Friday, December 30, 2011

T's 2011 Best of List

It is that time again. That time of year when we drink too much champagne, stay up too late, and possible end up playing tambourine with the band. That may have happened. Once.
Hubs is on the left, I am on the right. 
This morning in the shower I was thinking (cause that is where all the great thinkers do their greatest thinking) about what an interesting year this has been. My child went from a baby to a toddler and developed a vocabulary, an ability to walk, and a serious attitude. I have made some great friends, rekindled some old friendships, and cut my losses on a few. We have seen some crazy things in the world. Mother Nature reminded us she can be a real biotch when she beat the crap out of Japan. The royal wedding reminded us that down deep we all long to be a princess and/or wear an amazing fascinator. Or in my case, both. Charlie Sheen reminded us that every family has its crazy and we are all a little embarrassed about it. I could go on and on. Every major network is going to do their wrap-up of the year and I feel it would be remiss if I did not give you the Lint Trap's 2011 Best Of. You're welcome in advance.

My Favorite BlogsPoop on a Hot Tin Slide which is one woman's journey through life and motherhood with OCD. It is hilarious. HI-LAR-I-OUS. This girl can use a picture. The other is The Bloggess. This chick is my blogging hero. I love her. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in a MAJOR creepy stalker way. You will laugh your arse off at her every time. I read these aloud to hubs, and he laughs in the right places which lets me know he is actually listening, which doesn't usually happen when I am talking, much less  reading aloud. That means it is super funny. I have a long blog roll and these are the only two I read consistently.

Best Movie: Toughie because I have four favorites. However, it is my blog, so I can declare them all the winners. The King's English (best highbrow cussing scene), The Help (best doodie pie scene), Bridesmaids (funniest crapping in the sink scene), and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (best all around bad-ass girl character. ever.) Looking at the list I realize I cannot weigh in properly as a whole because I never saw Fast and Furious Five or the Footloose remake. Despite that, I feel confident in my decisions. I don't make my recommendation lightly. These are must sees. You can use me as the ubiquitous "they" when trying to convince someone to see one of these gems. "They said it was so amazing it will make you want to slap your mama." (Feel free to ad lib in there.) 

Worst Movie: War Horse. Full disclosure being of the utmost improtance here at the The Lint Trap, I have not technically seen this movie. However, any horse movie is TERRIBLE no matter what it is about. Please direct your attention to Number 3 on this list for further explanation. I will never see this movie. Nor do I want to know what happens. I am sure the horse dies in some epic fashion while the boy/girl/dog/alien that has loved him forever sobs over his lifeless horse body. Skip it people, it will only make you want to lay on the floor and flail. I want to do that just thinking about it. At the very least the horse ends up with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Which you will have if you watch this movie.

Best New Show: We are digging Mike and Molly, New Girl, and Two Broke Girls. Why can I never pick just one? Because I would be doing you a disservice in not sharing my honest, life changing, opinions. They are all laugh-your-face-off funny, and both hubs and I agree on watching all three. That is saying something people. We don't agree on much. If you have been around us for 3.2 minutes, you know this. Just watch them. You will be glad you did. (Unless you are my mom, then you should not watch Two Broke Girls because they make racy jokes that may offend and you will be all, "That's *nose wrinkle* nasty.")
UPDATE: I was rereading this in the light of day and realized Mike and Molly is actually in its second season. I have made the executive decision that I don't care because it is even better this year.

Best Song: I am not a "music person" but I surround myself with music people so they can tell me what is good. I dedicate this award to my dad's favorite song right now...LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem.
Here is how the conversation went...
Dad: "Have you heard the new song by LMFAO?"
Me: "Huh?" (thinking I must have misheard)
Dad: "You know, Party Rock Anthem."
Me: "Huh?"
Dad: "I have it on my Ipod if you want to hear it."
Me: "No, I know what it is. Do you know what their name means?"
Dad: "I googled it *eyebrow waggle*"
Mom: "What does it mean?"
Me: "Laugh My F'ing Ass Off *sheepish grin*"
Mom: "hmmm *nose crinkle* that's not nice"
Then Dad and I were laughing our own asses off...
There are a lot of other awesome new songs out there but it turns out everything that I thought was new is actually from at least 2010 if not earlier, so whatevs. 

