Thursday, December 27, 2012

We Had Ourselves a Merry Little Christmas

Friends, do you find yourselves obsessively watching every Christmas movie known to mankind during the holiday season? Especially the ones on the Hallmark Channel. Yes, yes you do. (Play along with me here so I don't seem like a complete sap...)

The movies are always the same: happy, then a twist, then happy, then chaos, then the happiest ending you could ever imagine. Next thing you know, you're sitting on your sofa - tears in your eyes - thinking "Ugh! Best story ever told! Now THAT'S what Christmas is about!"

Well, this year, we didn't have any twists or chaos. We had calm, and let me tell you, it was absolute bliss!

I can hear Miles yelling "Hep! Maaaammeeee!" from the other room so you're all going to get the synopsis of our holiday. It doesn't mean that I love you any less, it just means that Marlee's probably doing something she's not supposed to be doing. (Mia went for Christmas at her dad's house today. What a bummer, my good kid is the one who goes away every other weekend...)

  • Our daddy, for the first time ever, was off on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. And with that, the happy level shot through the roof while the stress level was down to around a two. 
  • We went to Christmas Eve supper at Great Granny & Great PaPa's house for a feast of ham and hog balls. Balls like testicles, not like balls similar to cake balls. It's a tradition and yes, I eat them. There were cake balls also, and I ate the shit out of those babies too! Country Christmas, y'all! Best part of the night? Going through all of the old photo albums: according to Mia, I look exactly the same as I did my sophomore year of high school. She's my favorite child right now!
  • We made cookies for Santa before bed. Chocolate chip, a mix from the Dollar General! Hey there, convenience! We also tried our hand at Elf Donuts this year... um...Pinterest fail. We sucked.
  • Christmas magic! Christmas magic! Christmas magic! All of the kids were asleep by 9PM and slept soundly until 7AM when I awoke to the sounds of Mia coaching Miles to yell "Wake up! Santa came!"
  • In short, we all got a lot of great gifts. "Mom! Santa brought us all of the hottest toys on the market!" That's a direct quote, guys. "This is the best Christmas ever!" Another direct quote, and one that I gladly welcome every single year.
  • Chris's folks made the long drive from Columbia to GC to spend a few hours with us. Like a total flake, Mommy forgot to lay out our roast for lunch. Frozen rock-solid. Christmas day lunch? McDonald's. God bless 'Merica! Also, bless my in-laws. We've had our ups and downs over the years, but they never ever fail to put love and family first and everything else behind us. 
  • The gift I never expected to receive? A necklace with a bejeweled Dachshund charm. I'm officially THAT lady now. Feel free to compliment me on the diamond wiener around my neck next time you see me!
  • Christmas supper at Jimmy & Laura's? Mexican food. Feliz Navidad! My contributions were Spanish rice (from a box) and black beans (from cans). I love when I'm asked to bring things that require zero prep and zero effort! 
Now if you'll all excuse me, I have a 4 year old to tame and a million toys to put away!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tits The Season

That's not a typo, friends. That's how my husband has responded to almost every statement I've made this week in regards to Christmas.

And then does one of the following:
a) honks my boobs
b) honks his own boobs
c) attempts to honky my boobs, and then I attempt to knee him in the baby-maker

TMI? Maybe, but we're all friends here and friends tell you things that make you uncomfortable sometimes. 

A few holiday highlights from my week...

*A Christmas Story was on the other day. The kids had no interest in watching it with me because it was "too weird" and "not even a cartoon". Guess who then got to learn all of the words to  'Santa Has His Eyes On Me' as sung by  Spongebob Squarepants? Me. SONOFABITCH!

