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Archive for December, 2007

Christmas 2007

And what a Christmas it was.  It was the first in many years that wasn’t ridden with angst and worry about money…about whether the kids would understand that at our house it would be a ‘movies and music’ Christmas.  I spent so much time worrying that much of the time I don’t think I really enjoyed anything about the holidays at all.  I know and have always known that money cannot buy happiness, but when it is Christmas and you have five kids and 300 dollars and one of the gifts on the wish list is 75 dollars…you start to think perhaps it could buy some after all.  I would read about people who experienced post-Christmas depression…or a feeling of let down after such a big build up, but I never felt that.  I only felt tremendous relief it was just over.  Every year, along with the relief, came resolutions that next year would be better…I would save better and prepare better…and next year I would be able to finally ENJOY Christmas.  

Thankfully, this year I got to finally feel that little bit of let down when it was over.  I had so much fun this year planning…and thinking of just the gift to make eyes light up.  This year I didn’t cringe at the thought that the Junior’s heart’s desire for Christmas was an MP3 player so she could finally retire her tired old CD player she got for Christmas 5 years ago…LOL.  This year when the Longhorn declared she didn’t want anything for Christmas, instead of relief I got to feel exasperated…and I got to pick presents that she didn’t ask for but ones I knew she would love.  This year when I drove away from Target with the last of the shopping done, I wasn’t a sweaty, anxious, high blood pressury mess who was worried about how she’d just robbed Peter to pay Paul; instead, I pulled out and actually said an audible thank you, God…thank you, Acusis, thank you for all the things that have changed in my life that made it possible for me to finally have a stress-free Christmas.  If one word would sum up my season, it would be THANKFUL…well, more like grateful.  

I can honestly say I have enjoyed every single thing about this year.  I have enjoyed decorating…I have enjoyed having my poor dwindling Christmas tree up for nearly the whole entire month…I have enjoyed the ordering and the wrapping and the anticipation…and having the kids all in one spot at one time.  And while I don’t want to come off as braggy, I do want to document how this felt…and the fact that the circumstances that led to this change will also lead to me finally being able to get out from under this debt I’ve been living with for years.  Or at least help me get on top of it and work it down over this next year or two.  It means that at some point in the next five years I can finally be working for me, not for my creditors.  So, this Christmas didn’t just signify my ability to buy everyone presents and not apologize for the lack of presents, it means I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel…and this time it isn’t the train.

Come to think of it, grateful doesn’t even begin to touch what I feel.

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Craig’s List Revisited

Alright, I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again, I’m addicted to Craig’s List.  For someone like me who makes a living finding grammatical errors and misspelled words, it is like waking up Christmas morning to 150 thousand presents…times 5. 

I quit looking for a dog a while back, as I realize I like the idea of another dog more than the actual having one part; well, no, what I want is ANOTHER dog that isn’t an obsessive-compulsive licker/barker, needy thing like Jack, our pain in the ass wire-haired dachsund, but I can’t stop reading it.  I’m like a Craig’s List Rubbernecker.

But here’s the deal.  I read all these ads for dogs that need rehoming because Trevor is allergic or the owner’s wife is pregnant or just had a baby and doesn’t have time to throw some food and water out in the morning.  The ads talk about how great the dog is, how he is crate trained and knows sit and stay and housebroken and can fetch beer from the fridge, you know, just how perfect the dog is.  I especially love the ones where they call the dog they are selling “my baby.”  This one has to take the cake:

13 year old full yorkie needs good and loving home. I have taken a new job that requires a lot of my time. I want him to have the best last years he can have full of love and happiness.

She was nice enough to include a picture of the sad little guy.

I read that and was like…you have GOT to be shitting me. 

Now, I said all that to say this.  Hell, I don’t even necessarily LIKE dumbass Jack.  I think he barks too much and he licks too much and he follows me around too much with his clicky little fucking toenails and he gets in the trash and he will poop and pee inside sometimes if he isn’t let out, and he has to be fed and watered and all kinds of pain in the ass shit.

He is the very antithesis of these perfect dogs these people “rehome.”

