December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Mooch was super excited this morning and kept waking us up. I have no idea what time it was the first two times she came in, but by the third time I figured we had better get up.

This was after I shouted, "Never! You will never get me out of this warm bed!" I then threw my Christmas orange at her. I never was a morning person as my poor family can attest to. They used to come into the room with protective gear on and an escape route mapped out. Incidentally, she threw the orange back and told me to "get your butt out of bed".

I have no idea where she gets that from. You'd think she was raised by two snarky parents who are bossy and forward. Sheesh.

She did throw in a festive, Christmassy tone though. I do declare that girl is getting my attitude and feistiness and her father's moodiness, obstinacy, and overbearing deposition. It's a ring of fire combination. But we've thrown in a few good things like generosity. I think she was more excited to see us open the gifts she got us, than she was to see if the box she thought was just puzzle, was actually a pink Zune.

That was her only gift this year, besides the traditional Christmas orange, pomegranate and candy that all the kids get in their stocking. I also put in some mint foot cream since the girl is obsessed with lotion and sloughing off her feet. She's quite fanatical about home pedicures and she loves to show us how much dead skin she's collected in this little contraption that looks like a miniature cheese grater. It makes me want to vomit. In her shoes.

My grandma also got each of the girls a charm bracelet to go along with the cash she got them so I tossed those into their stockings as well.

The Huband got Rock Band on Friday and I was going to open the big box and wrap the individual boxes inside, but instead he carried it into the house before when J was home and when J saw him trudging it in he said, "Oh. Well, I guess you see we got you Rock Band. Your seventeen now, you're a big boy. Merry Christmas." In part, he's right, J will be an adult soon, but he'll always be my little boy and I like to surprise the kids. Its part of the whole gift giving for me, watching their happy faces and hearing their squeals of glee when they open their gifts, even when they've been so bad all month that I've wanted to take back all their gifts two dozen times a day.

We came downstairs around 9ish and the kids started opening their presents. J seemed tired and entirely disinterested and he didn't even open his Rock Band as he knew what it was anyways so he let Squishy open it.

Money was tight this year and even though this year we didn't get to give them some of the traditional things that we usually do they got the one big thing they wanted and they get stuff all year anyways. Even though my kids can be difficult and a little insane, they have good hearts and are usually thankful. Well, most of them.

Squishy has always been very easy to please. I don't think he knows what a big ticket gift even means because he's never asked for one. He's always asked for little things like Star Wars figurines and simple sort of stuff like art sets and play sets.

This year is all about transformers with him. We've been looking for Megatron for months now and I finally got one about a month ago. He also got Scorponok We also got him a new watercolor pad, art pad, watercolors, Charlottes Web coloring book, moon sand, mini play dough tubs, two halo figurines, some candy, a traditional Christmas orange, and an Xbox live subscription, which made him extremely overjoyed and a little choked up all a once. Who would have thought that a piece of plastic the size of a credit, representing online game playing, could make a little boy so happy?

He's been wanting to play Xbox live on his own account forever and now that his uncle in San Diego has our old Xbox he can play with him online. He also got an Alvin and the Chipmunks CD which you would have thought was a new car as far as he's concerned. I rented the old 80s chipmunk DVDS from Netflix months ago because I loved them as a kid and I'm one of those sentimental moms that likes to give my kids things from my childhood. I about had a fit when I saw Care bears, Rainbow Brite, and Strawberry Shortcake in the stores a few years back, but they came out just shortly before my girls were getting too big for that kind of stuff. I'm such a dork that my husband got me one of the dolls. I'm so going to buy me some Care bear unawears from Wal-Mart now that I remember they're there.

I knew Squishy would love the Chipmunks too. What seven year old boy doesn't love a singing chipmunk? We saw the new movie the night it opened up and he's been singing the songs everyday since. I might regret this gift, but that's what we do as parents. Part of being a parent is having to endure years of annoying toys, fads, and corny Disney shows starring incredulously rich, preteens with almost no acting skills whatsoever. You know its love when you've watched Follow That Bird for a total of 28 hours in one week without smashing the movie into a million pieces and telling your child that the VCR ate it. Not to mention watching a gazillion reruns of The Suite Life of Zak and Cody, Kim Possible, Rugrats, That's So Raven, and now, Hannah Montana.