*I've still got a few Christmas cards to mail out, but I lost my sheet of Santa and his reindeer stamps. I'd go to the post office and buy more, but I also had the pleasure of standing in line at the post office this week to pick up a package. I'm now avoiding that place like the plague! Have you ever been to the post office the week before Christmas? Have mercy! The 10 people in front of me seemed to move at a snail's pace as I tried REALLY hard to block out the voice of the lady 3 people behind me; "Ya ever drink this Minute Maid grape juice? Man it's good! It's really busy today! Ho ho ho! I should've brushed my hair ...! Hey, ma'am, would you mind holding my grape juice while I fill out these forms?"

*As of Wednesday, I'm 99% finished with my Christmas shopping! Hooray! As of right this moment, I'm 0% finished with my Christmas wrapping, but isn't that what December 24 is for?

*We *might* have given the Bossman his 'enjoy the holiday break' gift basket the other day. It *definitely* wasn't a Christmas gift because that's against the rules. Also it *definitely* wasn't filled with beef jerky and beer. 

*I had the morning off yesterday so that I could attend Mia's Christmas party at school, and because Jack Frost is a real butthole, the district called a snow day instead. After I'd already had Mia get in the shower. She was super bummed at first, but definitely perked up when I told her that she didn't have to go back to school until January!

* Today was the Christmas party at work. It is, hands down, my favorite day of the year at work. I smile, I laugh, I get a little bit choked up every single year. Why? Because I have the best job in the world, and I work with the best people in the world. The festivities included: pancake breakfast, carnival games and a visit from Santa, Christmas entertainment (this was my first year organizing the entertainment, and I wish I could post videos of our people performing - they were awesome and made me so proud!), gifts and more gifts, and then the staff luncheon where I won twenty bucks! Of course, my initial reaction to having $20 was "Do you know how many Kit Kat bars I could buy with twenty bucks?!" 

*Grandma Debbie came down for a few days and took the girls out today for some shopping and ice cream. Separately! First, she and Mar went to pick out new shoes and then went for lunch and dessert. Then she turned around and picked up Mia for an identical outing. She's a brave woman, that Grandma Debbie! I don't know that there's enough ice cream in all of Missouri to make me take each girl out shoe shopping - separately - in the same day! Also, they apparently did a little more shopping because Mia said "Mommy, I'm not EVEN going to tell you what the necklace we bought you looks like!" Oh, my first born, she's terrible at keeping secrets!

* Tonight we found a house in between GC and Harrisonville that has their Christmas display set to music from a radio station! For locals: Tieman Rd, turn your station to 102.7, sit and enjoy.  Also, maybe turn on your hazard lights because the house sits at the top of a hill past all of the S curves!

Now I'm enjoying the beginning of our long holiday break. I don't know if it's vacation euphoria or what, but I am loving life at the moment. All children - plus Helga the wonder puppy - are curled up in Mommy & Daddy's bed sleeping soundly.

Cue wine and Pinterest! Fa la la la la, la la la la....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The One Where Miles (Almost) Drove The Yukon

Let's talk about the trip to Price Chopper today, shall we?

You know I love the PC. It's my happy place. It's my sanctuary. It is, in all essence, awesome.

Except not so much today maybe...

Today, the PC was so crowded. It happens sometimes but Granny and I go anyway because that's just what women do when there's a good sale! Ground beef was on sale (as in really on sale not still expensive on sale) and I had this genius idea that if I went today I might not have to go again until after Christmas. 

Well, everyone in Cass County must've wanted super-on-sale ground beef today because as I said, the place was packed! Do you know how Marlee and Miles act in the grocery store? Here's a hint: I gave Marlee a smack on the booty in the check-out line when I finally reached my boiling point. For the record, I don't typically condone spanking your children in public, because I feel that everyone punishes differently and it's a personal thing, but I smacked her and told her that I would ... maybe whip her little ass if she didn't knock it off. Maybe I said that, but unless your name is Jen, Marlee, Granny, or 'boy cashier' you'll never really know for sure...

