Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012 Wrap Up. Its Done Y'all.

First and foremost, the Mayans did not come get us and we are still here. You're welcome. (If you don't know what I am talking about click here.) If you would like to show the Honey Badger your appreciation for Apocalypse avoidance we are accepting cash, checks, and money orders. Gift cards are also appreciated (we she likes Starbucks and REI).

Since we all remained on the earthly plane, we were free to celebrate the holidays. And celebrate we did. I have eaten so much junk, I am probably in need of an insulin booster shot. Yesterday, I was burping Christmas cookie. I am fairly sure that is a sign that an intervention is necessary. I told hubs last night that I felt like Jabba the Hutt after he eats a lot and is sitting around picking his teeth. 

We had a lovely holiday. We do the alternate yearly thing where we do Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other. (Side note: I highly recommend this holiday visitation structure. Cuts down on stress and makes the holiday all around more enjoyable. And you are not driving all over God's creation with other Christmas Crazed families, guzzling coffee, with cookie crumbs on their shirts, and screaming kids in the back of the van.) This year was Christmas with Hub's family, so everyone came to us. We ate, we laughed, there was a fair amount of crying and temper tantrums (three kids under 5 here, people), and we opened lots of prezzies. It was an all around great time.

I only lost one gift, and spent a little time getting up close and personal with the recycling, where I was sure it was. Wrong. It was in my closet, which I looked in first, but didn't see. I am so stealthy I hide things from myself. I did however finally get a flashlight and venture into the abyss of shoes and bags to locate the lost gift and came out victorious. You're welcome, Babe. 

I only forgot four out of the eight ingredients for the "quick and easy" taco soup I was throwing together on Christmas day. Twas neither quick nor easy because I spent thirty minutes driving around town looking for somewhere to buy cream of chicken soup and corn and taco seasoning and something else I can't think of. Future FYI factoid: Walgreens is open on holidays. At least the one on the corner of Spring Garden and Market in Greensboro is. I drove past two Teeters, Whole Foods, and Food Leon before I got to Walgreens. Now I know everyone is all, "no one should have to work on Christmas, its Un-American, and against everything that is good in the world." Until you realize you need 4 of the 8 ingredients for the recipe you are preparing your in laws. Then you don't care if the devil himself hands you your change. Cause you need that corn.

Santa came and left a smorgasbord of dress up clothes and a soccer goal and ball for Lady Baby She is loving having an endless supply of cheap polyester skirts and dresses to parade around in. The number of costume changes has risen dramatically, and she has taken to sleeping in a tutu, but that's not my fight. Upon seeing her loot spread out from Santa (we don't wrap because that is the way I grew up and feel strongly about it. I love the instant gratification.) she exclaimed, "AWESOME. HOLY MOLY. HOLY SHIT." My mother in law's eyes rolled back in her head for a sec, and it was quickly determined that Hubs and I may need to watch our mouths a little more carefully. I call that a Christmas Lesson.
Ariel and Soccer Butterfly.
Notice the layering on the left. She looks like an Olsen twin.
We are now recovering from all the excitement, and going to bed late, and cookies for breakfast. I am attempting to get all back onto a normal schedule. All in all Her Highness handled the Christmas excitement with aplomb. Right before the holidays I feverishly read the first half of 1-2-3 Magic and we have started using those techniques for discipline, so maybe that helped too (more on that awesomeness later.) Needless to say, she is already looking forward to her B-day next week, and her party, and the world revolving around her completely. I am looking forward to NYE, and a great time with friends and neighbors at The Avetts, and we are all looking forward to Hubs being back in the local office a few days a week so he can drive less and see us more. 

Hope all had eventful and exciting Christmas Holidays. Hope your gifts were worthy of a "Holy Shit" and that your pants still button. 

Onward to the New Year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Is Here...Now Go Enjoy It

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or as my father said to a nice lady holding the door for us yesterday, Happy State Appointed Public Holiday (*dies of embarrassment despite being 34*).

I hope you all have a safe and lurvly holiday. 
I hope Santa brings you everything you want.
I hope you get to spend the holiday with those that matter most and you appreciate being with them.
I hope you think of those less fortunate than you and share the joy.
I hope you don't get drunk and barf on Christmas eve when you are too young to be drinking in the first place. (That NEVER happened to me. Ever.)
I hope you respect the ways that everyone celebrates. 
I hope your children are so excited for Santa that you have to threaten them with bodily harm to get them in the bed.
I hope that your cat does not pee on your Christmas Tree skirt. (Why do they do that?)
I hope you eat so many sweets that you gain ten pounds (it will make me feel better about how much I have eaten.)
I hope you avoid the flu, because it sucks to be sick when everyone else is having a wonderful time.
I hope you take lots of pictures of everyone, because a Christmas will come when you are not all together or someone is not here at all. And you will want to remember what they looked enjoying the holiday.
I hope you thank people for the things they got you, even if you hate them more than life and are going to rush out to take them back and they made your throw up in your mouth a little. 
I hope you get to watch at least one child rip open one gift. There is really nothing quite like it.
I hope at least one of your Pinterest projects got finished and actually worked.
I hope you remember how lucky we are to live in a place that we can celebrate whatever holiday we choose.

