Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Day of Reckoning

I believe in box cleaning. I wish, many times a year, that I took my free time (of which I have a lot) and used it to clean closets, cabinets, drawers and unused rooms. As we are on the cusp of the proverbial empty nest, you’d think I’d relish such projects. I don’t. Instead I box clean, which simply means that when someone important (i.e. anyone other than immediate family) is coming over, I madly rush throughout the house and throw things in boxes and laundry baskets and then hide them. In the past, I have box cleaned so well that I have either never found the boxes or really didn’t need their contents. This would come back to bite me in the ass when we decided to move so that we’d have more room for our crap. Suddenly, I came face to face with crap I’ve hidden, didn’t need or should have taken better care of long ago. You’d think I’d learn my lesson and stop box cleaning and start real cleaning, but NO. I continue in my madness. Since I am, unfortunately, all worked up over what people think of me, I have pissed off many members of my family in one of my box cleaning missions.

This Christmas, I worked my butt off box cleaning. One of the biggest targets of my efforts was the laundry. Prior to Christmas, we had visited family and had gone to a football game. It was cold, wet and rainy. I was well-prepared for the weather, but not so prepared for washing the resulting winterwear. Before we left, I was so damn proud of the fact that I washed every last piece of laundry, giving me that relaxing feeling during the holidays. Dammit if it didn’t all come screaming back at me. You can see the results above. And so, when we had family coming over on Christmas Day, I had to box clean my laundry. I hid it and crammed it into every laundry chute and clothes hamper I could find. Today is my day of reckoning. I can no longer avoid the mountains of stinkiness. Crap. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the laundry room.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Dawn

As I write this, it’s very early Christmas morning. I am the only one awake. Just me and the newspaper delivery guy who never gets a day off. The house is blissfully quiet. And yet, I can’t help but think of Christmases past when we’d be well into our unwrapping extravaganza by now. Last night, as hubby helped me haul the gifts from their hiding place, he made the simple comment: “Huh. You’ve done it again. You’ve gone overboard.” When he said it, my first inclination was to be offended. But instead I thought to myself: Yeah, I did go overboard. Because it’s what I do.

In about 5 minutes, (after all, it IS almost 7:00 am!) I'm going to go and wake them up, because that's also what I do.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year Blessings to each and every one of you. Oh, and the photo above is a peek at our tree before the Christmas fun begins. I can’t wait!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

25 Christmas Things About Me

I'm finished wrapping and I'm starting my weekend with some just-for-fun holiday shopping with a friend. While I'm gone, enjoy this little list!

1. I open Christmas gifts (from immediate family) on Christmas morning. I cannot imagine doing it any other way.
2. I do not have the ability to sleep past 6:00 am on Christmas morning. When I was younger, it was 4:00 am. In fact I have always awakened before my children. As you can tell, I’ve improved…and yet I’m still a child.
3. I believed very strongly in Santa until the age of seven when my mother sat me down and told me to be sure not to “ruin it” for my younger sister.
4. When my kids were younger, I used to address their gifts from Santa with my left hand so they couldn’t recognize my handwriting.
5. For Christmas every year, we have Beef Wellington, which my mom has to help me prepare because I am so hopeless in the kitchen.
6. The song “O Holy Night” makes me cry whenever it’s sung well.
7. Then I heard this version…and I cried for a different reason.
8. The song “Angels We Have Heard On High” makes me impatient. The words should be Gloria in Excessive Deo. Seriously, that tune never ends.
9. I don't think I have ever wassailed. I have no idea what it means.
10. I never want to know what someone has given me before I have opened it. That would ruin everything.
11. When carolers come to our door (which they haven’t since 1972), at first, it’s cool. Then it’s just annoying. I have no idea what to do. It’s like standing directly in front of the band at a concert. I need personal space when someone is singing to me.
12. I still have a bit of Yuletide Greetingitis. I’m always afraid I’ll wish someone the wrong thing – i.e. Merry Christmas and they’re Jewish or Happy Holidays and they’re devoutly Christian.
13. I feel guilty writing “Merry Xmas.” I cannot do it.
14. I’m usually ready to take down our tree and decorations by December 26th.
15. Every year, I make a batch of Grandma Weezie’s Eggnog. (That’s my mother-in-law.) It’s amazing, dangerously caloric and so packed full of booze it should be illegal.
16. For me, it’s not about the gift, it’s about the effort. Not that you saw something and thought I would like it, but that you thought about something I liked and then went to find something related. Even misplaced effort is good. Really.
17. I admit it, I send out a Christmas letter thingy. In fact this year, there was just a letter and no card. I’m sure many hate me for this and I’m sorry.
18. The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the best Christmas album ever.
19. I think people that leave their holiday lights up past January 31st should be ticketed. Seriously.
20. Christmas is way more stressful and way more fun when you share it with little kids.
21. We have an artificial tree. The last year that we had a real tree, when Christmas was over, it was too wide to get through almost any of our doors, except the sliding doors to our deck. My husband finally launched the tree off the deck (from the 2nd floor) and it ended up upside down in a snow bank where it sat for a month.
22. My favorite Christmas move is “Elf.” My second favorite is “Home Alone.” Both are brilliant, in my opinion.
23. For the second year in a row, I have written a letter from Santa to my sister’s 2nd grade class. (She’s a teacher.) Apparently, I am very good at this. Now, if I could only turn it into cash.
24. Although I adore Christmas morning, nothing beats the anticipation of Christmas Eve, especially sitting around watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
25. On Christmas morning, like many American families, we like to watch the Yule Log on TV while we open our presents.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Clueless Mother

Dear Diary:
Today I was reminded, once again, just how clueless I am. M and I were at Victoria’s Secret to redeem the coupon we had for a “Free Pink Cami.” M grabbed a “Red Cami” from the rack. I gently reminded her that our coupon was for a “Pink Cami.” Much eye rolling and tsking ensued. Silly me. Pink is a brand, not a color. When will I learn?

Dear Diary:
Did you feel it? The shaking, I mean. Seriously, didn’t the earth move? M was in a good mood today. No, scratch that. I mean a GREAT mood that included complete sentences and actual conversation. And, be still my heart, I actually got a smile this morning. I feel like I could walk on air. Maybe we’re past that moody phase after all!

Dear Diary:
Never mind.

Dear Diary:
Today I wanted to curl my hair. My curling iron was in M’s bathroom. After I retrieved it and curled my hair, I went to use my hair spray. What a coincidence. It too was in M’s bathroom along with my eye shadow, my fingernail clippers and my tweezers. If anyone is still looking for Jimmy Hoffa, I have a suspicion where he might be.

Dear Diary:
I’m confused. It’s been pointed out to me many times that I know very little about fashion. Yet, I’m constantly finding pieces of my clothing on M’s floor. I wonder how that happens. Could it be that the dog is dragging them in there?

Dear Diary:
Today I spent an inordinate amount of time smelling the laundry. Not because I’m sick or kinky, but because much of the clothing that is in the laundry isn’t really dirty. It’s simply been tried on and thrown on the floor. Gosh this job is rewarding.

Dear Diary:
Yesterday I had cash in my wallet. Today I have none. On a typical day, I spend zero cash, do laundry (see above), eat leftovers and read month-old magazines. On M’s typical day off, she eats out with friends, goes to see the newest movies and buys hardcover books at Barnes & Noble. Where have I gone wrong?