Finally, we make it out to the car. Being the loving, caring, nurturing mama that I am, I unlocked the door and started the car so that it would be warm for the kiddos. As Granny loaded her bags into the back of the Mom-mobile, I then loaded Terror 1 and Terror 2 into their car seats and buckled them in, shut their doors and went to help Granny out. 

About...  zero minutes later, Granny notices Marlee in the driver's seat pushing buttons on the steering wheel. 

"BWWWWAAAH!!!!!!!!!! Marlee! Oh my God, Jen the door's locked!!!! She's locked us out!"

Of course she's saying this at the exact same time I'm shrieking "GOD DAMN IT MARLEE! You're REALLY getting a spanking now!!!"

And just then, Marlee turns and climbs in to the back seat, only to reveal that Miles is now in the driver's seat with his pale little hand on the lever to pull it into drive. 

Again, simultaneously:

GRANNY: Oh my God! Oh Jesus! Help us!

ME: Son of a bitch! Mother fucker!

This, friends, is when yours truly attempted to hurdle from the trunk of the Yukon to the front seat. I've mentioned that I was never a track star, right? Well, that happened. And no, I didn't smash the bread or break any eggs. Granny says she thinks there's a knee print on her package of bacon though! I'm positive it was the least graceful hurdling attempt ever made from rear to front in a Denali. I'd be willing to bet money on it.

Crisis averted, we settle everyone in for the trip home and just when we think we're calm enough to drive - BAM! A couple of crackheads are behind my car, chasing down an old man who's sideswiped three other parked cars! Did we stick around to watch? You betcha, we did!

Just another day in the life, you guys. Totally typical!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Short Goodbye

Our friend and neighbor, Jack, was lost this week in a car accident. He was a wonderful man and to say that we will all miss him would be a gross understatement.

I could write and write about how much he meant to our family, how good he was to my children, and how badly my heart breaks for his family and friends. I won't though - because if I do, he'll tease me endlessly when we meet again someday in the afterlife.

Instead, I'll leave it to this simple quote from the musical, Annie:

"How lucky I am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?"

Very lucky indeed. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Shout Outs!

Hi my name is Jennifer - longtime listener here! Love you, love your show!

That's what I always think of when someone uses the phrase 'shout out'. Me personally? I would never call in to a radio show for fear that I'd say something completely inappropriate and they'd have to hit the dump button 15 seconds in...

But how entertaining would that be for anyone who recognized my voice!

Quick shout out to my insanely awesomely talented friend Kristen over at Four Hens And A Rooster for inviting me to guest blog today during her 12 Guests of Christmas series! You might remember her from our Leap Day blog swap in February and if you don't, I've thoughtfully provided the link to her story RIGHT HERE YOU GUYS! I'm seriously on my game today, right?!

Second shout out of the night goes to another awesomely talented friend of mine (and maybe she's married to my brother, too) Laura, designer behind the newly minted Sleek Glitz storefront over at Etsy! If you don't like her jewelry, well then, you must not like jewelry at all. There is honestly something for everyone!

Pearl cascade earrings $7.50

Matching pearl bracelets $7.50
I love these pearls! If they were sitting in my jewelry box, I would dub them my hot cocoa pearls: velvety smooth chocolate with big fat vanilla marshmallows on top, served in an over-sized gray mug. Mmmm... Buy the bracelets here! And because you knoooow you waaaannnna, buy the earrings here!

Amber bronzed heart set $30.00
This? Eh...just an entire matching set for a measly $30.00... Yes, $30.00! Necklace, bracelet, and the earrings. Wear them all at one time, or mix and match. Me personally, I love sets because you get more bang for your buck. I don't want to wear each piece 7 days in a row, but 3 pieces make combos I don't feel like adding because it'll give me a migraine equals a ton of possibilities over a single week! Buy it here!

