If their library books are overdue,
If you’re shelling out the dough for soccer, ballet and Tai Kwon Do,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
If CPS knows what your address is,
If you bribe to keep them quiet and lie to avoid a riot,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
If homemade gifts have made you cry,
If you wouldn’t trade it all for a maid and the Taj Mahal,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
If you know how lucky you are, to raise your little stars,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
I can’t really top last year’s Christmas Eve post, or at least can’t unbury from wrapping paper and ribbons to try, so here is a re-post of the Off-Balance Day Before Christmas.Twas the day before Christmas when all through the house, Not a clean spot could be found, not even an ounce. The stockings were hung by the chimney with haste, In hopes that I’d buy stuff before it’s too late. With me in my flannels and Chris in his boxers, We were sure not an ad for Gap or Brooks Brothers. When what to my wandering mind should appear? The realization that Christmas is near! There were presents to wrap and groceries to buy. Would I be done in time? Not sure. No lie. Eight people for dinner, do we have enough wine? I ran out of butter and must stand in line. The children were plotting all smug under their beds. In hopes of ensuring I would snap, lose my head. They bickered and fought, Santa threats had gone stale. Should I send their gifts back through priority mail? I must clean, wrap and cook all day and all night. With enough caffeine and yelling, it’ll be alright. When I pull off Martha Stewart Christmas you’ll know. Despite all the chaos, I put on a hell of a show! So as you scurry and prep, know you’re not the only one. Merry Christmas to you and I hope you have fun!
It has been a tough week in my house. The time change zapped my energy, I worked long hours, my husband was on a business trip and my daughter slammed me against the mommy wall. And in case, I haven’t said it enough, I am coping without alcohol or sweets! (This makes for a very dangerous combination!)
All week I have struggled with getting my diva to eat dinner. (You’ll note that I usually interchange diva and princess, but I have not seen the princess this week, just the diva!) She has been averaging 90 minutes to consume a meal and I used up my last bit of patience on Monday.
I was sharing my struggle with my friend Sonya and she recommended that I set a timer and tell my kids that they have until the timer goes off to finish dinner. Once the timer goes off, dinner is over and if they haven’t finished, there are no snacks and no treats.
Tonight, as we (meaning my husband) put dinner on the table, I set the timer for 20 minutes. My husband also set dessert in front of them – something we never do. We told the kids that we would throw the dessert away if they weren’t finished by the timer went off.
hopeful desperate that this would work. I feared that another 90 minutes dinner would result in blood shed. No, not my daughters! What kind of mother do you think I am? Don’t answer that. Please. The blood shed would be from me repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, chewing my fingers, pulling out my own hair and sticking a fork in my eye!
Hallelujah! It worked!
The kids ate their dinner and the timer went off as my princess (note the name change) was taking her last bite! I will be trying it again tomorrow night without the dessert. But tonight, I am still recovering from my collision with the wall and my leprechaun all-nighter so I sweetened the deal.
Thank you Sonya for saving my sanity and what’s left of my princess’ toy collection!
And for those of you who are curious about the outcome of my near leprechaun fail…
My kids made their traps, no thanks to me. I was swamped all day with work, so the nanny, who is far craftier, helped. When we left for t-ball practice as a family, our nanny RANSACKED our house and put little green footprints everywhere! My kids were OFF THE WALL EXCITED! They raced around the house for 20 minutes admiring the mess.
Then my son
cried hysterically bawled for an hour that he did not catch the leprechaun and we did not get it on video…
Can’t win ‘em all!
St. Patrick’s Day “eve” was crazy. I worked all day and then went to book club last night. As we are chatting about everything except the book, we start talking about Leprechaun traps and pranks…
Oh shit! We didn’t build my son’s Leprechaun Trap! He has been talking about it for weeks. My husband is out-of-town, the kids are with a babysitter – I am hosed!
You know that feeling that you would rather chew glass than disappoint your kids? The guilt of forgetting one of those special moments that only happens in childhood…
My son is 6, he could stop believing at anytime, especially if his mommy screws it up!
As I sat in book club I asked friends for advice. I even texted the babysitter to see if my son was still awake so I could give him a plan, an alternative, an excuse, something to keep him from being disappointed.
Unfortunately, he was asleep.
But the luck of the Irish was with me. And by luck, I mean my son has growing pains. (Yes, it’s a loose definition of luck – go with it) My son woke up with growing pains and my brilliant babysitter explained that leprechauns don’t always come first thing in the morning. My son was delighted, he asked her to tell me that he would like to go to the store tomorrow to buy materials for a trap.
When I got home at 10:45, I did not go to bed, tired from a long week of having no husband, a stressful work day and a rebellious three-year old daughter. Instead, I was up searching websites for ideas, concocting a story on why the leprechaun came late and formulating a plan for executing his trickery. And hell yes, I am taking him to the store for supplies!
