Dec 31 2010

New Year's Resolutions

A List That's Doable

by: Sharon DeVellis

So New Year’s resolutions

Ya.

Also

Huh.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  To make us better people?  Thinner people? Healthier people? Better at managing money people?

I mean, clearly I need help with all of the above but Hello?

The pressure people!!!! 

Anyhoo….I’m on it.  Last year I made resolutions that I absolutely could not fail at.  I mean "technically" if I had died there would have been resolution failure, but, you know, at that point it's all about the bigger fish to fry and all that.

So this year I’m going to make some resolutions that not only I can fail at, I most likely will.

But what the hell.  Right? 

And without any further ado, here are my resolutions for 2011

I'm Just Gonna Be Me.  From this point forward I’m going to write exactly how my blogs sound in my head and not hold back.  If you’ve ever received a Reply All email I’ve written when I’m bored, you’ll know the extent that I hold back. But not anymore!  From now on the freak is gonna fly.  Kind of like how I write when I’m drinking, only without the spelling mistakes. 

And continuity errors. 

And cursing. 

Actually, there’ll still be spelling errors.  But there’ll be freak flyin’ too so grab your raincoats.  Chances are I'm going to offend a whole bunch of people.  And I’m just warning you in advance, I have serious mental issues. Thankfully getting help for them isn’t on my resolution list.  Although it may be on my husband’s.

Write More:  And not just random words.

Read More Blogs:  I go through spurts where I read a tonne of blogs and then it dies down.  But this year I want to concentrate on reading more blogs and finding new writers to love.  If you have or know of a blog you think I should be reading, let me know!

Tap Dancing, Baby!: I want to learn a tap dancing routine to We No Speak No Americano. For reals.  All I need is someone to choreograph the routine and teach it to me.  And possibly tap shoes. Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

To Be Published:  I mean somewhere other than the Yummy Mummy Club website.  This one is sort of a throw away because I already know I’m going to be in a book this year.  Me! In a book! 

I know.  I’m totally washing machine dancing while I type this.

But other than the book I already know I’m going to be in – I’d like to be published elsewhere.  And I absolutely promise not to write whatever it is while drinking.

It’s really hard to type with your fingers crossed.

Do More Things That I’m Afraid Of:  This past year I spoke in front of an audience, rolled down a hill in a big plastic ball, spoke on the radio and went on t.v., when I socialized, I introduced myself to new people instead of staying in my comfort zone and I flew with my son to San Francisco – by myself!

And even though I was mostly so scared I practically shit my pants a couple of times I discovered

I.

Can.

Do.

It.

So this year I’m going to do more things that make me afraid and feel uncomfortable. 

Except when it comes to sex positions.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some tap shoes to find.
 

"
Dec 23 2010

Is Santa Claus Real?

The Magic Of Christmas

by: Sharon DeVellis

My husband and I don’t exchange gifts for Christmas.  People are sometimes shocked when they hear this but the truth is I don’t want for anything.  I have a wonderful family, good health, great friends and throughout the year, when and if I need something, I don’t even have to think twice. 

But that doesn’t mean I don’t receive gifts. 

Christmas is tomorrow and the kids are all but bursting with excitement.  This morning Son No. 2 came downstairs rubbing his eyes, his warm body still wrapped in his comforter.  Santa comes tonight! he exclaimed sleepily a smile lighting up his face. 

I picked him up in my arms and twirled around while kissing his cheek. “Yes he is!” I replied. His excitement was contagious.

Son No. 1 is at an age where his belief in Santa is waning.  His friends at school have told him it’s not magic, it’s parents pretending.  When he came home and asked me, I answered his questions with questions.

Is Santa real mummy? 

Do you think he’s real honey?

Some of the kids don’t believe in him.

But just because someone doesn’t believe, does that mean it’s true?

It staved off his questions but his belief is tenuous at best. In my heart I know this will be the last time we can squeeze the magic of Santa into his Christmas.  By this time next year, he’ll know the secret and will hopefully keep it for his younger brother, not blurting it out in a moment of anger.

I did everything I could to keep the magic going for as long as I could….hand written letters from Santa, making reindeer footprints in the snow where we had laid out our magic reindeer food, even leaving a torn piece of red fabric caught in the corner of our fireplace one year.  This is not done altruistically, on all levels it’s my own unadulterated selfishness.

I made it last as long as I could because having kids brought the magic of Christmas back to me.

