Posts Tagged With: Christmas

customer (not)-service

Thing 2 asked for only one thing for Christmas.
She wants an Eeyore beanie from Love Your Melon.
They went on sale 11.24 at 11 am.
I bought one immediately.

The LYM package arrived Monday.
I was so excited!
Huzzah! Christmas for my baby girl!

And then…

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?!
You’ll notice this is a pink Piglet beanie. Not only that, it’s a baby size beanie. Too small even for the toddler head of Baby K.
You’ll also notice the invoice and item don’t match.
Somewhere there is someone who ordered their baby an adorable beanie but ended up with Thing 2’s Eeyore beanie. They must be just as disappointed and frustrated as I am!

Much to my dismay there is no phone number for me to call. That means I’ve been emailing LYM customer service for several days.
It’s all: here’s how to return the beanie by clicking this link.
Um…K…so when I click the link it wants me to enter my order number. You know, the order number that matches what I ordered, not what I received.
Still no straight answer about where my beanies are and how to send back the one I received. Not to mention that the customer service reps who email me are more concerned with me returning the misshipped (is that even a word?) beanie than assisting me in getting the beanies I ordered.

The fucking Eeyore beanie is now out of stock so I can’t even order another one while I wait for this mess to get sorted.
I know my daughter is a twenty three year old adult and understands when things go awry. But sweet baby Jesus, she only asked for one specific thing!
And because someone made a mistake in packing an envelope, she may not be able to get it.

You know, I’m not “a Karen” by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m nearly ready to rip off somebody’s head.
I’m fired up about this and won’t let it die until I have Thing 2’s beanie in my hand.

Customer service exists to assist the customer.
I did everything required of me but because of their mistake, I don’t have what I paid for. And I’m not receiving any real help in solving the problem.
These mfs need to get it together!
I just want my baby to have her fucking beanie!

Late last night I finally got an email. It seems a customer service person called Savanna actually listened to my problem and responded accordingly.
Of course this is what she said:

Thanks for letting us know! I sincerely apologize you received the incorrect beanie. Feel free to keep the beanie that was sent to you and place another order with the code I’ve provided. Your store credit is detailed below. Please use this code at checkout on a future order with us. This code can only be used once but does not expire.

I don’t want the fucking baby beanie! I want the one I ordered for Thing 2!
The Eeyore beanie is still sold out…I clicked the ’email when available’ button and have my fingers crossed I may be able to purchase another between now and Christmas.

None of this even touches on the second beanie that went missing. Still no credit for that one.
And based on this email, someone has Thing 2’s Eeyore beanie AND Thing 1’s double pom beanie and they’ve been told “feel free to keep” them.
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

I’ve sussed out the kids beanie is one and one half inches smaller in height and width than the adult beanie. I’m waiting for a text back from Thing 2 to find out how her other LYM beanies fit to see if this will do in the meantime…

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

getting advent-er

For the first time in the history of my family (in any incarnation), each person has their own Advent calendar.
Excessive?
Perhaps.
Do I care?
Nope.

We’re super-extra and that’s fine by me.

Here’s how it shakes out.
Top left is the Daddy’s (Husband N), all the hot sauce.
Top right is the Papa’s (YBW), so much red wine.
Middle right is the Birdie’s, because…Harry Potter.
Bottom is Baby K’s, Little People are just right for little hands. (and that Santa is so cute I could die!)
Middle left is the Mommy’s (Thing 1), because one must always add to one’s Playmobil collection.

Here’s Baby K’s mom and dad helping her with the first night.

It may be ridiculous, but I don’t care.
My precious husband needs all those small wine bottles.
My daughter loves her some Playmobil. (and she’ll share with her daughter)
My daughter’s husband wants all the hot sauce.
My granddaughter loves to play.
And I didn’t really want to be left out.

As Wayne says:

Can confirm.
We’re advent-y AF up in here (up in here) and I’m cool with that.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

joy and gratitude

I know this time of year is tricky.
For some it’s a straight up ‘hard no’.
For others, it’s emotionally painful.
Yet, there are some folks for which this truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I am one of those folks.
I love Christmastime with a fiery vengeance!
Even the moments when I was in full on panic mode when we first got home from our trip, I still loved the holidays. I mean, I freaked out and declared I wasn’t going to decorate this year, but that was travel (and laundry) fatigue talking.
I was out the very next day, saw a bright red Jeep with a tree tied to the top and I was instantly in full on Christmastime mode!

