. And I predict that we will NEED to buy one if not two used cars. Both mine and Ron’s cars are on their last legs, err, I mean tires. But I am confident that we should be alright as long as we are careful with our spending. We have finally gotten to where we can actually pay our bills and I plan to keep it that way. I’ve been toying with an idea of maybe makeing some extra cash as a face painter for children’s parties – but for right now it is just a thought in my head. Once I get my new computer up and running I plan to keep my blog interesting with lots of pictures and of course my Walt Disney World Trip Report. I’d like to get into scrapbooking (calm down Heather), I mean digital scrapbooking, and begin making slide shows and home movies. (this is where the tricked out computer comes in). I am turning 40 next month, so I need to find a way of preserving my memories before I lose any more pictures or the rest of my mind!

I have a request, if you have any photos of Leon, Ron, myself, my mom, my dad, my sister, my cat, my mouse when I was 10, my teddybear, my grandma, my grandpa, my in-laws, my cousins, my friends, my whole entire family, my life …you get the picture, could you please send it to me?? Please contribute anything you think I would enjoy. Thanks!!!!

Here’s hoping the end of your 2008 was better than the begining and that this year will be even better than your last.

Send me an email or stop by my blog (yes, I am shamelessly promoting my blog all over this email), let me know how you are doing. And please include your info as well. Like I said, my computer wiped out my address book, so I need addresses, phone numbers, emails, birthdays, websites, blogs, etc…

Smiles,

Jill

Christmas is the reason…

…I have not been back here in a while.

Christmas snuck up on me this year.  I spent most of my year enjoying  planning for our big trip to Disney. We left for Walt Disney World on Thanksgiving morning and stayed for 10 days. It was wonderful. I came home with over 1300 digital photos, some great memories & stories, a bunch of souvineers, a much emptier wallet, and only two weeks till Christmas. Holy Cow!! I still had presents to buy (and wrap), a live christmas tree to find & decorate (twice it turns out, -it fell once and sadly, most of my ornaments – my grandma’s ornaments – broke), a home to decorate (inside & out) and a menu to plan for 16 people coming to my home on Christmas Eve. I love to go all out. It can be stressful but mostly it’s fun. I live for this stuff!

Every year my husband, son, and I, celebrate Christmas Eve in our home. We invite our entire family to to celebrate with us, to have dinner and to exchange gifts. As the years pass, our guest list has grown larger and larger. This year we had 16 for dinner. I was happy to do it. Christmas Eve at our house was a blast. We all had a great time. However coming home just two short weeks before Christmas really made things very hectic around here. Sooo…that’s why Christmas is the reason I haven’t kept up with my new found blog.

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