Squishy also asked for his very own copy of Charlottes Web which has been his favorite book all year. I read it to him last fall and then wondered if I was some sort of sadist mom who liked to inflict pain on my own kids when he bawled for days when he found out Charlotte died. Than I took him to see the movie because he was so excited that he had been drawing pictures and uploading them to the website and playing the games online every day. He bawled at the end of the movie too and I was glad for him that we were at the back of the theater. He's been reading it all by himself since then and he checks it out at the library every time we go.

I do declare he's the sweetest seven year old boy on the planet at the moment and his interests are so well rounded. He loves to play video games with the boys, toss around a football, snipe us with his Nerf gun, go into battle against Storm Troopers, whip up a batch of pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, read a great book with strong themes of love, sacrifice and friendship, give a great hug, sing a silly song or old hymns, pray for others, and draw fabulous pictures of his family, dog and his ultra ego-Spiderman-saving the town. What more could a mom ask for? Well, come to think of it, it would be nice if he'd eat something other than plain pasta with butter and cheese, white rice and butter and chicken fingers.

We also bought him the The Chronicles of Narnia pop-up book by Robert Sabuda. His pop-up books are amazing and Squishy loves The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and as The Husband reads him the series it will be fun to go through the pop-up book and see the images come to life through the art of Sabuda.

Snoo wanted a personal DVD player this year and we also got her headphones, the farewell CD from Jump5, the new Barlow Girl CD, and Ella Enchanted. Then we downloaded the soundtrack for Ella Enchanted and The Bridge of Terabithia, which is one of Snoo's favorite books.

Vinny scored with a new fleece blanket from Target's dollar section and three Christmas squeaky toys. If I didn't know any better I'd say he was the most excited member of the family this morning as he rushed around the living room with a frenzy trying to figure out how he can chew all three toys at once. He's simply mad about the fleece blankets from the dollar section. Last year we got him one and since then he's been like a toddler attached to a blankey. He drags that thing around everywhere and insists that everyone around him play with it and love it as much as he does. He also has to sleep with it and needs to make sure that the cats haven't run off with it. And just in case the cats get the idea that they're missing out on his fuzzy fun, he pees on the thing every now and then for insurance purposes.

That's about the only difference between a toddler and his security blanket and our dog and his. Unless of course your child is marking his wooby and if that's the cause, you have more problems than me.

I insisted The Husband not buy me anything this year and I told the kids not to either. Alas, you all should know my kids don't listen that well so three of them used some of their Christmas money to get me "store bought" gifts. Mooch got me Josh Groban's Noel CD, Snoo got me the new Martina McBride's White Christmas and Squishy got me a pair of super soft, fuzzy, pink slippers with black and white polka dotted dogs.

They were overjoyed that they actually surprised me with a store bought gift that their father didn't buy and say it was from them. The real kicker was that both of the girls bought me the CDS while I was at the store with them and I never even noticed. Apparently I am raising sneaky, steathy young women. Too bad for them that my skills are far more evolved and on par with Mrs. Incredible's.

To see the expressions on their faces while I opened their gifts was one of the best gifts I've ever received. Sometimes as a parent, you wonder if any of the virtues you try to instill in your kids ever really sinks in. Especially on the days when they break a pool stick over someone's head, smash another's toe in the door, or give you demon possessed looks when you ask them to pick up their own stuff off the floor.

There was one set back earlier in the day though when The Husband got a bit irritable because he was up half of the night playing Xbox. He was starting to grump at J who was acting like he knew more then anyone when it came installing the Microsoft Zune. As I was getting the traditional Monkey Nut Bread going, I asked him a question and he snarled a rude sounding WHAT? Which was met with me snapping, why don't you just go take a nap!