As I consider my holiday joy, I find a great deal of gratitude.
Please indulge me as I share my gratitude and joy with you.

bucket list trip checked
three glorious weeks away with my husband
gorgeous weather in Costa Rica

outstanding customer service
not living in Panama City
strong black coffee
first hand knowledge of how lock systems work before entering the Panama Canal
cocktails
an absolutely delightful lounge act (And he played our song!)
my precious husband drinking wine on the balcony all Thanksgiving day
City Lights Bookstore

YBW’s sense of humor
reading books
having my pillow on vacay
meeting new people
finding the most perfect hand carved nativity in Cartagena
stunning sunsets

photo cred: YBW

my laundry machines
sleeping in my own bed
coca cola
YBW’s patience
talking on the phone with Baby K
extremely detailed sub plans
with YBW on a blanket on the floor by the Christmas tree and fireplace
decorating
shopping
wrapping
trees on cars
hugging Holly
movies with YBW (Knives Out)
a play and dinner with Mike and Josie
being with Thing 2 Friday
being with Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K Sunday
holiday music
two of my three alternative healthcare providers
monogrammed rain boots
heated steering wheel

I feel absolutely merry and bright!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

welcome home

It’s been a month and two days since I boarded a plane to California.
I missed y’all!

Here’s what I haven’t done since returning home thirteen days ago.
Write.
Read any of your blog posts.
Organize and/or edit my photos from the trip.
(All in good time, my little pretties, all in good time.)

Here’s what I have done since returning home thirteen days ago.
Laundry. So. Much. Laundry.
Miscellaneous unpacking.
Put away laundry.
Decorate for the holidays. (We’re low-key Christmasy this year, just enough to feel festive. Not typical balls to the wall Christmasy, mostly because I won’t be here for Christmas this year and YBW isn’t quite as big a freak as I am when it comes to the holidays.)
Shop. For groceries. For gifts.
Wrap gifts.

Cook. (all the things)
Teach.
Address Christmas cards.
One amazing social outing with friends to a show and dinner.

I was feeling terribly overwhelmed, but once I was able to get Christmasy I began to settle down.
I was in a strange place in which on thing must finish before the next thing can start. Normally, I can multitask like a boss. I think it was that feeling of being behind the eight ball, coming home it’s already December, I’ll be gone the week of actual Christmas, that kind of thing.
Traveling is exhausting!
Not the actual trip portion (that was truly magnificent…stay tuned), but the coming home. The day we traveled home nearly did me in. Good Lord, I was so happy to sleep in my own bed!

But now, the stockings are hung, the tree trimmed, and a handful of baby Jesuses around the house.
I’m ready for Christmas.

I leave Friday for Thing 2, we’ll spend a couple of Christmasy days together, brunch and girlie hotel weekend style, before I continue on to Thing 1’s on Sunday. It’s the first night of Hanukkah, Baby K’s first! I’ll be there before sundown, I have to be, I have the menorah candles!

I’m overjoyed to be with my girls at Christmastime! And even though she doesn’t really get it, I’m thrilled to be with Baby K for her first holiday season!
After starting at a new company in September, and being away for three weeks in November, YBW has no available leave. Though he’s disappointed to miss Baby K’s first Christmas, he knows we have many more to come. I’m sad to be away from him at Christmas, but we’ve got a plan to celebrate when I come home.
Even making our annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral for the creche exhibit. And our hearts are content.

In the meantime, here’s what I have to do before Friday.
Laundry.
Pack. (say it ain’t so)
Teach.
Fuel my car.

May your days be merry and bright, because mine sure are!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I just wanted some f**king cookies

It all started with a cookie recipe.

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

I love salted caramel, and I love snickerdoodles.
This recipe was a match made in Roby Heaven.
I posted it on social media and tagged Thing 1, asking her to make these cookies for her Momma.
She asked if I wanted them when she was here for Halloween, or when I was there for Christmas. (Um…both!)

Apparently YBW’s exwife, the mother of Thing C and Thing G, read the comment and texted YBW to see if he was going with me to Thing 1’s for Christmas and would Thing G be left here alone.