Because that’s what we do as moms (and dads): We perform small miracles and amazing feats of sleep deprivation to make special moments happen. We stay up late on Christmas Eve to ensure the details of Santa’s visit and then wake up too early to unwrap presents we finished wrapping a few hours before. We risk certain heart attack and broken hands when trying to exchange lost teeth for money. We scour the internet to find discontinued Lego toys. We face our crafting demons to create potato leprechauns. As parents, we push to ensure that our children can believe in Leprechauns, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, fairies and all of the wonderful parts of being young.
Because in the blink of an eye, the magic stops; our kids grow up, the joy of fantasies fade. I, for one, am fighting to preserve my children’s magical fantasies, their joy and my joy as a witness.
So last night, I gladly accepted losing sleep to a leprechaun, because the joy it brings to my kids is pure gold.
My son had a school assignment to take a regular russet potato and dress it up as a character for a story he would write in class. There was also going to be a prize for the best potato. There’s a few things you should know up front:
- I am not crafty.
- My husband is not crafty.
- We’re both competitive.
- We started Sunday and it was due Monday.
We had the flier for the assignment in plain view all week, but just had not gotten around to it. Sunday morning the pressure was on to deliver a potato character by Monday. We agreed that my husband would take the kids to Target to buy supplies while I went to the gym.
After my workout, I texted my husband to let him know I was on my way home and he called right back asking if I had my wallet. I always have my wallet and my husband always forgets his… True to form, he had forgotten his wallet and had no way to pay for the $36 in potato character supplies the Target cashier had just rung up. Target is next to the gym, so I swung by and rescued the supplies.
My son had decided that he wanted to make a leprechaun. My son LOVES St. Patrick’s Day. He is in the design phase of this year’s leprechaun trap…
Once bringing home the
hostages supplies, my son announced we would paint the potatoes green. Remember – my husband and I are neat freaks… So we proceed to cover the whole kids table with paper bags and newspapers. We rolled up the kids sleeves and carefully doled out the green paint and brushes.
My wild child daughter had green paint on her, her clothes, the chair and the “covered” table in less than a minute. I braced for my husband’s frustration with the mess, but he uncharacteristically laughed. He had the foresight to buy washable paint! (I mean pick out, since he did not have the foresight to bring his wallet.) This mess quickly spread to my granite counters and me. But again washable, so we decided to live on the edge.
Next the potato needed limbs. My husband suggested straws and I thought about toothpicks as anchors. I whipped out my hot glue gun.
I must pause here – I only own a hot glue gun because I have pipe cleaner dreams of being crafty. I think my neighbor has used it more than me, but HA, I now had a project for my glue gun.
Um, plastic straws melt when they meet hot glue.
My son thought melting Mr. Potatoes arms was hilarious, but my husband rescued the idea by suggesting I apply the glue to the toothpick and waiting a second before placing the straws on the toothpicks. I said I had a glue gun, I didn’t say I knew how to use it.
Next came wardrobe – my department. We had bought a hat and fake mustache that truly must have been marketed with potatoes in mind… weird?? My son and I then fashioned a coat (more like poncho) out of a half of bandana and glue-gunned it in place – I was feeling very crafty at that point.
During this time, my daughter has helped herself to a bottle of purple paint and a container of googly-eyes - with my husband and I one foot away. Apparently this craftiness took all of our energy. So my husband helped the diva, while my son drew and cut our construction paper boots and hands, that I glue-gunned on. (Yes, I am going to continue to yap about the glue gun).
The piece-de-resistance was the pot of gold. We took mini caldrons from our Halloween decorations and filled them with glass beads that you would use in floral arrangements (another thing I have a few materials, but no skill for). We borrowed gold spray paint from a neighbor and voila: The potato leprechaun had his pot o’ gold.
I am pleased to introduce you to Lucky:
A close up on the gold:
And what about my daughter’s potato? Well… she’s three and had many “design-changes” mid-project. I tried my best not to take over and make her a cute potato lass. True to her artistic direction, we ended up with “Potato Ghost Goldilocks Leprechaun”:
This turned out to be a fun-filled, kitchen-wrecking, heart-warming, glue-gun wielding, family bonding experience. This was more fun than carving pumpkins and everybody contributed to the finished product. As long as there is washable paint, our family may continue to do Sunday craft projects until I accidentally glue the kids together!
This is a Public Service Announcement.
In an effort to prepare the public for possible threats of violence, sarcasm, mood swings and emotional breakdowns, the FAIL (Federation of Ambitious and Idiotic Lenters) issue public service announcements when one of their parishioners is embarking on an overly ambitious Lenten gesture.
The following FAIL PSA has just been issued for the Northern California area:
Paige Morgan, a well-meaning, but off-balance, Catholic, has announced that she will be giving up all sweets and liquor for Lent. Yes, you read that correctly: ALL sweets and ALL alcohol. The FAIL is concerned because Paige does not get through a day without a sweet, a drink or both. We feel that the level of her Lenten commitment may put others at risk. Without sweets in particular, Paige has a history of irritability, unexplained bouts of
crying shopping, and irrational behavior. Detailed medical analysis have found that Paige is kept balanced by a consistent diet of chocolate and wine (or beer or Captain).
