Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Planning...It Never Ends

Well, Christmas is officially over and I have begun the daunting task of reclaiming my home in the name of order and organization. The tree is down, decorations have been put away, and the massive amounts of wrapping paper, boxes, and packaging paraphernalia was taken away by the garbage man early this morning. It is now possible to walk in the family room without stepping on a thousand miscellaneous pieces of toys, games, and art supplies and I can actually breathe normally again instead of hyperventilating over the chaos and confusion.

However, I now have to switch gears from holiday cheer and merriment to full blown birthday party planning strategery (Yes huh, strategery is a word. GW says it is. Geesh!) Anyway, Aaron’s birthday is January 11th and it sneaks up on me every single year because we are always so busy with Christmas stuff. Then the tree comes down and the decorations get put away and holy crap I have to plan a birthday party! I thought that I was slightly ahead of the game this year because Aaron had declared long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, that he wanted a Star Wars party. So for about two weeks now I have been Googling Star Wars party ideas and gathering as much information as possible to pull off a great Jedi event. That is until he informed me a few days ago that he now wants Scooby Doo instead.

I am not all together disappointed with the change because honestly, I know a whole lot more about Scooby and the Gang than I do about the Force, but I was willing to fake it if that was what Aaron wanted. Thankfully he made the change early enough that I can still switch gears without blowing my carefully crafted timeline.

This year, we are celebrating a big birthday. It’s the big 0-5. My baby boy is almost five years old! Excuse me for a moment while I sob in the corner as Baby Mine plays over and over in my head…

Ok, I’m better now. I can’t believe how fast the last five years have gone. He is such a big boy now. He likes to get himself dressed, and make his own breakfast, and he even asks if he can have some privacy when he is in the bathroom. Privacy…from the kid that runs around naked most evenings after bath time. Boys?!?

So wish me luck with putting on a super Scooby celebration. I think that I have a pretty good plan so far, but there is just one thing that I’m not sure how I am going to pull off. Does anyone have any idea how I can convince Mike that it is imperative to the success of the entire party to give our van a Mystery Machine paint job?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh Crap!

So Christmas is almost here and everyone is busy with the hustle and bustle that comes with the last days leading up to the big day. Elyse, being the sweet baby girl that she is, got me a special, last minute gift yesterday, but it was a gift I that would have gladly returned. A gift so awful, that I would have gone so far as to return it to a store that I knew it didn’t come from, without any type of receipt, just at the off chance that I would find the one guy in customer service who hates his job so much that he would be willing to accept a rabid squirel just to spite his employer and because he just doesn’t give a damn.

Here’s what happened.

Aaron had Christmas pageant practice yesterday at 4:00 pm. 4:00 pm is horrible for us because Elyse is almost always napping at that time and I make it a point to NEVER disrupt her nap because when Princess doesn’t nap she goes all Linda Blair for the rest of her waking hours and frankly I just can’t scrub split pea soup out of the carpet again.

In an attempt to still get her a nap, yet make it to practice on time, I put her down a little early and crossed my fingers that she would embrace the coziness of her bed and drift blissfully to sleep whilst Aaron and I did some much needed Christmas cleaning. About forty-five minutes later, she was still whooping it up and partying like it was 1999. I decided that my only option was to go in, break up the party, and try to get her to cozy up one last time or else take a trip to Target to kill time before practice and then suffer the consequences of no nap.

When I walked in, I was assaulted with the strongest poo aroma in the history of all aromas. And that’s when I saw it. My little Princess was pants less; as in no pants, no diaper, and no poo catching apparatus within a hundred yards. Upon closer inspection I was able to fully access the defilement of her crib which was widespread and far reaching. And my bitty baby was a giant turd; covered in crap from head to toe.