I’m over here like, OK, first of all…(actual content not fit for public consumption)

In the past, as part of their informal custody agreement, YBW and his sons mother have alternated holidays. You know, one gets the kids for Thanksgiving, the other for Christmas, and the swap each year.
Well, since the boys are adults, and one of them is currently living with his girlfriend, YBW is of the mind that they should do what works best for them. They’re no longer obligated to abide by the system in which they grew up.
That said, if they continued following the system, this year, holidays would be Thanksgiving with their mother and Christmas with us.

Baby K will experience her first Christmas this year. Both YBW and I want to share that joy, only here’s the problem with that, YBW just started a new job, and we’re going away for three weeks in November.
He has no PTO.
He’s figured a way to bank hours between now and when we leave to get through the first pay period, but the second pay period, with the exception of Thanksgiving will be all leave without pay.
Now, he was paid for his unused leave from the company he left, and it’s not like we’re going to starve or be homeless if he doesn’t get paid. It’s just that he’s trying to be mindful.

So we’ve kind of landed in the space that looks like me going to Baby K’s for Christmas, and YBW staying here and going to work.
I don’t love this arrangement.
But I want to be with Baby K for her first Christmas!
It’s so selfish though. She won’t know WTF is going on. She’ll just be her cute, chubby self. But I’ll know, you know?

Returning to the text…
It turns out that the mother already had a long conversation with Thing C about going to his grandparent’s house on Christmas. I watched him ‘song and dance’ around the subject with his father yesterday.
I felt at once sorry for this young man, and fiercely protective of his father.
Thing C is borderline incapable of making a decision when it comes to his parents. I’ve seen him do it more times than I can count. And it hurts my heart. He seems so desperate to keep the peace, to walk the line, that he won’t make a choice lest it err on the ‘wrong’ side of either of his parents.
He simply cannot be honest with either one of them.

As of last month, the plan was Thing C and Thing G would celebrate Christmas with their mother and grandparents the Saturday after Christmas, and we were considering celebrating together the weekend before Christmas if that didn’t interfere with Girlfriend L’s family plans.
Yesterday, Thing C was doing everything in his power to not admit he has decided to be with his mother and grandparents on Christmas day.
Their mother did send YBW a text inviting him to come too, so he didn’t have to be alone on Christmas.

I feel frustrated, and I’m struggling to distinguish whether or not it’s one of those things I can or cannot change.
YBW is more accommodating than most people, and I feel like he gets taken advantage of because of it.
It feels to me that his exwife saw an opportunity to get exactly what she wants and is doing what she can to take it.
It feels to me that his son is caught up in this opportunity, an accomplice, if you will.
That may sound harsh to call Thing C an accomplice, but that’s his behavior.
Meanwhile, nobody even considers Thing G.
I believe with my whole heart that their mother is pleased to be loosed her responsibilities towards that one. I mean, she loves him, but she is perfectly content that he’s here and she’s there.

So because I want to celebrate Christmas with our granddaughter, YBW is getting the shaft from his eldest son, who is actively following the plan concocted by his mother.

I am indignant!
They cannot treat him this way!

YBW doesn’t seem to think he’s being mistreated.
He seems to just kind of take it all in stride.
I suspect he’d rather be with Baby K for her first Christmas.

I am struggling.
Is this a situation I cannot change?
Is this a case of me needing to shift my whole ‘it’s the principle of the thing’ point of view?
I feel like YBW deserves better.
I cannot change the way other’s treat him. I can only control how I treat him.
I am seriously considering missing Baby K’s first Christmas to ensure he has a lovely Christmas.
I won’t disappoint the baby, she won’t know or care that it’s her first Christmas. I’ll be disappointed to miss it. But, I don’t want YBW to have a disappointing Christmas either.

Is this even about YBW or Baby K?
Or is this about me?
Do I just need to get over myself?
Is it just the principle of the thing?

I suspect if the girls and their father were treating me the way YBW’s son and his mother are treating him, YBW would feel defensive for me. I’m not sure he’s considered it that way. I’m not sure he understands how fiercely protective I feel about him. I mean, I know he’s a grown ass man and doesn’t need me to protect him, but that doesn’t stop me feeling protective.
He is my beloved, I want to help keep him safe.
If he did the kind of shit his ex wife does, she’d string him up so fast it would make everybody’s head spin.
But he doesn’t seem all that fazed.
I suspect it’s because he’s been conditioned.