I hope you don't get any fruit cake.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Honey Badger vs. The Mayans

Alrighty Mayans. This is what I have lived through just since Thanksgiving. Y'all really wanna come get you some of all this? Doubtful...

Three days straight of diarrhea. Not mine, Lady Baby's. 
So. much. worse. Rock bottom=cleaning diarrhea out of a mini potty. 

Three days of hearing my delicate flower say the word diarrhea. And at least once every day since. I get it, its melodious. But enough already. I will let you know when anyone that lives in the house, or that we know, or anyone that we may have met at the grocery store, ever gets diarrhea. Enough with the questions.

The dog spending 1.5 days throwing up.
The cat spending 2 days throwing up. 

Seven days of child panic every time the dog or cat walked through the room, with two days of intense discussion about throw up. Constant vigilance every day since if one the pets coughs or looks at her sideways. If I hear "I think Gypsy/Ripley is frowing up" one more time I am going to throw up.

2,546 viewings of part or all of Cinderella. Each viewing includes intensive, CIA style rapid fire questioning about every aspect of Cinderella and Sharmin (Charming) and everyone else in the movie.
"Who is that lady?"
"Why is that mouse dropping corn?" 
"Where is Cinderella's mama?"
"Where is Cinderella's daddy?"
"Where is Sharmin?"
"Where is the Blue Cinderella?"
"What's on that man's eye?"
"Why is he mad?"
"Why is she sad?"
"Why the mouse turns into a horsey?"
"Where is Sharmin now?"
Don't even get me started on Cinderella II and Cinderella III which are even more confusing to an almost three year old.

Hearing the phrase "Cinderellie" sung on repeat at some point every day for a minimum of 25 minutes, usually loudly in public.

Going on five days of Her Highness's cold that includes but is not limited to: squirrely fever that only comes on at nap and evening, snot factory of epic proportions, coughing, and a very short temper.

Going on five nights of being at my "sick" child's beck and call. 
"I need water"
"I need lemonade"
"Please rub my back"
"I need a pretzel"
"Please rub my back"
"I need to peepee"
"I just peepee'd"
"Please rub my back"
"Please rub my back"
"I'm hungry"
"Please rub my back"

So Mayans, as you can see, your little plan for Armageddon is no match for the Honey Badger.  You may as well wait until 3012, because if you show up here day after tomorrow, I will certainly put you to work rubbing my child's back, while watching Cinderella and fielding all questions, discussing diarrhea, and monitoring the pets for even the slightest sign of barfing. So keep moving if you know what's good for you.

Once again, I save the world. You are welcome.

"Um yeah, did you guys hear about the Honey Badger? Just think-tanking here, but I am
gonna go with a no on the apocolypse just now. I see your hand is up Clyde. I
will take that as a second to the motion. Thanks for your support bro. She sounds scary and I am
not really feeling the princess movie movement. Also, I have a sensi gag reflex and can't take all the diarrhea/puke chitchat. Spanks. BTW, as much as I love, and I mean love, a good ole' low swinging loin cloth, have yall heard of these new fangled things called pants?"

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Will Be Brave and Strong Because Life is for Living

The events of last Friday left me almost wordless all weekend. I have not talked about it much even though I am thinking about it constantly. I don't like feeling afraid and I don't like feeling worried. Both feelings that I have not been able to shake since those horrific events unfolded in Connecticut. 

Now words are flooding in...unfathomable, unfair, insane, shaken. Too many to write. These are words that hurt. I pride myself on my faith in humanity. I believe the best of the world. Then terrible things happen. Unimaginable evil. And cracks make their way up my tower. And I can feel it start to sway. And I worry that it is going to fall way, crumbling out from under me. And then I will become one of those people that is sad and sour, looking up at the rest of the world from a pit of negativity. I worry I will never see the beauty of life again.

Then, I look into my child's face. I see her smile and how she trusts me. She wraps her little arms around me and squeezes. And I remember. I remember why I think the world is amazing. I remember why I believe in happiness. Every time I see her face, I see hope. It reaffirms me. It reminds me. It restores me.