I would have loved to have seen what my face must have looked like from her perspective because I know that I have never been more horrified in my entire life and that includes the day several weeks ago when I saw stirrup pants on a rack at Wal Mart. What do you do? What is your first response? What should you tackle first? While I ran the scenarios in my head, Aaron turned and ran out of the room, gagging the whole way. Not fake gagging either. He was as repulsed as I was and it was taking its toll on him.

When I snapped out of it, I organized a plan of attack and put it into motion; run bath water…scrub baby like you are re-enacting a scene from Silk Wood…lock baby in brother’s room…remove all bedding, stuffed animals, pacifiers…find comfort in the fact that we are done having children…Clorox every inch of the crib and surrounding area.

By the time the poop explosion was contained, I had just enough time to throw the kids together and head out of the door to pageant practice. Because I have been blessed with the most wonderful husband on the face of the planet and on Mars, Mike left work early after my frantic phone conversation with him shortly after I discovered Elyse’s crap graffiti. He went with us to practice and then we had a much needed dinner out.

Do you want to know the best part? She decided to strip BEFORE she pooped. The diaper that had been flung to the ground didn’t have a speck of poo on it. I believe that she could have been thinking only one thing when, after already stripping, she felt the rumbling below and became a human poop geyser…”Oh crap!”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Run Because...

I run because for the last four years, I couldn’t run. Well, I could.  I had the physical ability and the motivation if say I had to run from a bear or something, but after the kids were born I let myself get so out of shape that the thought of running was overwhelming. Frankly the thought of walking for very long was too much, but I knew that deep down inside, somewhere completely buried, I was a runner.  I missed who I was when I used to run. In this last year of weight loss and exercise, though, I finally found her again. That girl who used to look in the mirror and be happy with what she saw. I never want to lose her again.

I run because I love the example that it has set for my kids. Aaron, while he has always been active, has taken a great interest in exercise and working out. He has his own set of weights and he can do walking pushups better than I can. I need Elyse to see that a healthy woman isn’t some stick-skinny model who analyzes every morsel that goes into her mouth. A healthy woman has muscle and she isn’t afraid to sweat for it.

I run because I want to spend the rest of my life with my husband and I want that life to be as long and as healthy as it can be. I love the look of pride that I see in his face when I pass him on my way to the shower after a five mile run. Even completely soaked with sweat, that look from him makes me feel like the most beautiful woman alive, and it is only because of him and his support that I have been able to come this far.

I run not for how I feel at the beginning of the run, or how I feel at the end, but for that feeling half way in, when all of a sudden I am weightless and I feel as if I could run for days. My legs move without me hardly thinking about it and every part of my body is in perfect rhythm. The feeling is fleeting, and if I directly acknowledge it for too long, it’s gone. But for those few moments I am more alive than I have been in years and it validates my belief that I am, and always have been a runner.

I run because.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Hope It Will Be the Little Things...

Much like I have done for the last four Christmases that Mike and I have been parents, I have been surveying the items that Santa has been able to check off of the kid’s Christmas lists and I wonder if the big guy has done enough. When it is all wrapped and under the tree will it look like as much as the receipts claim it is, or will it seem like much less? When the kids come down Christmas morning, will their eyes light up with excitement when they see all that Santa has brought? I hope that they feel that Santa was good to them, because I know that he did everything that he could to give them as much as possible, not that it will be an avalanche of gifts by any means. But while I was obsessing about the gifts and their quantity, I started thinking back to my childhood Christmases and I realized that none of those memories ever include a tally of what Santa brought. Those memories are about so much more.

I remember how excited my sisters and I always were to start decorating. Dad would be busy stringing the lights on the tree while we paced anxiously waiting to load every inch of free space with our most favorite decorations. There were the decorations that looked like cotton candy on long sticks, and the straw lady that Mom always made sure had a special place of honor. We each hung our baby ornaments from our first Christmases and we never forgot the shredded wheat wreaths that we had made in school.