Best Book of the Year: I looked at lists for best books of the year and honestly, I have not read any of them. So I am changing the category to Best Book I Read this Year. The tie goes to two triologies, because I like to overcomplicate things. The Millenium Series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. The second is The Hunger Games Series: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. Both feature awesome badass ladies who make me want to whoop up on the nearest bad guy.  Both trilogies are amazing in very different ways. Both made me appreciate what I have and think about life. That is about as deep as I get, y'all. Read them. You will understand.

My Favorite Lint Trap Entry: Because I am self centered, self indulgent, and an all around shameless human being, here is my favorite of my own posts. Teetering on the Edge of the Terrible Twos & Sanity. I am so glad I captured this time in my life becuase I am fairly sure I will block it out like a person who lives through being kidnapped. Or a car crash. Or torture. There will be a hole in my memory as if Aliens have wiped it clean so I don't remember being probed. Now it is out there in cyberspace on the Interwebs. Forever.

Y'all have a good time ringing in the New Year. If you don't have plans, you can look to my recommendations for something to fill your night. A little light reading or maybe a dance party. Everyone party like its 1999 (cause that makes everything sound more fun) and eat some grease on Sunday. It will make you feel better.

I will see all of you, my Linty Peeps, in the 1-2. (That is what I am going to call 2012. Get it trending people).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Wrap-Up

This is what I learned over my Christmas vacation:

1. Trying to do last minute shopping the week of  Christmas while your child is with you is unpleasant for you, your child, the people that work at Target, and the people shopping in Target. Also, lets not forget your husband, who gets to listen to a play by play of how your child has the manners of a wild animal because she took her socks and shoes off and threw them on the floor while she screamed and thrashed in the cart, all while he is desperately trying to surf the Internet and blend in with the couch cushions. It is good for no one. NO ONE. And it doesn't get any better the second and third time you go.

2. Two year olds find the idea of Santa lovely and the reality of Santa terrifying. (see pics here ) It is confusing for you and them. Just go with it and hope for more understanding next year of the concept of a huge man in a weird red suit that comes down your chimney to reverse rob you. Not to mention your parents try to force you onto his lap, which is weird because they don't love strangers touching you. Ever. Hopefully three year olds are less leery of beards and more interested in the idea that being good gets you gifts.
Santa, you don't want to meet this in a dark alley.

3. Dogs do not like dry grits. Not even the expensive fancy kind.

4. Dogs do not like swedish fish. Not even the expensive kind.

5. I should not purchase food as gifts and leave them on the guest bed. Related, my dog owes me $20 for ruined grits and swedish fish. Actually only $15. We ate the candy anyway.

6. Getting Christmas cards is one of the best parts of the season. I love seeing everyone's kids and dogs and happy smiling faces. It makes the mail exciting. That is no easy feat when normally the only things in the mail are bills and offers to refinance our house. (side note: they should not be allowed to make those look so official. Twice a week I think the government is sending me a letter.) We got a lot less this year so I am thinking there are two possible scenarios: 1) people are cutting back to save money or 2) I have offended a lot of people in some way via the words coming out of mouth. Honestly, either is a valid possibility.

7. Having a child with a birthday directly after Christmas is stressful to the max. Here is hoping I can get it together to have more than stale Christmas cookies and half a bottle of wine at her party. One would think I learned my lesson last year when I was out frantically buying her birthday prezzies the day before the blessed event. I swore I would buy everything before Christmas this year in order to be ready for a no-stress birthday for Lady Baby. Didn't happen. I thought about. I made lists. I shopped around for price comparisons on kitchens for shawtys. I did not purchase. I did not even order. Fingers crossed for amazing sales post-Christmas. I am now lying to myself that I waited so I could get an amazing deal. It makes me feel better, okay? Give me a break.

