Off We Go To Mexico!

In May, when my mom made the offer to take my family (2 kids, one DH and me) to Mexico for Christmas, of course we were excited but it’s easy to drag your feet on something that’s more than 6 months away when it’s the beginning of the best three months New England has to offer. We didn’t really buckle down to find accommodations or even narrow down a location until summer drew to a close and holiday bookings were beginning to pop up. But now it’s just one day away and we’re beside ourselves with giddy.

Since we have a 4-year-old and an almost 2-year-old, we had two critical criteria for the trip: 1. kid friendly, 2. all-inclusive. Surprisingly, in our distant pasts, neither DH nor I ever would have dreamed of staying at, let alone enjoy, an all-inclusive, large-scale resort but like I’ve said before, having kids makes you do wild and wacky things. So our choice adequately meets criteria #2. But I feel pretty certain it knocks the ball out of the park on criteria #1. I think we may have found one of only a few resorts that actually has a kids club beginning at age 2 (please don’t ask for our son’s passport at check in).  Regardless, on all accounts, we are fully prepared to relish in every kid-free and child-full moment of the next seven days.

Here’s what we have to look forward to: 12 activity centers, 10 restaurants, 9 pools  (plus 16 private ones attached to the haciendas),  7 bars, 5 beach cabanas, 3 lobbies, 2 kids clubs and a partridge in a pear tree. It’s my new favorite Holiday classic!

Add to this the fact that DH has been pulling all-nighters at work all week and you’re left with a total toss-up about who’s most giddy to be getting away (did I mention that there are kids clubs? every day from 10a-10p?). Anyway, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 5 short years since becoming a parent, it’s this: the moments apart from your kids can be as precious and priceless as some of the moments with them. Besides, our four-year-old is a bit of a despotic ruler when it comes to interacting with others so I have no doubt in my mind that in no time at all she’ll be running the kids club just like Napoleon Bonaparte.

So adios amigos! In just 24 hours we’ll be on our way to a fabulous, all-inclusive viaje…(I wonder if all-inclusive means they’ll finish up my packing and wrap the presents I’m neglecting by typing this blog post?)

Dear Santa…I need another week!

Though my DH would beg to differ, I’m really not that organized. Sure, I have some great ideas way in advance–and sometimes I am even savvy enough to share them with people who might actually put them into action–and I have great visions about how things should look in my life: where they should be stored, how they should be hung, when they should be sent; it’s just the execution of all these swimmingly great ideas is slow to happen.

Take thank you notes for example. When someone gives me a gift or does something really nice for me, almost immediately, I compose a heartfelt thank you note…in my head. Somehow, the mere act of thinking about what I want to say to them creates an artificial grace period that considerably postpones my actual writing and mailing of said note.

I think you’re starting to get the picture.

This past summer, my mom gave us the extremely generous Christmas gift of a week together (DH, the kids, me, my mom and her husband) in Mexico. Since my kids aren’t really in school yet (preschool and playschool don’t count), we immediately began making plans to maximize her offer by traveling outside of the peak holiday periods.

It is with both joy and dread that I inform you, we leave this Saturday.

And regardless of the fact that–since having our first child 4-and-a-half years ago–we have made a “year in review” wall calendar every Christmas, I still wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to begin reviewing and editing the 4,000+ pictures from the past year. And regardless of the fact that–since getting engaged seven years ago–we have composed and compiled holiday cards every year, I still wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to start “thinking” about them. And regardless of the fact that I have two small children and 12 other family members to buy gifts for, I still wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to start buying them (though in some cases, at least I thought about their gifts way in advance).

I’ve known about our trip for the better part of 4 months but 18 days just isn’t enough time to get everything done! At this point, even if Santa’s elves figured out a way to give me another week to get it all done, I don’t think it would help me much but it’s sure nice thinking about it. Maybe I’ll just get everyone a pinata…


I’ve got a mouse problem!

I vaguely remember my first pet. I was three, my older brother was six and he had his very own hamster in its very own cage in his room. I wanted one too. My mother got me one. When she took it out of the carrier and let me hold it, I like to think I was so excited that I gave it a really big hug . What my mother reports is that I held it a little too tight, it bit me and I did what any swift thinking kid in survival mode would do, I wung it against the wall.

OK, it’s a dark story and it’s haunted me my entire adult life but it’s time to make amends. Fast forward 35 years. Around this time, last year, our cat, Mugi, died. Mugi was a cat effervescing with personality. My dad used to call him the Japanese Samurai cat, since I brought him back from Japan and he settled in with my dad for the next five years wile I lived in un-pet-friendly housing. For the 12 years we had him, Mugi spent his life moving around, attracting a sizable fan base of neighbors, family and friends wherever he roamed. Needless to say, he left a major void when he departed and we’re not quite ready to fill it with a kitten. So this year, I thought we’d get a hamster instead!

Hamsters are great. They instill core values like communal, modular living

exercising and keeping fit

and outta the box thinking

they even come with their own catchy little theme song!

Ah yes, a hamster, the PERFECT pet for my longing brood. The only problem, I needed to introduce them to a hamster before they could start begging Santa to bring them one.

Being the ever resourceful mom, I planned an outing to the local PetCo (if you’re ever looking for a rainy-day activity, I highly recommend it). We meandered through the fish, lingered by the reptiles and then bee-lined for the rodents.

As I stood fawning over the various hamster displays: “awww, look guys, look at this cute Teddy Bear Hamster, don’t you just want to take it home and snuggle with it?” or “Hey guys, a dwarf hamster! This is as big as it ever gets. Look how cute it is!” My four year old was sticking like a suction cup to the display cages behind me. I’ll give ya one guess what was in them…

It’s not that I don’t like mice, I’m quite fond of them really. And I shouldn’t be surprised that my daughter loves them too. After Good Night Moon, her second favorite book was Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice. It’s just, I’m a first time home owner and I don’t want to be responsible for a first time mouse infestation. But how do you diffuse a daily discussion on the attributes of mice. And when you ask your child what she’s going to write and ask Santa for and she replies: “two mice, a white one and a brown one, and a purple cage to put them in.” I’m stumped.

C’mon, hamster’s are cut too, right Santa?

Ho, Ho, Ho!



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