Once the tree was done, we continued to spread the Christmas joy all throughout the house with the set of three snowmen snowballs that always sat on the coffee table and the green ceramic tree that lit up and found its place on our TV. The decorating was never finished until the gold sleigh, complete with reindeer, was set out on the window sill in the kitchen; I saw it there yesterday when Aaron and I went to Mom and Dad’s to tag along on a shopping trip.

Some of the strongest memories are from all of the Christmas Eves that we spent at my Grandparents house. We always went to Christmas Eve mass at the church down the street and then went back to their house to eat, open gifts, and tell stories. My grandmother, “Gum Gum,” always made a huge pot of rigatoni and you were never finished eating until you had at least one piece, but usually more, of her famous poppy seed roll. I remember how special the night seemed as we all said our goodbyes and headed out into the cold Christmas air to get into the car and head home to get ready for Santa. The sky was always so dark, but clear and there was no denying the magic.

I was never able to sleep on Christmas Eve, my mind swirling with thoughts of what Santa might bring, but I strained to drift off because I knew that he wouldn’t come until I was asleep. At the crack of dawn, we dragged our parents out of bed and when we came down the stairs and walked ran, into the living room we were always, always overwhelmed by the realization that Santa had actually come. I can still see our living room and how beautiful the tree looked the first time that we saw it on Christmas morning.

Of course there were gifts, but it’s not the quantity that sticks out in my mind. To tell you the truth, except for a few random presents, I really don’t remember exactly what Santa brought each year. But I remember the Santa cookie cutter that we used to make sugar cookies; Mom gave it to me to make the same recipe with my kids. I can see Dad sitting in the living room surrounded by pieces of our artificial tree, trying to put it all together despite the fact that Angie and I kept stealing large branches to make t-pees. I can see Mom sitting on the couch with her morning cup of coffee, trying to take in the intense excitement that overflowed in the room at six o’clock in the morning, and the looks on Mom and Dad’s faces as they met each other’s gaze from across the room while they watched the three of us girls tear into our Christmas loot.

There are so many more memories that I could go on and on about; things that were really special and made a lasting impression, but in the grand scheme of things, to most everyone else, were quite insignificant. I hope that when Aaron and Elyse look back on their Christmases, they remember how we went to my Mom and Dad’s house every year, the weekend before Christmas, to make the same sugar cookie recipe with the same Santa cookie cutter that I used when I was a kid. I wonder what decorations will stand out in their minds as things that were a must when decorating our house. Will they ever notice the way that Mike and I look at each other while we watch them revel in the magic of Christmas morning? There will always be gifts, though the quantity may vary, but I hope that it will be the special things, the little things that they remember most when they look back and remember our Christmases together.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Date with Aaron

Yesterday I had a date with a very handsome gentleman. We exchanged witty conversation over our pizza lunch and he held my hand when we walked into Toy R Us. Aaron and I went on a date. I needed to take him to pick out a Christmas present for Elyse and I thought that it would be nice if we made a whole thing out of it, just the two of us.

While we sat and ate our pizza, I watched him and was amazed at what a big guy he has gotten to be. When he was little, I used to imagine what it would be like when he was old enough for us to enjoy these kinds of things and I have to say that it was absolutely wonderful. He was so polite and well-behaved, and he had so many interesting things that he wanted to talk about. It was hard to believe that five years ago I was eight months pregnant with him and there we sat, enjoying our lunch and each other's company.

After lunch, we went over to Toys R Us and he picked out Elyse's Christmas present. I let him take his time and look at all of the little things that he wanted to look at and when I gave him a nudge to move on, he went without incident. It was so pleasant and made me think about a time when it was always just the two of us, only now he was so much older and I could just enjoy being with him rather than chase him all over the store.

When we got back into the car, I asked him if there was anything else that he would like to do. After thinking about it for a long time he said, "I think that it would make you happy if we went to get ice cream." He knows me so well. So we went to get ice cream, not because he wanted to, but because it would make me happy. As we ate our ice cream, he said that he thought we had done enough and that Daddy was probably wondering where he was at.