8. Everyone loves a good fake mustache. 

9. Traveling for Christmas has its perks. Growing up we always hit up both grandparents houses on Christmas day. Christmas mornings were an exciting and frantic rush of running around town leaving torn wrapping paper and cookie crumbs in our wake. It was late afternoon before we ever even got to really tear into our toys and play with them. Now that we have a family, travel is involved with almost every holiday. The downside is holiday traffic on 95 makes you want to throttle your spouse and put a muzzle on your child, then sit in the floor board weeping. The upside is four days of uninterrupted family time. It is both relaxing and fun. And it is at someone else's house, so you can enjoy 72 boxes worth of Christmas decorations at your parent's house, while you only have a wreath on your own house. Win-win.

10. Two year olds sleep better in the seldom seen extra-large pack n' plays than in tiny regular ones. Our last few trips have been NIGHTMARISH challenging in the sleep department. We are talking screaming at bedtime, inconsolable sobbing, and basic refusal of all things having to do with her pack n' play. My parent's neighbor's loaned us a crazy big one that is more like a playpen. Goodbye child in my bed who flops around like a goldfish that jumped out of its bowl. Goodbye child who thinks I am the mattress and the pillow. Goodbye feet in my ribs, feet in my boobs, feet in my face. Hello peaceful sleep until 8 am. Those things are worth whatever the BRU is charging for them. They say you can never make up lost sleep. Once it is gone, by way of a crazy baby who sits up and laughs maniacally in the middle of the night, it is gone. And it ain't ever coming back. 

11. When your husband tells you that your new phone (replacing the one you may or may not have broken) is your Christmas gift,  ignore him. It is a lie. He is only trying to make you mad, so that you will bitch a lot about being unappreciated and unloved to anyone that will listen. Then he swoops in and gives you an amazing gift. Like a Kindle. Then you feel like a huge b-hole because you told everyone that he sucks at gift giving. But he doesn't because he always does this. Except for the time he only gave you a book and a CD. But every other time, pretty freaking awesome. Someone please remind me to give him something amazeballs next year. Like a trip to Mt Kilaminjaro or a weekend at some sports related fantasy camp for grown men. Something better than some running clothes and shampoo. Future me thanks you. 

12. Preschools hate parents. Why else would they close when we need them most? They should be open, with extra availability,  until 7pm on Christmas Eve. Then maybe I would have been able to bake some cookies and wrap my gifts in peace. Instead, no cookies and two hours of trying to keep a toddler off the dining room table while I wrapped gifts. Thanks for nothing, preschool. Don't get me started on after Christmas. On our last day before the holidays, they said, "See you on the 5th," and I literally felt unwell. The children get all geeked up from gifts and sugar and staying up late and being spoiled by grandparents, and we have to keep them at home while they are coming down from that? Kill me now. My child needs preschool. Almost as much as I do. We should not have to go through holiday detox alone. 

Now we all have another year until it all happens again. You can stop trying to think of amazingly clever situations for your elf on the shelf, you can stop sweeping up dead pine needles and tinsel, you can stop racking your brain to figure out where you hid your husband's stocking stuffers. Get out the champagne, buy the new calendar, and dig out your gym membership card. Christmas is over and 2012 is upon us.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa and Holiday Balls: Christmas with a Toddler