I’m so disappointed in Thing C.
He will side with his mother every single time yet never actually own that to his father. He doesn’t want to hurt his father by being honest, yet hasn’t figured out that by not being honest his behavior is more hurtful.

It doesn’t have to be this way.
Yet this is the way it is.

I can’t control what they do.
I can only control what I do.
I can create and maintain healthy boundaries.

What I want to do is go full on flame thrower.
What I’ll most likely do is go be with our granddaughter, and trust that my husband will make the best choice for himself.
I know he can, and will.
I hate that he has to.
He is so precious to me! Even when he annoys me and I want to kick him in his face, I love him and want to help keep him safe.

I’m inclined to admit I’m getting worked up over the principle of the thing, but this is the principle of my husband, and I will get worked up over him until the end of time.
I love him and feel protective of him.
I believe he should be treated with more honesty and respect.

And then I find myself over here like, all this drama because I wanted some fucking cookies.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 12

Happy Christmas y’all!

You might not think ‘Billy Idol’ when you think Christmas songs…but this one’s a doozy!
This song is from Devil’s Playground, released in 2005.
Here’s Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

a tune for Tuesday vol 11

I absolutely adore Brian Setzer’s Christmas Extravaganza!
You might be asking why is this an extravaganza I love, it just is. It just is.

Dance around a little bit to Boogie Woogie Santa Claus!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

December: the good kind of chaos

We saw a thought provoking play Sunday last, I’m still trying to understand the impact it had on me. We talked about it all through dinner and all the way home, and still we’re left with questions.
That’s the power of the arts!
Aren’t we blessed to live in a world in which we experience the arts in so many fashions!?!
The play is an old one, but re-staged in the last twenty or so years. It reads timeless and current at the same moment. And the comment on society is as applicable now as it was then, especially in this country where the divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow.
Every word we speak or write, every action we take or choose not to take has a ripple effect. Goes out from us into the world around us. Creates an impact. Most of us are immune to that awareness.
None of us should be.
An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley at Shakespeare Theatre Company
It will sit with me for a while.

Last week at school started at about 68% and ended Friday at 80% Lord of the Flies mode. The kids, faculty, and staff are all waiting for the ‘Man with the Bag’ so we can have a little break.
Nine more days.
We can do anything for nine days, right?

This Friday night, YBW and I went to the Lincoln Theatre for a conversation with Bob Woodward. Kojo Nnamdi moderated questions from the audience, with many of his own.

(excuse the pic quality, I broke my phone’s camera lens recently…Santa’s going to bring me a new one!)

Mr Woodward discussed his most recent publication, as well as sharing stories of George H W Bush, Gerald Ford, Mark Felt, and his time during Watergate. He spoke with a frankness, elegance, and sharp sense of humor.
Bob Woodward is one of my life-long ‘folk heroes’.
After all Watergate, Katharine Graham wrote him a letter, in which she wrote, “Beware the demon of pomposity.” He shared with us that he took her words to heart. Her words helped guide him through his career. One he’s spent just doing his job, reporting and writing the information he continues to work hard to collect.
One thing he said that struck me was we need to learn the value of silence. To sit in the uncomfortable silence is the only way to learn what others have to say.
It’s interesting, I’ve been practicing that skill over the last couple of years and it really does work! It’s changed the way I communicate with my daughters.

Saturday night, my darling friend Beccca and I went to The Strathmore to the All These Poses Tour.

(It’s signed!! and please hear that in an excited sing-songy sort of voice)

Rufus Wainwright is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his career with a show dedicated to his first two albums. Poses, his second album, is one of my favorite records.
The Strathmore is a wonderful venue, not a bad seat in the house, and has excellent acoustics!
Rufus was sublime!

YBW just came home from our winery. We chatted up folks in the barrel barn, drank some wine, and enjoyed a lunch of ham biscuits and brunswick stew. A lovely way to spend this cold and dreary Sunday afternoon.

While I’m enjoying the fullness of my calendar, I’m beginning to become concerned that I need some quiet time to do homework and wrap pressies!
And rest more.
This evening my plan is to be firmly planted on the floor, Christmas movies on the TV, wrapping gifts. What will most likely happen is I’ll lie on the sofa curled up under a blankie binge watching Mrs Maisel.
Y’all wanna take bets?