Being the pouty man that he is, he went upstairs to indeed go to sleep, which is what my husband does when he's annoyed. This response has always been puzzling to me. Perhaps he was sent to bed a lot as an ornery kid and therefore he's programmed to think that one deals with being annoyed or angry by going to sleep. Who knows? I personally believe in the speaking your peace and getting it out and over with. That comes from my southern grandma. She's not the southern belle that most people think of, but more of the Duke's of Hazard-Yeeeeeee-Haaawwww-I'm-a-gonna-whoop-your-behind kind of southern woman. Her influence wrecked any chance that I'd turn into a meek, docile, quiet kind of woman. I don't tend to fit in with most of the women in the Christian circles around me or in the churches I've been too. I can barely hear some of them when they speak. I'm really more like them then they think, I just have to work at being content with B.S more than they do.

Fifteen years ago I was always the one to go to him and play the hero or be the martyr and say whatever it took to make up and move on. That's when I was more of a girl and cared more what people think. But after almost nineteen years and four kids later I don't have the patience, time or energy to care. It's Christmas. Just be happy, pretend you are, or don't speak. I brought up some Christmas quiche to him, thinking he was just watching some TV and he was still in the mood to be a pouty jerk face, so I left. I confess that I was a bit mean when I left with the quiche still in my hand. If he wanted breakfast he was going to have to be nice or make it himself.

He's immature and I'm stubborn and this combinaton has made for some interesting fights and reconciliations in our years together. Eventually he came down with a better attitude and I let him have some Monkey Nut Bread because I'm a sweet, forgiving kinda of gal. We called it a truce and I accepted his-sorry that you were being a brat and made mad-brand of apology.

In all, this Christmas was a sweet, quiet, family Christmas and the kids got what they wanted and everyone shared nicely and enjoyed each other. No one threw up, poked another's eye out or broke the toilet. What a wonderful life.

December 04, 2007

Makin' Us Proud

This is national news. I'm sure Jose Sanedoval's Momma is proud, he's certainly given the country something to talk about. Now when people think of Wisconsin they'll think of beer, cheese, and blow-up dolls?

Mr. Sanedoval is accused of stealing "dolls" from an adult store. Apparently he was being drunk and stupid, which I'm sure is the least of his problems.

A criminal complaint that has been filed in Dane County says Jose Sanedoval, age 26, of DeForest Wisconsin, smashed through the front door at Naughty Novelties last month. He took some dolls, various items, and the big prize- what a talking love doll of course-with a $270 price tag.

His "naughty" behavior was caught on video surveillance and the tape was turned over to investigators who got a look at the car outside store. They pulled Mr. Saneoveal over just ten days later. Perhaps if you like to steal ridiculous items from adult stores you should borrow the neighbors car. Especially if you don't like him.

The official complaint says Sandoval tried to deny committing the burglary, then he began blubbering like a baby and led the detectives to an abandoned semi behind a motel. The items were recovered and I'm sure the store is happy to have their inventory back. Unless of course it's opened, then not so much.

I really don't know which is worse. The fact that this man broke in to actually steal these things, the fact that such a thing as the "love doll" even exists, or that someone -somewhere-for any reason whatsover-would actually pay $27o for the thing. Can't you like get a Russian mail order bride for less? Heck, she'll talk to you for free and the best part is, you won't even be able to understand her when she's telling you you're a creepy loser.

Local news is a bit less interesting tonight. I got my tree up finally and I do declare it's decorated and ready to be knocked over.

Pictures to follow.

December 03, 2007

Chaos Among Order

Today is the first day after Thanksgiving vacation that I have attempted to get back into our routine after having spent the last week sick with the flu. Today was also a day for a little s*x education. I'll get to that later.

Sticking to a routine and schedule is extremely hard for my kids. People with ADHD tend to reject order, routines, planning ahead, and waiting their turn- not to mention a host of polite and socially acceptable niceties. My kids are no exception and the only reason my husband-who also has ADHD- has it 90% together is because he managed to force himself to form a daily schedule accompanied by little rituals for organization and structure. If he strays at all from it, it's danger Will Robinson time. He won't even remember to take his medications if a step is out of place.