Our date was over and it was time to head home, but we promised that we would see each other again. I look forward to many more dates with Aaron, and I hope that he never gets too big to hang out with his mom. I am pretty sure that as long as ice cream is part of the deal, he and I will always make time for a date.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Taste Of Hell...or...The Joys of Christmas Shopping

What happens to people during the holidays? Typically I encounter your normal, run-of-the-mill idiots on a fairly regular basis, but at Christmas, oh at Christmas, the special idiots flood the stores and flock to my side.

It's a gift.

For the last several days, I have been committed to finishing the Christmas shopping to put an end to my interactions with the socially challenged. In doing so, I have had to endure many, many encounters with such individuals and I have to say that I am about ready to snap. These interactions aren't just limited to the stores either, oh no, they can and do happen everywhere.

There was a lady at Wal Mart the other day that was of the elderly persuasion and she was using one of those Rascal style scooters. I have no problem with the scooters if, IF you actually need to use one, but this lady parked her giant scooter in the middle of the isle and wandered aimlessly up and down trying to decided between snowman wrapping paper and Santa wrapping paper. Not wandered like drove up and down the isle, but got out of the scooter and walked...WALKED up and down the isle. Really, then why the scooter lady?

Anyway, it was impossible to pass her and so I had to stand there waiting, watching, taking bets on which paper it would be...I was giving the snowman five to one odds, when she put...the...paper...back! Are you kidding me lady? We have been standing here for twenty minutes and you aren't even going to end it with a choice? I can't live with that decision. I won't accept it. I feel like I just spent $8.00 on a movie ticket, wasted two hours of my life watching a mind-numbingly boring saga about a woman's right to choose wrapping paper, and then it ends with her waking up from a dream and she was never really buying paper. When I went to Customer Service to demand a ticket refund, they called security and I was asked not to return to Wal Mart.

Then there was the guy who was standing in the middle of the road chatting it up with his buddy who was sitting in a truck which blocked any and all traffic from passing. Why do people do this? Wouldn't it be just as well to pull over to the side of the road so that traffic could continue as normal? Oh no, our discussion about huntin' and how to properly gut a deer in the middle of our front yard for all of the world and teeny tiny children to see is WAY more important than you getting to your appointment on time!

I slowed down and sat there waiting patiently, when the idiot that was standing there chatting it up started violently, VIOLENTLY waving his arm for me to go around them. The look on his face was so hostile I about wet my pants. Of course I locked the doors and then sped on past muttering something about brain dead, redneck assholes as I went by. I felt all big and brave with the doors locked, but who gets that mad over someone wanting to go around you when YOU are the idiot blocking the road? Psychopaths, that’s who.

The best encounter though was when I went to JC Penny yesterday. Elyse and I had already been to Target and she had stayed in the big part of the cart the whole time being very well-behaved and only threw items out of the cart every five minutes as opposed to every other minute like usual. So when we got to JC Penny, I felt too guilty to make her sit in another cart and so I let her walk. Am I stupid or what? About two minutes in, I began to rethink my position on leashes for children and then proceeded to jog behind Elyse trying to keep her from running amuck. I found the item that I was looking for (FYI: I can't say what it is because it is a Christmas gift not because it's something naughty or embarassing.  I'm just sayin.) and headed to the checkout and that is where the encounter took place. It involved two different women, three if you count the sales lady.

Elyse was incredibly ornery and she refused to stay in line with me. She would stand on the opposite side of the line divider thingy and just grin at me as hard as she could, daring me to run after her. I was careful not to move a muscle because that's all it would have taken to send her barreling for the door at top speed. For a split second though I lost focus when another woman got in line behind me and I turned to look at her. That's all it took. Elyse heard the gunshot and she was off. I dropped everything and ran after her and dragged her back in line kicking and screaming. When I put her down next to me I grabbed her hand to keep her close and she went completely limp and dropped to the ground. She lay there, looking up at me, with that same naughty grin on her face that said, "Who's the boss now Mommy?" The harder I tried to make her stand up, the more jello-like she got. It was like all of the bones had been removed from her body and she was one huge pile of booger and puffy winter coat.