But here’s the kicker.  I wouldn’t EVER go on Craig’s List and “rehome” pain in the ass Jack.  Know why?  Because it isn’t his fault that when Rob called and asked if he could bring him home I said yes.  That’s on ME, which makes me RESPONSIBLE for him.  Obligated even.  And even though I think he’s a pain in the ass, I’m his person and he isn’t disposable.

I’m not sure how some of those people live with themselves really.

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2 in 1 day?

Yesterday was the annual Children’s Christmas Pageant at church.  The Boy was Shepherd #8.  Since I am a dingbat and completely dropped the ball and made him miss practice last, last Saturday, he didn’t get his costume until this past Saturday.  About 8 o’clock, the Mr., who took the Boy to play practice and who helped him get into said costume for full dress rehearsal, tells me “oh, the Boy’s costume fits him like a sausage and we’ll need to let out about this much at the bottom of his tunic so he can walk.”

Super.

So, I go in and pull the tunic out of the bag and hold it up.  First, it is made out material you could upholster a couch with.  Thick and heavy and without a bit of give.  Second, the lovely lady who sewed this costume had a serger and by gosh, she knew how to use it.  Third, I don’t have a seam ripper.  

This was going to be fun.

So, I had the Boy pulling that way and i was pulling this while trying to finiggle with a pair of scissors to get these seams ripped.  But finally did.

Then I had him try it on so I could be sure I’d let out enough.  Let’s just say I now know what “fits like a glove” looks like.  To make matters worse, his tunic was nearly floor length.  Thankfully, the over tunic thing covered up the fact that he was poured into his costume.  At any rate, he assured me it was workable and didn’t seem too worried about it so I peeled him out of it and prayed for the best, thinkng all he had to do was walk down and stand there like the cutest shepherd ever, deliver his line and walk out.  He could walk, albeit sorta like a penguin, so I didn’t worry too much more about it.

Yesterday morning, after I poured him back into his costume, it was off to the church house for final dress rehearsal.  However, I forgot about the part where he was going to have to get in and out of a vehicle.  He finally had to sort of hoist himself up while standing straight by pulling with one hand on my headrest and one hand on his armrest.  We were both laughing so hard.  “Don’t choke,” he said.  

I’m glad I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee.  Just sayin.

So the pageantry begins and in walk the shepherds and he is only mildly disheveled, what with his headdress thing askew and his sash sagging…sort of like a shepherd that had stayed up too late gambling and drinking ale.  He did good with the no fidgeting, no head itching (apparently having a cloth on your head tied with felt is the equivalent of dumping a cupful of fleas on your head), no staff spinning, no fussing with the other shepherds and he delivered his line perfectly.  YAY, I thought, this is going so well!

Then, the music started and the shepherds started moving around.  Oh no, I thought.  Is he going to have to go UP stairs?!?!  How in the world is he going to go UP stairs, he can barely walk!!!  Somehow, though, he made it up the stairs.  How he managed to kneel to the baby Jesus is beyond me.  I leaned over to the Mr. and said “I sure hope that prophet standing behind him will help him up.”  

He made it up though and all was well.  The program was beautiful and made me tear up, just like it does every year.  The real baby who wasn ‘t Jesus but played him on TV was adorable and i was able to get past the fact that there probably weren’t blue pacifiers back in the day.  I also hope the real baby’s mother wasn’t persnickety about sterilizing that pacifier every time it fell out of his mouth because Joseph must have picked that thing up out of the hay 4 times and stuck it back in that baby’s mouth.

Made me think that probably wasn’t Joseph’s first kid.  LOL.

Another sweet thing was the little older lady who we sit behind every week  absolutely adores the Boy and brought him a little gift and a card yesterday.  A big ol’ bar o’ chocolate.  Which made me sorta giggle after the whole costume near-debacle.  Last night was the children’s annual Christmas party and it was fun and for the first time since he’s been going, I actually stayed the whole time because the Mr. was taping the Survivor finale for me.  (Todd won???  Seriously? Blech).  

Lessee, what else.  Oh, the Boy is going to his first sleepover Friday.   I figured that was going to start soon.  Up to this point we’ve not really done any of that spend the night stuff with him.  I think the girls did it before this, but they weren’t sharing close quarters with a bunch of boys.  It’s different to have a houseful of little boys sleeping over when every square inch seems to be filled with older sisters.  Now that some of them are gone, a remodel of the big bedroom is going to happen so he will have his own space to do things like have friends over to play video games and what not.  Right now, I wouldn’t let anyone in there if they paid me, it is such a wreck.