It does not mean I am not scared. Every time she is not in my sight, I feel a wave a panic. I fear what will become of her if I am not there every second of every day. But holding her tightly to me is not the best thing for her. It will not allow her to grow into the person she is meant to be. I have to let her leave the house. I have to take her to school. Someday I will have to let her drive a car and go to college. I cannot control things that are completely out of my control. I can only hope and pray that she is safe and happy. I have to believe that she will be fine, because if I didn't, I could never let her go again. And that is not how I want her to live.

I cannot let the crazy in the world keep me from living. Even more importantly  I cannot let it keep me from allowing my child to live her life. I will protect her when, and where, I can. I will watch over her to the best of my abilities. But I will not shelter her away from the world. I will let her live and go out and find her happiness and see the beauty in life. Most importantly, I will remind her when something shakes her faith in humanity that she must hold on to what she believes and knows for her own children. I am a mother. I am responsible for teaching my child that life is for living. And that is what I will do. 

I will be brave and strong to show her that life is for living.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stop Hatin' on the Elf

An Open Letter to Elf Haters...

Of late there has been a lot of hating on the parents who go all out for the Elf on the Shelf. I would like to start this off be saying that our elf, Ellie, is a bit of an underachiever  This is due mostly to the fact that just moving her from the mantel, to the Christmas tree, to the window sill, is enough to blow the mind of an almost three year old. I do, however, throw mad props to those who do a nightly amazing elf tableau.  You are amazeballs parents and I'm here to give you the props you so deserve. I look forward to Ellie making Flour angels and pooping m&m's and playing cards with an Ariel who has had her hair cut by an enthusiast 4 year old. It's called fun, jerks. Get on board or shut your sugar cookie hole.

There is something magical about Christmas. There is something even more magical about sharing Christmas with children. They believe. And there is awe. And there is amazement. There is  faith and trust that Santa is coming and that he does great things. Kids are filled with the wonder of the holidays. Let's let them be. Let's feed that part of their little souls. There is so little mystery left in this world. But what is still around is the magic of Santa. And there is NOTHING wrong with embracing that.

Parents everywhere are criticised for not "parenting" enough. They let their kids watch too much TV or play their with iPads too much. They don't take them to the park enough or read to them often enough or teach them a foreign language. But let some parents work hard to share the magic of Christmas with their kids, and lets stone them all. Shame on you judgers, I say. These moms and dads are doing something fun and special for their kids. Boooo. You obviously can't win, people.

I have heard rumblings that parents don't like to use the elf to make their kids behave. In my world, anything that I can use at any time in any situation to make Lady Baby behave is a win. She is even more of a Honey Badger now that she is being pumped full of chocolate and candy canes and talk of PRESENTS (shriek shriek squee shriek). If a tiny elf with a 90's Winona pixie cut and a snappy collector's edition elf skirt keeps my child from coloring on the couch with a marker, then I will take it. Happily. I know my child  She is not intrinsically well behaved. The elf is helping with what could be the most unbearable time of the year due to unbridled sugar induced passion. Thank you Ellie. You presence is appreciated.

We tell our children to believe in Santa. We ask them to be good to get gifts. The Elf is proof to them that Santa is watching. Imagine being a 5 year old and waking up each morning of the holiday season, eager to discover what shenanigans our elf has gotten into. That is called making traditions. As adults we treasure our memories of Christmas' past. I remember reading the Santa Claus book with my dad by the Christmas tree, the one that explained where Santa came from. And leaving notes for Santa with my brother, asking him to write back to us so we would have proof he existed. Our kids are going to have memories of all the crazy things their elves did. And once they are parents  they will appreciate the memories even more because they will know how hard their parents worked to preserve the magic around Santa for just a little longer.

SO. Quit hatin'. You don't have to participate with the Elf or you can half ass it like we are. But throw some respect toward the hard working mamas and daddies who are staying up late to do something special for their kids. They are using their hard earned quiet late night moments to dig the Barbie car out of the toy box or arranging a tea party with some pokemon's and a hello kitty bobble head. I say RESPECT and good job. Y'all all should too.

Go get your elf on,

Ellie, you minx. Why don't you make an effort?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Failures. And It's Only the 5th.

This was to be THE year of epic Christmas awesomeness. An offshoot of my love for Pinterest has been a slow and steady buildup to Christmas. For months my pinning addiction has fueled my creative juices, with pictures of amazing crafts and food and kid activities. Lady Baby was sick over Thanksgiving, so we were forced to spend the weekend in seclusion, weathering a vicious schmidt-storm. Therefore I basically skipped Turkey day and jumped straight into Christmas with both feet. It was to be amazeballs. Mother-daughter projects. Unique home made gifts. Decorating the tree as a family. Starting awesome traditions and having good old fashioned Christmas fun. 