As y'all know from my previous post, I am feeling a little bit of holiday induced insanity this year. (If you don't know then read Acute Holiday Anxiety and feel my pain.) Despite all that, I am enjoying the holidays by way of the wonder and excitement of a two year old. This year she understands about Santa Claus. Let me rephrase...she knows what he looks like and that he says "ho ho ho." She does not understand that he brings her presents and comes down the chimney. If she knew he was going to bring her treats (her word for what she thinks is a prize) then she may have been a smidge more friendly when we saw him Sunday night. Lady Baby will talk your ear off about Santa, however if she is forced to sit on his lap things get really ugly really quick. I attempted to throw her into Santa's lap but she clung to me like a rabid spider monkey. Santa, in a very shrewd move, did not grab her when I tried to detach her from my front. He knew that she would claw his eyes out and rip his beard off. Instead it turned into a family picture. You will notice that Daddy and Mommy are the ham and cheese to the Alice and Santa sandwich. Also, note that Daddy is holding the wild animal. That is because I could not physically keep her in my lap while she flailed and thrashed. The higlight for me was when Santa strong armed the husband into sitting on his lap for the picture. Hubs tried to just lean in, but Mr. Claus was having none of that. He told us to sit down, "he had a knee for each of us." Awkward. But we did it, because we were getting that free picture, by god. Thank goodness I checked the box that said they could use our picture in future advertising. It will be at the bottom of next year's ad under the heading: Please do not bring your child to see Santa if you anticipate this reaction. It scares the reindeer and makes the elves cry. And they have a hard enough time wearing tights that squeeze their junk and shoes that are hard to walk in. Thanks, Management.

Therapy is in her future.
While Santa falls into Miss Priss's category of good from far, but far from good, Christmas lights and decorations are a whole different story. Her Highness loves a good light explosion. When we are out and about after dark (which this time of year is approximately 4:30pm) I try to ride by houses with the kind of holiday tableau that make the power company dance with unbridled joy. You know the ones...Santa in a sleigh filled with penguins, baby Jesus and the blessed Mother nestled next to a blow-up Snoopy, and a mechanical Pooh waving along side the Wisemen. My favorite part is the wire-wrapped-in-lights reindeer. There is always a fallen comrade that makes me feel like someone shot Blitzen and for some sick reason that makes me giggle. There is one of these seizure inducing yards in every neighborhood and my shawty LOVES them. All the better if you can find the neighborhood where the men are all competing to see whose yard is most visible to aliens. Those are a win-win. They have delightful decorations, even if they do sear your retinas, and someone's manhood is getting a serious strokin' (while all the other men are trying to decide how to out do him next year.) She digs all the lights and telling us about everything she sees. However, the most delightful decorations to Lady Baby are the ones the neighborhood beside us puts up. There are zillions of big balls made of lights throughout the whole neighborhood. 

Check out their blog Lighted Christmas Balls. Then you can really pick up what I am trying to put down. The entire time we are riding through the neighborhood Lady Baby says the following on repeat, "Balls. Balls. More balls. More balls. Balls. More balls." It is an instant mood lifter. There is no way not to laugh listening to that for five minutes.

For adults the holiday season can be wearing, both physically and mentally. We forget why it is such an amazing hope-filled time. Often while we are rushing around, making sure we have all of our gifts purchased and everything ready, we forget to notice what makes this time of year magical. The lights, the trees, the snowmen and wreaths. Having a little one has forced my inner child back out into the fresh winter air. I am seeing it all through her eyes and it is so much fun. Christmas will be all up on us in a few short days. It will be a crazy time filled with sugar, the sounds of tearing wrapping paper, and lots of awesome family time. I hope you all enjoy the holiday season and may your inner child soak it all in. 

And, my gift to you, my faithful readers...
A close up. Because it is just so awesome.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Acute Holiday Anxiety

It is Christmas, and I have exactly two decorations in my house. A poinsettia in my dining room and a wreath hanging outside. The plant may die before Christmas actually gets here, because I can't remember to water it. The wreath is my normal brown grapevine wreath with crap from my yard stuck in. I only did that so my neighbors won't egg my house on the Lord's birthday because I am the least festive house on the street. Not only am I not decorated for Christmas, but my Thanksgiving decor has not packed itself up (stupid pilgrim statues, mocking me) and I put my pumpkins in the trash today. At least I tried. There is still one laying in my yard because it busted its disgusting rotten pumpkin guts when I tried to roll it down the front walk. In my defense, it was a huge pumpkin (several people told me it was the biggest they had ever seen) and I did rinse the guts away so the mailman would not slip and sue me. Merry Christmas.