Got some stuff mailed yesterday.  Did y’all know you can mail stuff without standing in line now?!?!?!   Well, YOU CAN and I DID.  Good times.

I seem to be a bit longwinded this mornng.  I think it might be because when I get up from here I am going to seriously clean the Mr’s dirty clothes hamper my bedroom and then, if there is a second to spare in the day, this office, which, incidentally, has the appearance that someone actually lives in here.  Sort of ridiculous really.  One of these days I’m going to must the cajones to take a “Before” and “After” picture.  

Yes. That might happen when hell freezes over. Oh, the Cowboys lost.  Romo’s going to have a hard time living this one down since stupid Jessica was in the stands yesterday looking all Jessica-y.  One more thing.  Have y’all seen the movie trailer for the move The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson yet?  I am very excited about this movie and have every intention of making the Mr. go with me to an actual movie theater and consume tasty treats with me.  An added bonus is that John Mayer has a song on the soundtrack and the lyrics of it just kill me.  Take a look, if you wanna

So, I said all that to say this.

Say what you need to say, okay?

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Tagged by da Sista

1. Wrapping or gift bags? One of my favorite things to do every year is to pick the wrapping paper and ribbons.  Nine times out of 10 my wrapping paper will feature snowmen.

2. Real or artificial tree? Real! I toy with the idea of going artificial, especially now that they have trees that are prelit AND really look REAL; however, I cannot fathom Christmas without the scent of my tree.

3. When do you put up the tree?  Usually about 2 weeks before Christmas.  This year, though, I decided to jump right in there and it was up the first weekend in December.  Believe me, you can tell that poor thing has been up for a while.  I expect it to have approximately 100 needles by the 25th.

4. When do you take the tree down?  I usually try to leave it up til after the first, but this year, it isn’t going to make it.  This year the girls are traveling with the other parents so I’ll have to leave it up until they get back and we do our Christmas, but not a moment longer.

5. Do you like eggnog?  Ew. No.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?  One year when I was about 7 my mother arranged for Santa to deliver a bicycle to our house while we were out at a Christmas get together.  I know it was from Santa because he left a note.  She never copped to arranging it, sticking with the Santa story to the end.  It was purple and it had tassles on the handlebars and a basket with flowers on it 🙂

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I do not, but I wish I did!

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  Hmm.  That would have to be this godawful geometric color blocked western shirt with cutouts and what not.  I can’t begin to explain how hideous it was, so I will stop trying.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards?  I haven’t done real cards in forever.  I think I quit after the year that I did a bunch, complete with handwritten greetings, and then just never mailed them.  So, you can’t put my email Christmas card on the mantle but you WILL at least GET IT.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie?  Love Actually

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?  I do the online stuff early in December and then usually finish up the week before Christmas. 

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  HAM! 

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?  Clear.  Always.

14. Favorite Christmas song?  The David Bowie and Bing Crosby version of Little Drummer Boy

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home?  Stay home.  We are an island.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer.  Not anymore.

17. Angel on the tree top or a star?  This year, a Santa hat.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?  Christmas morning.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  The invasion of my personal space when I have to actually go out and share air with real people.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color?  Nope.  Everything from a pink beany baby puppy ornament to a Star of David the Boy made with popsicle sticks in WEE school…but there are lots and lots of snowmen 🙂 

21. What do you leave for Santa?  Cookies and milk

22. Least favorite holiday song?  That HORRID Christmas Shoes by Bob Carlisle.  It has, however, become sort of a joke with me and the kids that whenever it comes on I turn it way up and sing along…loud and badly. 

23. Favorite ornament? This one  Everything about him makes me smile.  He’s probably the heaviest one, too, so always takes his place at high front and center.