When you’re a child, Christmastime is magical. But as we grow from child to adult, that magic is lost – for many, not just the Christmas magic, but the magic that surrounds us each day.  Life becomes about doing, working, getting, making.  We have routines and chores, demands on our time and end of day exhaustion.  The holidays become a time of stress – baking, cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, decorating – the magic is lost.

Then you have a child and teach them about a jolly old man who makes millions of gifts at the North Pole, helped by a slew of little elves, and flies around the world one evening a year delivering the gifts to every good girl and boy.

The window for understanding and believing in Santa is short – five or six years at best.  We’ve been lucky to stretch it out for as long as we have and each year is a gift for me.  I live through my boys, watching their excitement grow as the day nears, and for brief moments remember the magic I wholeheartedly believed in so long ago.

A few weeks ago, both boys lapsed into a silly version of Jingle Bells.

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg
Batmobile lost its wheel
And Joker got away. Hey!

By the time they hit smells, I was singing along with them.

They looked at me dumbfounded.  How do you know this song mom?

I'm their mother, the one who's caught in "getting things done" mode on a daily basis. It’s impossible for them to think of me as a child, singing silly Christmas songs and laying awake on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to come, feeling like I’d never fall asleep because the excitement was too much. 

But when I hear the pitter patter of their little feet early Christmas morning and their excited cries of Santa came! I remember.

It’s magical.

And it's a gift.

"
Dec 20 2010

Teaching Kids To Swim

It's A Necessary Life Skill

by: Sharon DeVellis

$1,892.58

That’s how much we’ve spent on swimming lessons this past year. 

I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

One thousand, eight hundred, ninety-two dollars and fifty-eight cents. 

Do you have any idea what I could do with that amount of money?

It’s like nine trips to the salon for cut colour and highlights, groceries for six months, botox for two years, half our family vacation or enough wine to keep me happy for a very long time.  Or short depending on the kind of day I'm having.

Why did we spend so much on swimming?  Well…there was this,  so when one of your kids almost dies because you’re the world’s shittiest parent you try to do something about it.  Plus swimming is a life skill.  They can bail on soccer or hockey or whatever else, but I’ll be damned if they’re going to be going through life not knowing how to swim.

My kids hated swimming lessons.  HATED.  Although they wouldn’t actually say they hated the swimming lessons, just the mother who took them there.

Son No. 1 also hated getting in the water. 
And getting his face wet.
And floating.

Are you starting to see why we’ve needed to spend $1,800?

But then something miraculous happened *calls pope* and in one year they went from Swimming Level One to Swimming Level Three.

Here’s a comment from Son No. 1’s swimming report card:

Your back crawls are superb – perhaps the best I’ve ever seen teaching this level.

So how does one go from hating even getting into the water to having a superb back crawl? 

This is where I’m going to let you in on two magical little secrets.

Ready?

It had little to do with the $1,800 and everything to do with taking the kids public swimming.

Hubby was the one who started the public swim fun *rolls eyes* and within two times, they just sort of blossomed. They were so busy having fun, their fear was forgotten.  Soon they were swimming underwater, jumping off the edge and basically not wanting to get out of the pool….ever.

And yes, I took them too which meant me donning a bathing suit in public and actually swimming (I’m more of a floater) instead of laying on a towel beside the pool reading Twilight which is about as high up on my things I want to do list as a public pap smear but you do this stuff for your kids because you love them and also because you nearly let them drown so parading around in a sausage casing doesn’t seem like such a bad alternative.

Magic trick No. 2 is letting them wear goggles during their swim lessons. And I’m not talking about the ones that just cover the eyes, I'm talking full on scuba mask. And if the teacher is all “they aren’t allowed to wear those” I suggest you take out the receipt for all the lessons you paid for and nicely tell her that (a) until they started wearing a full face scuba mask, they were in Swimming Level 1 purgatory and (b) if wearing the mask helps them focus on swimming instead of trying to keep water off their faces, then the mask stays.  Period.

So if you’re a mom of kids who don’t like swimming lessons, take my advice from above.  You may just save yourself enough money to cover your roots for the next three years.

"

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The Face, The Voice, The Blog!

Sharon has been with YMC since the very beginning and is now the Senior Writer and Creative Director where she maintains the YMC voice and uses her brain power to make YMC better for all of our readers.

She can't teach you how to keep your house clean while balancing a job and motherhood but if you're a mom who's struggling to figure it out, you will probably relate, so welcome.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter: @SharonDV No seriously do it. She's funny on Twitter. Sometimes.

You can also visit her at: Speed Skating Mom: On The Slow Track To Becoming Fast

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