The following precautions should be taken:
- Do not give your children sweets in front of her. She may inadvertently devour small children in an attempt to eat the treat.
- Hide your cough syrup and witch hazel – we fear she may try to concoct unusual cocktails.
- Keep your doors locked at night. This kind of deprivation may cause her to sleep walk and seek out the M&M’s between your couch cushions.
- Do not threaten, harm or otherwise upset her children (she will be doing enough of that herself). The crazy mama bear is 67% more crazy for the next 40 days!
- Hide your rubber cement, self-tanners and Bedazzlers. Paige has a history of taking on other vices to cope with giving up her addictions.
- If you find her in public, wild-eyed, disoriented and
disheveledmore than disheveled than usual, send her directly to the Betty Crocker Clinic – they know her well there.
- If you know a good hostage negotiator, keep them on speed dial. We especially fear for employees of Baskin Robbins, Mrs. Fields, Godiva and the local liquor store.
Avoid interaction with her during Lent, but should you have an unavoidable encounter, talk to her in a soothing voice the way you would calm an overtired preschooler. Offer her something furry to cuddle with and remind her that good girls get pony rides. But don’t offer her a balloon – she may mistake it for a giant jelly bean and try to eat it.
For those of you wondering how she will complete her Wine Wednesday postings, Paige has decided to consume wine (and eat sweets) for the next 24 hours straight before she starts Lent on Wednesday. Keep this in mind as her posts may be
confusing, hard to follow her normal incoherent rambles.
Have you ever given up one (or more) of your vices? How did it go?
I love Valentine’s Day.
I love donning an outfit of pink and red.
I love to pick out cards for my kids and my husband.
I love planning a special dinner and eating a decadent dessert.
I love attending my kids’ class parties.
I love my husband and my kids.
I love celebrating love.
But this year…
I love that I have a sinister cold.
I love that I have a zit between my nose and my upper lip from the lotion kleenex that hurts when I used it.
I love that my hair is dirty (and needs a color touch up), my nose is red and my Valentine’s Day outfit is grey sweats.
I love that the antibiotics are making me so sick that I will be having brown rice for dinner.
I love that my husband and I are cancelling our romantic dinner because I am too sick to enjoy it.
I love that my husband bought cards for the kids from both of us, flowers for our nanny, flowers for our son’s teacher and cards for me, despite the fact that I did nothing.
I love that my son contorted himself into the shape of a heart when I told him he was my valentine.
I love that my daughter offered to share he prized chocolate heart with me because she loves me ( I let her keep it – yes I love her that much!)
I love that my kids had great Valentine’s Day despite my calamities.
I love that the perfect gift for my husband could be purchased next door to the pharmacy I went to this morning. (A little late, but gift and card acquired).
I love that my husband had Sherry’s Berries delivered to me at noon.
I love that he had roses delivered to me at 4:30.
I love that he loves me despite my mucous, upset stomach and many short-comings.
I love being married to a man who loves to love, loves unconditionally and knows chocolate cures almost everything.
I love being this lucky.
We have survived Christmas! Despite the state of affairs in my house on the morning of Christmas Eve (if you didn’t read this post, please do, it’s one of my favorites), we had a lovely holiday. The food was delicious, the wine was effective and all the toys had off switches.
Christmas morning was an overwhelming display of
consumerism over-indulgence normal chaos for our house. Last year, we got the kids a Wii and my daughter a play kitchen so there were fewer presents, but they were big-ticket items. This year, none of us had any big tickets items on our Christmas lists, so Christmas morning looked like this:
This is just the present for my kids, my husband and myself. I am sure there is a support group somewhere my husband can join. Yes, he does more shopping than I do at Christmas, but I make up for it the rest of the year!
As I opened the gifts from my husband, a clear message was delivered: Despite how comfortable they are, my husband is not happy with my
lingerie and loungewear old cotton underwear and ratty pajamas (except for the cute pair from the pajama exchange). As I opened box after box, he instructed me to throw out everything else. He also got me two new pairs of shoes, a new purse and new running shoes. There is no doubt in my mind, this was his cry for help. He wants me to step it up and look more like the wife I have the potential to will never be. Fortunately, he is realistic, it was not all lace thongs and teddys. He gave me some cute flannel pants and new full-butt underwear. (Judge me if you want, but I like both my buns covered when I sleep). His present were balanced. I can get dressed up and look great presentable a few times per week, but I am not the woman who is perfectly put together everyday. This would be impossible considering I do not even get dressed every day.
The gifts of course forced me to clean out my closet and drawers. Which leads me to the update: How did my Blonde Ambition Holiday Tour go? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. It’s 4:15 and I have a pie in the oven (from a box), cocktails to drink (never from a box, well almost never…) and a dinner party to attend. Really, our friends are frying a turkey tonight. Because ’tis the season of over-indulgence and I hope I have made it clear – I am a huge fan of over-indulgence!