Pearls and bow necklace $20.00
This sweet little pearls and bow necklace is absolutely adorable! Wear it alone, or layer it with another long chain (hey, how about this one... because that's exactly what I would do) and before you know it, your plain white t-shirt is just a little bit more feminine. Next thing, you're putting on some lip gloss and fixing your hair instead of putting it in a ponytail and then the Mr. comes home and offers to rub your back. And then what do you tell him? "I'll let you rub my back if you buy me something from Sleek Glitz..." And then, everyone goes to bed happy. But first, buy this here! 

So really the point here is, buy some jewelry. If you didn't get that point by now, I'm horrible at free advertising... 

Also, check out Sleek Glitz on Facebook for current promos (today is Monday Madness 25% off sale FYI)!

And now, if you'll excuse me, Marlee's trying to open my wine with a pair of scissors. Somebody really needs to teach that kid to use a corkscrew. 

(P.S. our annual visit with Santa is going down tomorrow night. Some of you might remember how last year went...)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

She's Already Smarter Than I Am

Mia is smart, maybe even gifted. I don't know, I don't want to be that parent - the one who proclaims her smart kid as gifted and in turn jinxes the child into mainstream classes all the way through school. That's nothing to brag about, right?

Sidenote: I can't listen to anyone refer to their child as gifted. It makes me think of this every single time. And double sidenote: I was never offered a spot in AP classes in school. Something about not fully applying myself...

Sister got her very first Book It voucher on Monday. It should've been her second voucher, but someone lost her October form after it filled up, so there was no free personal pan pizza to be had. Yes, that someone was me, and yes, Mia was super pissed at me because of it!

Anywho... Sis comes home with her form on Monday and this is a big deal when you're seven - the business of getting free pizza. As luck would have it, I'd had a pretty amazing day too, so it was only appropriate that we went out to celebrate. Plus, I've never been one to turn down pizza of any kind (even in Hot Pocket form).

High on the promise of a bright future and Canadian bacon, Mia waltzed in to Pizza Hut like she owned the place. She struts over to the register and presents her voucher, "I read all of my books for November, so I  got this Book It form and now I get free pizza!"

My oldest did get her free pizza, plus the cheese sticks and root beer that were obviously needed to complete the meal.

A little snippet of conversation from our meal: 

MIA: We're learning about fractions in class!

GRANNY: You are? Mommy did you know that?

ME: No. Isn't that kind of young to do fractions? Second grade?

MIA: Uh, no. I'm seven, Mommy!

ME: Well, I'm almost 30 and I still can't do fractions. Are you learning percentages yet? I'm really bad at those!

MIA: No. Maybe someday though. Hey! Guess what! I read a book about fractions for fun the other day!

GRANNY: Ooooh fun! (to Mia) What are you going to do when she's in high school and needs help? (to me)

ME: Pray that times haven't changed and the stoners are still really good at math and willing to let her copy their homework.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Conspirator

We have this bedtime routine where I tuck the girls in, give them kisses, and tell them what's on the schedule for the following day. For example, we might talk about having cinnamon rolls for breakfast or the forecast calling for warm weather and which dresses will be worn.

To conclude our bedtime talk, Marlee always asks "Who's coming ova tomowwow?" which of course means,"Who is going to babysit us tomorrow?"

Tonight, she laid out a little scheme to ease the confusion of rotating babysitters.

MAR: Who's coming ova tomorrow?

ME: Daddy, then Granny.

MAR: But! Nooooo! 

ME: Daddy's only going to be home for a little bit. Then when he goes to work, Granny will come over.

MAR: But when wiw yew be heyuh?

ME: After I get home from work.

MAR: Can't yew juss do evwyfing wong?

ME: What? Do everything wrong, how?

MAR: Do evwyfing wong and juss get fiyahd!  I juss wanna stay wiff yew!

ME: Um... well... I don't think that's going to work...

Here's to hoping that my 4 year old didn't just jinx the crap out of me! Have a great week, friends!


P.S. We got an early Christmas present this weekend. Her name is Helga and we're all pretty much in love with her. 

She's probably the most adorable Dachshund/Reindeer hybrid I've ever seen!