So I left her there on the floor. What else was I supposed to do? Well, the lady behind me had all kinds of opinions and she voiced them through a conversation with Elyse. She kept saying things like, "Oh, you don't want to lie on the ground. That floor is going to get you all dirty. You are too pretty to lie on the floor like that." So I started to get embarrassed and actually gave a flying monkey's ass about what she thought and so I started to try, try being the word, to make her stand up again, but she was not going for it. Now I'm starting to drop my stuff and I'm sweating. My chest is breaking out in a rash and the room is getting so hot I can barely breathe.

As I am struggling with Gumby, I noticed the lady in front of me and I realized, holy hell she has been there for a really long time. That's because she was checking out every other item separately. I started mumbling stuff like, "You've got to be kidding me. Lady, you're killing me," but that didn't make her move any faster. The cashier noticed my situation, locked eyes with me, and kind of motioned toward the lady checking out while rolling her eyes. She mouthed an apology, but it did little to help ease my distress.

Meanwhile, opinion lady kept up her disapproving monologue with Elyse and Elyse continued to lie on the floor.

Finally, the lady finished all of her transactions, cast a disapproving look toward Elyse, and strolled out the door. I sat Elyse on the counter and held her there straight jacket style while the cashier rang up my item. It took me five attempts to put in my pin number due to the struggling and thrashing, but I finally got it in there, took my receipt, and ran, head down, for the door. On our way out, I told Elyse how lucky she is that she is cute because otherwise I would have bartered with the cashier; Elyse for the thing that I was buying. She just smiled and gave me a big hug. She's a master manipulator.

Despite all of the painful holiday encounters, I am just about finished with all of the shopping. It shouldn't take much more to get it all done, and I have decided that Elyse will not be accompanying me on any more shopping outings. The sad thing is that I think that I am becoming one of them. The other day I cut off the same lady with my shopping cart three times in a row. The first and second time she seemed ok with it, but by the third time I could see a little irritation brewing. Hey, maybe she wrote about me in her blog about stupid holiday shoppers. Trust me lady, your day is coming. By the time December 24th rolls around, we will all be mindless, wandering, zombie idiots together.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I See London, I See France...Please Stop Showing Your Underpants!

May I ask you a personal question? When you are sitting down, or standing up, or bending over, if your butt and/or underwear are hanging out, can you feel that? I mean, I know that I can't be the only one that immediately feels the silent alarm of a draft, but with the amount of crack that I have seen lately, it seems apparent that most people's alarms are in need of some servicing. Women seem oblivious to the fact that they are completely exposing themselves all over the place. Every time that I see someone in this condition, it makes me think of an obscene jack-in-the-box; I never know when it's going to pop out and it always takes me by surprise. "All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought it was all in fun, POP goes some panties."

I understand that jeans are cut very low these days. I myself wear low-cut jeans, but I absolutely never, ever leave the house without doing a butt check. If I have on a shirt that doesn't allow for adequate coverage, then I either switch shirts or switch pants. I refuse to be that lady in the cereal isle at Wal Mart that can't decide between Cap n' Crunch or Coco Puffs and while hunched over comparing the prizes inside reveals to all of the passing shoppers that she is wearing her Tuesday panties on Friday. It's just too much information!

What is happening to us as a society that it has become so acceptable to just put our business out there for the world to see and not even care? NOT…EVEN…CARE!?!?! Somewhere along the line, we just decided, “Eh,” and never looked back. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that there was a time when it was considered embarrassing to have your hiney exposed or your underwear hanging out of your pants, but it seems like today it’s as common as seeing someone’s elbow.