However overwhelmed I’m feeling (just a smitch), nothing can contain my joy at this season of Advent!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Yall!
It’s snowing outside!
I’m putting my jammies on inside out, and flushing ice cubes straight away! This little Robynbird wants a snow day! I could get loads of wrapping done if I didn’t have to go to school!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

transition time

My twelve-year old niece woke up the morning of November second and began playing holiday music and decorating her bedroom for Christmas.
Initially I was a whole lot of WTF? but then I smiled as she strung lights, and created a display of nutcrackers on top of her dresser. She’s ready for the holidays!

I’ve always said, if I could go straight from Halloween to Christmas I’d be happy.
But you know, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. As much as I dislike Thanksgiving, I need the transition. I need that little bit of time between Halloween and Christmas. I need a little bit more time with my autumn decorations. I need time to get my (Christmas) ducks in order.

That said, I visited Pier 1, Home Goods, Hallmark, and Michaels today specifically for Christmasy things. I found and purchased ornaments for both Thing 1 and Thing 2. Also Husband N. Chose one for YBW, but the line at Pier 1 was longer than I had the patience to wait in so I’ll go back.

See, I need this time.
I need to make sure I have the perfect ornaments chosen for my family. I need to make sure I snatch up all the cute wrapping paper before it’s gone. In need to make sure I see what’s out there before every place is jam-slammed with other humans.

Thanksgiving is not my thing.
I try so hard not to be a hater, you know?
I just can’t help it. I truly believe it’s nothing more than an excuse for gluttony. And of course, my mother died the week of Thanksgiving. That I could have lived without.

However, I’m doing something new this year.
I’m choosing to embrace Thanksgiving as the transition time between Halloween and Christmas. I’m going to use this time to my advantage. I’ve even invited a house full of people for the giving of thanks.
I’m going to try so hard not to be an ass about Thanksgiving. I’m accepting its placement on the calendar as a blessing. I’m not quite ready for Christmas. But I need to get ready to be.
I’ll use this time to transition from leaves and pumpkins and cotton bolls to trees and stars and all the baby Jesuses.

For me, November will become a healthy transition time between Halloween and Christmas. And though I may never come to embrace Thanksgiving, I can accept it. I can choose to celebrate it.

I’m thankful every single day of my life. Even those days when I’m a raging f**king hater. I’m grateful for the life I have, the people in it, and the love that surrounds me.
Thanksgiving is a day, just like any other. I can choose to be filled with gratitude that day too. I can accept that it’s meaningful to people who aren’t me and embrace them instead of the day.

I’m so close to being ready to pull out all the Christmas things!
I just need a bit more time to transition.
Thanksgiving provides that for me this year.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Little D’s Christmas

Little D is coming today and spending the night!
It’s actually his Christmas gift.
You see, Little D more enjoys spending time with the people he loves than he does toys and stuff. Partly this is because he’s an only child, and partly because he lost his mother so young. But mostly it’s because he’s a social kid that likes to be around the people he loves.

One of the people he loves most is Thing 2. Born on the same day fourteen years apart, they are our birthday twins. A fact each of them absolutely adores. Thing 2 and Little D are also “daughter and father” this comes from a time when he was just three, Little D took Thing 2 by the hand and lead her all around our old preschool telling everyone, “Dis my daughter Thing 2.”
Apart from the Nutcracker, and probably the Cathedral visit, what she was most looking forward to was spending time with Little D and his folks.
They built trains and played hide and seek and then settled down to color.

(I was standing on the sofa to shoot this pic and sadly lost my balance so it’s out of focus, but that’s OK I still love it.)

During that visit, Little D found his gift under the tree in our front room.
It was an invitation for a very special sleepover with YBW and me. In which a detailed plan was laid out for us to play, watch a movie, (with popcorn of course) then for breakfast we’ll make his favorite, french toast and bacon.
The first thing he said was, “When!?!”
His mom and I quickly got out our calendars and picked today!

Of course he’ll have another gift.

Batman jammies, a truly amazing book, and a movie I know he loves.
Y’all I don’t even like Batman, but I freaking love those jammies!

My local bookshop didn’t have the book in stock and it took forever to ship, so I must stop writing and get on the wrapping of his pressie! Then YBW and I will head out to meet their family for lunch and bring that kid home to play and be goofy!
I’m so excited!

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