Tag…you’re it

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Someone, please alert the media.  I’m sure it is newsworthy to declare that I have been to the beauty shop not once or twice this year but THREE TIMES.  Two mystical things happened in my world in the last few months that have made this series of events possible:

1.  My new position as an editor and all the sweet dollars it brings me that my poor, gnarly, carpal tunnel/ulnar tunnel-ridden hands/wrists/elbows deprived me of while I was trying to crank out the keystrokes in production.  It never happened and I circled the financial bowl for about 6 months…all the time wondering what…in…the HELL am I GOING TO DO?!?

and…

2.  I FOUND THE BEST HAIRDRESSER EVER.  Kim the Hairdresser.  Really, no kidding.  She is the kind of gal where you can walk in and say “Do you watch the news?  I want Clarice Tinsley’s hair!” 

Which is exactly what I did today.  No picture or nothing. 

AND I LOVE IT. 

The “Paula Deen” experiment was a bigger bite than I could chew, given it had been years since I’d fixed my hair and then I was having to learn how to work a flat iron and use “product” called Guts.

Next, I went with the “Glenn Close,” in which I had to grow out the top layers I got for the PD.  Cute at first but didn’t do much for me after a week or so. 

So, I’ve gone from a 60-ish Food Network Star to 60-ish movie/tv star to a 50-ish African-American anchorwoman who has been on our airwaves for as long as I can remember. 

This one though, this one is the keeper.  I’ll be having this ‘do at 45 and 50.  This ‘do will break my 80’s same ol’ ‘do record, in which I kept the same ‘do, only trimming 1/2 inch every few months or so and using approximately countless cans of Rave 4 Extra Hold hairspray and hot rollers and curling irons in order to appear to have a headful of voluminous flowing curls. 

Hello, mine name is Chris and I killed the ozone.

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Ouch Chollie!

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 So, ya’ll know how the Sub has been subbing pretty much on a regular basis since she graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and Business Administration and hasn’t been able to land the dream job.  She likes it enough that she’s decided that if said dream job doesn’t come down the pike pretty damn fast she is going to go ahead and get her teaching certificate.  It’s a plan and I’m all for it.

Except for day’s like today when she comes home from school and says she pretty much just wants to take a shower and scrub her skin raw and then just go to bed so this day can be behind her since The Kid who Asked Her to Homecoming the first time she subbed, then gave her his school picture with his phone number, then continually bothered her about it every time she subbed out there wrote under the lab table a vulgarity about her anatomy and was making nasty hand gestures about her. 

Apparently not soon enough, this time she wrote him up and sent him to the office and will have to file an incident report.

She’s tried so hard to ignore it in hopes he would finally stop.  He didn’t.

Today was sexual harrassment, plain and simple.  By an 8th grader…

When I was in 8th grade, Zeke didn’t even have the balls to ask another 8th grader “to go with” him.  No, he’d have Drexel go ask her.  And the whole time you were “going out” with Zeke, the actual amount of interaction amounted to passing notes in the hall and maybe sitting by each other on the rock wall during “break.”  

Oh, there was an occasional lethario like Paul, a transplant from a Carolina who had the prettiest mouth and the softest lips I have ever kissed, who DID have the balls to handle his own love life.  Oh hell no, Paul didn’t need his buddy to do his talking for him.  Paul would just come right to your house and do it his ownself.  

There was this one time, the summer between 8th and 9th grade, when he came calling to my house…

Yeah, he had lovely lips.  Ah, a fond memory but I digress.

What I want to know is how in the hell is it that an 8th grader has the balls to act the way this kid has with the Sub.  Yes, she is pretty.  Yes, she is young.  Yes, they are boys.  Yes, I know that 14-year-old boys are nasty little creatures who constantly think about sex and boobs and sex and cheeseburgers and boobs and sex.

But man… Seriously?   Nasty hand gestures about the Sub right there in front of the Sub?!?!?  

I know…I know.  I haven’t parented a 14-year-old boy yet, but lemme just tell ya this.  If I EVER hear tell that the Boy treated a woman in such a disrespectfall manner, it will take him days to remove my boot from his ass.  

And that’s a promise you can hold me to.

Wait…a…minute.  A thought occurs to me…

Perhaps the problem lies not with these disrespectful children but with the parents who didn’t teach them TO respect.

What do y’all think?  Is this a case of “boys being boys,” or is it straight up sexual harassment?  Am I just being naive about “how boys are” or what?

I do know this.  Whether she is 22 or not, my mom instincts make me want to call his mother or kick his ass myself, one or the other.

*sigh*

But I won’t.

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