If you are going to let it all hang out, please do the world a favor and at the very least, wear some underwear that will have a fighting chance of staying put inside your pants. Why do some women wear the lowest cut pants that they can possibly find over top of a pair of the world’s most enormous granny panties? Those things would find a way to hang out of a pair of overalls for Pete sake! It’s like a huge flashing neon sign that says, “Hello world. I have officially given up!”

So when you are getting dressed this morning, please consider doing a butt check. It’s a common courtesy for which the world will thank you. And for those of you that have decided that it is ok to prance around playing a constant game of panty peek-a-boo, I am coming for you and I will be wielding a staple gun. Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vaccines Really Aren't That Important, Right?

Friday, the phone rang and when I answered it there was a long pause and I was like, "Damn telemarketers!"  Then a recording started that announced that the second round of H1N1 vaccines was going to be given out that afternoon between 3 and 6. It was 1:15 PM. Good God, thanks for the notice. I mean, do you have any idea the preparation, both mental and physical, that is involved to get Aaron to an appointment where he is going to get a shot? The recording might as well have said, "Hello, you are going to climb Mount Everest...Today...In a little over an hour...so good luck with that!"

My mind started racing with panicked thoughts of how I was going to pull this off. Elyse had gone down for an early nap and even if she hadn't, there was no way, not for a hundred of the most decadent Christmas cookies made by Mrs. Clause herself that I was going to take both kids for this appointment because I did that a few weeks ago when Aaron got his yearly flu shot and Elyse got her first round of H1N1, and to say the least, it went badly. It was after that appointment that I seriously considered arriving at every other appointment where they both had to be just a little bit tipsy so that when I am trying to fill out paper work and keep Elyse from kissing every germ-covered baby in the waiting room, but she keeps going all limp to get away from me and Aaron is in the corner wailing about how HE DOESN"T WANT A SHOT, I would find it all more funny and amusing than mind-numbingly horrific and painful.

So I emailed Mike at work because I couldn't just call him and tell him that there was an impending shot this afternoon because Aaron would have wigged out and I would have had to talk him down off of a bell tower while he wielded a riffle and shouted, "No Sot! No Shot!" My email read something like this:

Aaron has to get his second round of H1N1...today...in a little over an hour. If you love me at all you will relieve me of this burden, come home early, and take him yourself unless you want to spend the holidays visiting me in the psych ward of our local hospital.


Or something to that effect…

Anyway, when I didn't hear back from him right away, I freaked out and called my mother-in-law to rescue me yet again and of course, she put on her Wonder Woman cape and got ready to come to my rescue, but then I heard from Mike and he said that he did love me and that he didn't want to see his wife being hauled off in hand cuffs on the evening news for flipping out at an H1N1 clinic and so he would leave work early to take Aaron for his shot. Whew!

That was the easy part. Now I had to break it to Aaron. So I was like, "OK, here's the deal buddy, I just got a call that said that you have to get your last shot today. I didn't know until just now. No, I swear, I didn't know. But it IS your LAST shot and if you can be brave, you can go for ice cream or whatever else you want to do because I didn't know until just now and it's your last shot. Daddy is making you go! Mommy loves you!"

Then I took him upstairs and we made brownies together; mostly to distract him from the impending doom, but also because after all of that, I needed some chocolate therapy. About twenty minutes later, Mike showed up and took him for the shot. Would you believe that he whimpered slightly before the shot, but once it was done, it was like nothing had happened?  Boys. Then Mike took him for ice cream and we spent the rest of the evening dealing with his insane sugar high from the brownies and the ice cream.

Maybe it would have just been easier to get the Swine Flu.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sure You Can Have My Recipe. Just Sign This Contract...In Blood.

Just about everyone has a recipe that is THEIR recipe.  Something that you take to reunions or holidays or parties and everyone knows as soon as they see it that it came from you.  "OOooo, there's Aunt Betty's twenty-layer, triple-chocolate, fudge cake.  I gotta get me some of that!" 

