Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Eve of the Eve

I'm in the middle of wrapping presents. My husband is asleep on the couch, the dog is passed out on his bed, and I hope the kids are upstairs sleeping. I'm trying to write Santa Claus in eight different versions of handwriting, and keep tossing presents from pile to pile- trying to even things out.

This year has been a tough one in some ways, a blessing in more. Today at lunch, my 4 year old ate a meatball that was bigger than her head. She giggled about it the entire time. We spent all day yesterday making cookies. Cut out sugar cookies, iced in royal icing, doused in sanding sugar. The only thing preventing the day from becoming a Hallmark movie was my oldest daughter's continuous bouts of gas.

Tonight after dinner- the girls asked if we could read a couple of books from the Christmas basket. A few years ago, I started collecting Christmas storybooks, and I put them in a basket under the tree. (Some folks wrap theirs, but that is way too on top of things for this house). Every night, the girls pick a book for us to read.Tonight, we read the last of our basket books, and my oldest asked if we could sing carols. She insists we "look at the tree" when we sing. Seriously. Next year I'm going to outfit the family in Victorian caroling costumes.

I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful holiday. Make sure you look at the tree when you sing. Trust me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Crisis, Averted

Sometimes, I feel like I belong in another era.

I like being a stay at home mom.

I like to cook. And while I don't have my husband's slippers waiting for him when he gets home, with a vodka tonic in one hand and his paper in the other, I'm a tad more traditional than most of my friends. (except politically, which makes me the enigma that I am).

Do you see where this is going? I went to my husband's work Xmas party this weekend. I love his co-workers. I have written about them before. They are, ahem, surgically enhanced. They are beautiful, in a very Southern California, Orange County way. They also have a very, very raunchy sense of humor.

They couldn't wait to tell me how, on a recent business trip to Vegas, they snared the department head's luggage and filled it with g-strings. Then they told me they were planning on giving my husband something similar for Christmas. I like these girls, I really do. But I shook my head and said to them "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"

My husband would die. Seriously. A hole would open up in the ground and swallow him whole. I gently suggested they move along to the tin of popcorn route. After seeing my face, they quickly agreed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Come All Ye Crazies

Crikey, time is going fast.

I cannot believe Christmas is this Friday. I'm usually on top of the shopping, and did the majority of Santa's work on November 18th- a night I stayed up late and shopped online. I pulled the stuff out yesterday, and started wrapping. I cracked open the box from American Girl (which should have been dipped in gold, considering how crazy expensive those suckers are) and was horrified to find out they shipped me Josefina, instead of Molly.

No offense Josefina. You look like a nice girl. But your hair isn't in braids, you don't wear glasses AND IF YOUR COMPANY DOESN'T GET YOUR FRIEND MOLLY TO MY HOUSE IN TWO DAYS, I will personally drop your box off at the Los Angeles tea room and make a wee bit of a scene.

In other news, no matter how ready I think I am, I never feel like it's enough. Don't get me wrong- I don't mean to sound insensitive, and I know the economy is hurting and folks are scaling way back (we are too!), but each year- about 2 days before Xmas, my kids ask for something- something they haven't mentioned before (certainly not before Nov. 18th) and I find myself panicking, and looking at their loot and thinking what a disappointment it will be.

This year, aside from the Molly snafoo- Lucy has asked for a Belle doll. I found this out 2 days ago, and despite living in Orange County- there is not a Belle doll to be found. My Disney pass is blocked out, so I'm verboten from tracking one down at the Happiest Place on Earth, and Targets' shelves look like we're readying for a snowstorm. Toys R Us is dirtier than normal and has even more staff that are not helpful AND they don't have any dolls either. In desperation, at a cocktail party this weekend, I remembered that my husband's co-worker is engaged to a girl that is Minnie Mouse at Disneyland. Yes, I cornered Minnie at a party and basically pleaded with her to find my 4 year old a doll dressed in yellow.

In other news, my husband recently borrowed my computer and when I went to open the screen? I found out he had last been visiting the "Fountain Pen Network" where they leave posts about ink, repairing your pen, nib sizes etc. His office porn made me laugh with glee. Under my tree, wrapped in shiny paper, is a new fountain pen. Unless someone shipped me a felt tip by mistake.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Santa, I'd Like Tens and Twenties

In the weeks since I've last updated, much has happened. We had a birthday party for my now six year old. I turned (gulp) 37, and my husband, uncharacteristically gave me the most thoughtful gift ever. He had my blog published. Into a book. And I am now the owner of the only copy available. He wrote a wickedly funny about the author, and made up silly quotes from people like the New York Times, Dog Fancy and Christian Science Monitor. He had me laughing and doing the ugly cry all at once.

My kid wrote a letter to Santa in her kindergarten class. She asked him for money, and slippers. She's trying to use more adjectives, so she specified shiny quarters, a $2 bill and purple slippers. It's like we're acting out our own version of "Charlie Brown Christmas." (remember when Sally dictates to Charlie that she wants tens and twenties?)

I'm co-hosting a cookie exchange with my neighbor, and my kid's kindergarten teacher is coming. That means I can't go hog wild on the egg nog- like I did 2 years ago with my buddies in Houston. I wound up entertaining myself in a corner by laughing about the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" episode involving a nudist, some hummus, and a certain appendage waving over the pita bread basket.

I am hosting Christmas Eve here at my house, and must figure out what I can serve that won't kill everyone the next day. I was going to repeat the lobster corn chowder we made last year, but that seems to have food poisoning written all over it. Maybe I'll just give everyone a prescription for Compazine in their stocking and call it a day. Funny anecdote: Compazine apparently is not only used for nausea, but schizophrenia as well. The day after my stomach issues, I felt like Parent of the Year. Now I know it was a residual after effect of the medication, and my kids are unhappy to report that I'm back to my Polish Washwoman ways of screaming like a banshee. Yes folks, the Christmas spirit is alive and well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thankful I Didn't Kill Anyone

Thanksgiving was unforgettable. We had 20 of our dearest friends and family come join us, and while usually this would cause my head to spin and my nerves to fray- this year it didn't. I've been married for 13 years, and of those 13 years, I think I've cooked 10 turkeys. This year, I got my act together early- made my pies and messy stuff the day before, wiped down the kitchen, set the table, packed up the kids and dog and headed to my folks.

My Dad made dinner for everybody the night before (did you know they sell more pizzas the night before Thanksgiving than they do on Superbowl Sunday?) and on early Thursday morning, I left the kids with Grandad. My mom, and sister-in-law joined me at my house. We had Christmas music on. We had the turkey in the oven. There was always someone to stir your pot, or wipe down the counter. We laughed. We joked. More importantly, we did not freak out. By 3pm, everything was ready to go, and my Mom and I were sitting in lounge chairs, outside (it was 80 degrees people!) drinking orange Pellegrino spiked with gin. Here's a picture of the kids, not drinking orange fizzy gin, but having fun all the same:

Dinner was great, the company was better. We stayed up until 1am playing poker, and my stomach ached from laughing so hard. At least, that's what I thought. The next day, my older brother was felled with violent stomach issues. Then, my next brother, and my sister-in-law. Then, my nephew. My niece. My mother. My husband. My aunt. My dear friend from high school. And finally? Yours truly. Somehow, I don't think I'll be cooking anybody turkey anytime soon.