My inability to get my Christmas on is only a small part of the larger issue I am facing in life. It is called Drowning in the Everyday Details of Life (its a real thing), but more on that later. I went to Web MD and chose the following symptoms: anxiety, confusion, difficulty solving problems, easily distracted, forgetfulness, headache, impulsive behavior, lack of motivation, restless sleep, slow thinking. According to their programmers doctors I am suffering from one or more of the following problems: anxiety disorder, acute stress reactions, caffeine overuse, lead poisoning, or head injury. None of that seems quite right. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely experiencing caffeine overuse, but so is half of America. The acute stress is brought on by my holiday panic. It is not outside the realm of all things possible that the hubs is slowly killing me with lead in my coffee which he is immune to because he has been slowly building a tolerance for years, a la The Princess Bride. But, I feel like I may have noticed that. I feel like Web MD may need a little tweaking. Nowhere did it ask me if I had a toddler with an attitude. Or if I work. Or if I have a husband who commutes 45 minutes each way. It did not have a place to note my dog has chronic kidney disease and a torn ACL, or my cats use their urine as a way to show me which chair is theirs (all of them, so don't sit down in my house). It did not ask me what month it was, whether we have paid off our mortgage, or if my jeans fit. It did not ask me if I had recently been to Ikea with a two year old, if I was behind on my Christmas cards, or if made dinner tonight (which I did. Bam.) SERIOUSLY WEB MD. YOU SUCK. YOU HAVE FAILED ME. Maybe I should add rage issues as well. I think my problem is that I am a working mother with a toddler and it is Christmas and her birthday is right after that and we are traveling for the holiday so I have to be ready ahead of time and I can't stop reading the True Blood books so I am not going to bed early enough and my house is so dirty I feel like the only option is to burn it down. I think maybe I do have a head injury...I just got it from banging my head against the wall.

I was feeling behind in my life before the holidays rolled around. Lately it seems I can only do about 75% of each thing I try to accomplish. Please note, that is my max. Most of the time, I am hovering between 25% and 50%. I get the laundry done, but not put up. I have half of my Christmas cards addressed. I get most of what is on my grocery list but forget a key thing, like half and half. How can I overcaffeinate if I don't have my creamer? I sweep a few rooms but get distracted before I can finish the rest. I put cookies in the oven and set the timer then forget to turn it on. Seriously people. I am struggling. This is why I can't bear to deal with Christmas decorations this year. I cannot imagine putting them out only to have to take everything down in less than three weeks. I have no tree because the thought of keeping Lady Baby from breaking all my beautiful ornaments is too much to think about. This is probably the last year I will be able to get away with that, so I may as well take advantage of it and use my time to worry about all the other stuff I have to do. Like buy stocking stuffers and stamp 100 Christmas cards. Not to mention I am seriously behind on Modern Family.  I also have a ton of work to do, which is technically the most important thing on the list considering completion is necessary to continue purchasing food and enjoying electricity. Christmas will come and go, just like Thanksgiving did. Instead of a butter turkey, I will be left with half a plate stale Christmas cookies. (Hopefully someone will make cookies. Lord knows I won't, but I would certainly like to eat some). 

Hopefully in the next 8 to 10 years I will get it together. I will get over my acute holiday stress and enjoy the season.y lonely wreath will have to be enough. This year watching Her Highness's face light up when she sees her Santa gifts will have to be enough. Listening to her sing her version of Jingle Bells will have to be enough. And it will be. Because really who cares about all the other stuff? All that matters is that I get to enjoy the holidays with my peeps, especially my crazy girl. 

Across the street

Nothing like the glare of your neighbor's Christmas
lights to make you feel inadequate


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