I somehow managed to find two recipes that everyone seems to really enjoy; my chocolate chip cookies and the new, highly addictive, so sweet it will have you believing that you can fly, white chip maple cookies.  I take great pride and care when making these cookies and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when people compliment them, but with the compliments almost always comes the inevitable question, "Can I get the recipe?"  Now for the most part, I don't mind giving out my recipes, but I need to know that when I give you my recipe, you are aware of and cooperative with the Recipe Code of Ethics.  What is the Recipe Code of Ethics?   Well, I'm so glad that you asked.

The Recipe Code of Ethics is an unspoken contract that comes into play at the moment that the recipe exchanges hands.  By accepting the recipe, the Receiver acknowledges that this is the Giver's recipe and under no circumstances will the Receiver ever make the recipe and then bring it to an event where the Giver will be or to a function made up of people that know the recipe as the Giver's.

Let me clarify...

My sister Angie makes these mini-chip snowball cookies that are heavenly little balls of chocolate chip decadence wrapped in a blanket of powdered sugar goodness.  This is HER recipe.  It would go completely against the Recipe Code of Ethics for me to make these treasures for any family function because when you think snowball cookies, you think Angie.  However, it would be completely within the realm of acceptable if I were to make them for my husband's side of the family, as they have never experienced Angie's snowballs.

Makes sense, right?

So it's not that I don't want other people to be able to make and enjoy my recipes, I just need to know that they are compliant with the Code.  I want to see a wink, or a nod, or a hand jive that lets me know that they get it.  You know, because it is mine, and it's my thing, and don't even think about trying to take that glory away from me because Baby, if you don't live by the Code, then you can't HANDLE my recipe!.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Let Me Show You Where You Can Stick Your Opinions!

Has anyone ever said something to you that was so rude you were physically unable to make sound come out of your mouth in the form of words with which to tell them to go to Hell? That happened to me the other day and when it did, my mouth hung open in a fashion usually reserved to produce speech, but nothing came out and I stared at the individual for about eight seconds with a look on my face that was a cross between utter amazement and complete dismay with a little homicidal rage thrown in for good measure. Even after I regained the ability to speak, I was unable to devise a suitable response and so I just smiled, said nothing, and tried to implode said idiot using only my mind.

It didn't work.

However, it got me to wondering how it is that some of us seem to have a natural ability to restrain ourselves from saying the first ridiculous thought that comes into our minds while others are completely devoid of any type of social filter whatsoever. Is it something that occurs while we are still developing in the womb? Maybe if we were able to conduct a scientific study of all of the individuals with chronic diarrhea of the mouth, we would stumble upon the discovery of some chromosomal mutation or genetic abnormality. Perhaps with proper governmental funding and extensive genetic research, we might find a cure for these people which would probably include, but would not be limited to intense psychotherapy and massive amounts of tranquilizers in super high doses which would then end the world of its jackass problem. Ya think?

You know what? Now that I think about it, maybe instead of pouring all of our resources into finding a cure for the idiots, we should instead be spending more time trying to hone our psychic abilities and attempt to harness the dark side of the Force so that we can handle these encounters on a more individual, one-on-one basis. I think that would be the more satisfying approach. Don't you?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What...It's Not Like I Kicked A Puppy

Ok, so I know that by putting this out there for the world to see, it may cause some harsh judgment to fall in my direction.  You might think, "Wow, I had no idea that Amy was so heartless."  Others might call me "Grinchy" or ask when I might remove the Yule log from my buttocks, but I am going to say it anyway because it is how I feel and I can't live a lie anymore.  I despise, nay loathe, with every fiber of my being and with a hate so white hot that it would reduce Frosty to a pathetic puddle, the Christmas song "Christmas Shoes."