I. Was. A. Fool.

Epic memory making #1: Stamped Salt dough ornaments.
This was supposed to be a gift that we could give neighbors and they would comment how crafty and cool they were. And then I would be all, "they were so easy, Her Highness even helped." 98% failure. The dough stuck to the stamps and the wax paper and my hands. It did however keep Little Ma'am busy for about 30 minutes stamping and squishing, so not a total failure. There is the missing 2%.  When they dried they looked like a preschooler made them. Trash can. That is a crap-ton of flour and salt and two hours of my life I'll never get back.

Epic memory making #2: Birdseed ornaments.
After the failure of the salt dough, this was going to be our redeemer. The cool thing we could give the neighbors. The fun thing that Lady Baby and I could spend a morning doing. I let her help mix up the seed and the gelatin and then we started filling cookie cutters. Correction. I filled the cookie cutters while she gagged and shuddered and whined about how the seed felt and that it was sticking to her hands. So I got mad and finished them myself. It took 10 min and they look like crap because I didn't mash them down and I made the string holes to close to the edge so they all broke apart. Debacle.

Epic memory making #3: Christmas Tree decorating.
We got the tree up and the lights on (I attempted this and did a crap job so it got redone by His Royal Highness, Ruler of all Perfection). Then we commenced to hanging the ornaments. Rather we hung and Miss Priss removed them. Once we finally got her on board with putting them on instead of taking them off, she hung about 4 then went and laid on the couch. Such a beautiful moment, Mommy and Daddy hanging ornaments and reminiscing, while the love of their life lays on the couch and watches Mickey. Since erecting the tree, there have been some issues of the stop-undecorating-the-tree variety. This only confirms and affirms my decision for the last 2 years to not have a tree. She would have destroyed it. At least now she understands threats (see #4 for further explanation.)

Epic Memory making #4: Elf on the Shelf. 
This got off to a rocky start. First, I got the box and we sat on the couch together. Because I am an idiot and didn't think ahead, I am trying to explain the whole Elf sitch to my child while removing a twist tie from the elf's neck so we can get it out of the package. She was very concerned with all that until I explained that the elf came from Santa in a plastic bag to protect it. Thank god she doesn't understand the whole breathing air thing yet. Almost three year olds are very easy to lie to. Then I hand her the elf and start to read the book. Then I get to the part where she can't touch the elf and I promptly rip it out of her hands frantically. Commence the screaming. Fortunately after two days of asking if she could hold Ellie (way to go outside of the box on the name, kid) she finally gave up. She does however believe 100% that Ellie should be respected and revered. She has taken to asking Ellie if permission to do things and she apologized to Ellie yesterday morning after she gave me a hard time about getting dressed for school. Ellie is my home girl. Ellie is currently perched at our tree like a tiny security dog to keep Her Highness's paws off the ornaments that she won't stop removing from the tree. I heart Ellie. I may keep her out all year if this continues to be effective. 
Ellie Elf waiting to go ninja on any Honey Badger's that touch the tree.
Epic memory making #5: Advent calendar tradition.
I remember being little and having an advent calendar and carefully opening the little door every day and eating a piece of chocolate. So naturally I want to share this fun tradition with the light of my life. I purchased a calendar at the Teeter and have had it out where Lady Baby could see it for a few weeks. BTW, they have not changed in 25 years. Same picture, same chocolate squares with the little picture on every piece. Good times. So we start with day 1 and I show her how to open the little tab, which she rips off with vigor, and we pop the chocolate out and she happily garbles it down. Then I put it up and she asks for another piece. I calmly explain that she gets one piece everyday. The tantrum that followed leads me to believe that my answer was unacceptable. The next night hubs helped her and somehow they not only opened the door for day 9 (even thought it is CLEARLY marked) they also ripped the tab clear off along with a big chunk of the picture. Seriously? It is basically ruined. We are on day 5 and she is finally realizing that no matter how many times she asks, she is only getting one piece. But she also makes it clear that she is not at all happy about it and whoever made these rules is a complete idiot. Hey kid, I didn't make up the advent timetable, okay?

SO. I think I am going to throw in the towel and do everything else alone. When I told my neighbor my plans early on, she stared at me for a second and said, "That sounds like a lot of work." I think what she really meant was, "none of that is remotely going to work." I am going to embrace that there is plenty of time to do all the memory making. I am going to stop letting Pinterest make me feel like everyone in the free world is at home making beautiful and crafty ornaments with their kids who like to follow directions and listen and have never attempted to wrestle an advent calendar out of their mom's hands while sobbing. I am going to make what I can and buy the rest. You are welcome world economy and people on my Christmas list.  

On Saturday we are headed back to the place where the infamous Santa picture happened last year. To read about that, go here. Feel free to bookmark it so you can look at the picture every time you need a laugh. Can't wait to see what goes down this year. Her rabid spider monkey skills have only improved in the last 12 months. 


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