There, I said it!  Praise be to God I am free at last!  Free at last!
I know that you have heard this song.  If you are a person and you have ears and you happen to listen to a radio station that plays Christmas music during the month of December then you without a doubt have heard this song.  For the earless population that has not had the pleasure, let me sum up this festive little ditty.  Basically there is a little boy, and he is in a store trying to buy some shoes for his mother because she is sick and most likely won't live through the night.  He wants to get her the shoes so that she looks pretty when she meets Jesus.  Unfortunately he doesn't have enough money to pay for the shoes, but the stranger behind him, hearing his story and seeing his plight, pays for the shoes. 

Well if that doesn't fill your heart with Christmas joy and make you want to festoon every square inch of your home with seasonal merriment then I don't know what will.

Honestly, I get it.  It is a terrible story and I am sure that there is someone in this world that will face a loss this Christmas.  For those people, the real life people not the radio people, my heart goes out to you and I am truly sorry, but for the love of the Baby Jesus enough already with the Christmas Shoes.  It is the only song ever written that when I hear just the first three notes I start to convulse and my muscles start popping out of my clothes and the next thing I know, I am all green and I am hurling cars down Main Street while people are running and screaming and I'm like, "CHRISTMAS SHOES!!!!!!!!

It's Christmas for Pete's sake.  I want to hear about Grandma getting mowed down by a reindeer, and how Mommy is getting freaky with Santa.  I too want a hippopotamus for Christmas, and yes, it is a marshmallow world in the winter.  Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

In closing, I would like to thank you for allowing me to rant and rave about my distain for THAT song.  For everyone that read this post and agrees that, "Hell yeah, that song blows," this twisted Christmas carol is for you.  Enjoy, it's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The One Where I Drop The Ball, But Promise Not To Do It Again

I have really been dropping the ball on this blog thing lately. Yesterday I was all, "I WILL write a post today and I will continue to write one every single day in December. So let it be written, so let it be done!" Then, somewhere, out of nowhere, I didn't. So now I am really going to try to post everyday this month, well, almost everyday…at least more than I posted last month. Can't you feel the commitment in that statement?

So, Sunday night we put up the Christmas tree. I have to say that I have been worrying about the Christmas tree for a good three months now because I have been concerned about what Elyse would do to it. I mean, I have seen her affinity for destruction and it can be catastrophic and widespread when she puts her mind to it. I can only imagine what that girl would be capable of if left in a room for ten seconds unattended with a tree full of twinkley lights and sparkly breakables.

Lucky for us, we have a family room downstairs where we were able to set everything up. My first choice is to have the tree in our living room where we can see it all of the time and can appreciate its festive majesty while curled up on the couch in the evenings watching TV, but for the sake of my sanity and the preservation of our ornaments, the tree is downstairs. The downside is that the family room is now basically off limits to Elyse for the next twenty-three-ish days.

She "helped" decorate a little if you consider "help" taking off every other ornament that we put on, holding it over her head, and threatening to heave it as far as her little arm would allow. So, yeah, not really so much the helper this year. Aaron on the other hand wanted to put every single ornament that we own on the tree in a 1'x1' square. Spacing is not his strong suit.

Despite the challenges, we did manage to complete the tree. There was only one decoration casualty which, when you consider what I had to work with, I think is pretty good. The best part of all of the decorations is the Charlie Brown Christmas Pageant nativity scene that I found at Toys-R-Us. How cute is this?

You can't see real well in this picture, but Woodstock is in the manger and there is a little sign that says what time the Christmas pageant takes place. Charlie Brown is missing because Aaron took him to school today for letter "C" show and tell.

I love having the tree up and decorated. It just makes the whole house feel especially festive. All I have wanted to do since we put it up is sit in the dark with only the tree lights on curled up on the couch with some hot chocolate. I'm not sure why I find that more appealing...because it is Christmas and I am feeling all holly and jolly or because since Elyse has been banished, it is the one room in the house that has remained clean and organized for longer than a day.