I've been trying for years to get these kids adopt a daily regime and it's like butting heads with a ram all day long. You'd think that every day of their life is their first and they don't know what they're doing. This is the second year I'm homeschooling the girls and the third year I'm homeschooling J, I'm really over this crapola. J is seventeen, Snoo is fifteen, and Mooch is fourteen. Good Lord already. I feel like I'm constantly barking out orders.

Go back and make your bed!
Haven't you worn those same clothes for three days?
Did you sleep in that? Where are your clothes?
Go get dressed!
Did you wash your face?
Go brush your hair for goodness sakes!
You need to eat right now, we have a schedule..get moving!
Go brush your teeth!
Get out your devotionals..What do you mean you don't know where your book is? How many times have I told you to put it in the same place every day!?
OK, what are you doing now? It's time to read..not time to pop your blackheads!
No, you can't interrupt a science lesson to go wash your underwear, you should have done that on your laundry day!
Where are you going? You need to get these fractions done! Uh, NO, you can't go "get dressed" I thought that's what you already did this morning? You don't get dressed and then claim you have to get dressed again for youth group which is five hours away!!!

It's like this almost every day and for a perfectionist like me who craves order and control, it drives me literally insane. They all seem to need to be micromanaged, yet they fight it at the same time and I can't stand having to micromanage anyone. J actually thought he should get a sick day today because "he didn't sweep well". Oh good Lord, get up and get over with it already! I see a lot of their behavior has avoidance tactics, but in general even when they studied outside the home they were still like this. The neighbor used to give Snoo a ride to school and it got to where she was just leaving her because every single morning she was running behind and doing everything at the last minute. I would start pushing her out the door because I was going to pull my hair out and go bonkers at the sight of it. Once I sent her to school in her pajamas. Yes, I am that kind of mom.

Monday nights the girls have AWANA and they're always a bit distracted and wound up. J is usually recovering from staying up all night on Friday and Saturday playing XBOX. I had a lousy nights sleep but I got my tired self moving because I have to. There's this thing called a work ethic. You don't whine about it, you just get it done fast and efficiently and then you move on to the next thing. With this kids everything that's out of sight is out of mind. They rarely follow up on things or study anything after the fact. They have no concept of time whatsoever and it's nothing to see them spend two hours on four math problems or five hours on one page of vocabulary. J will spend five hours trying his best to get out of doing the dishes until he ends up having the job for a week due to his whiny, cry baby behavior whereas he COULD have gotten them done in like eight minutes and be done with it. It's no wonder I don't drink.

Thank God I made chili last night because I could barely keep a sense of order among their chaotic energy and there was no way I was going to get anything cooked today. I took a break at about 2:30pm which was the first time I actually took a drink of water and sat down for a bit. I watched Molly Ringwald and Martha Stewart making mittens out of moth riddled sweaters. And I have no idea why because I have no intentions of ever sewing my own mittens out of old sweaters. When would I find the time? And I'm all out of patience and sweaters anyways. I did get to see Lidia Bastianich make sausage with fennel along with Odette Fada who made Raviolo with Egg Yolk Truffle Butter and Gina DePalma of Babbo who made a yeast bread called Gubana. I was salivating the whole time. I don't usually watch the Martha Show but lately I've been recording them and this show was worth watching for the whole hours. I have an Alta pasta maker and I can't wait to try Odette's recipe for Raviolo and the other recipes.

And if I'm lucky enough maybe I'll get to visit their restaurants if The Husband ever goes out to New York to see the Rangers play. He's downstairs now going through every strand of Christmas lights like a good husband. I hate doing the lights so if I can pawn that job off onto someone else I'm a happy girl.

And because my day wasn't crazy enough I ended up having to give a lesson on how chicken procreation. Apparently I need to give Snoo a little more tutoring in the area of biology. While I was making egg salad sandwiches in the kitchen Snoo was watching me from her usual spot and then said, "I've always wondered how eggs get like that. I mean, how they get to be the kind of eggs we can eat since they were baby chickens."

"Those weren't baby chickens. The eggs you buy in the store are meant to be sold for consumption, they were never allowed to form into baby chicks."

"What do you mean? How did they get like that then?"

"We've talked about this before, remember, they aren't fertilized?"

"Yeah, I know, but how is the egg fertilized, I don't get it."

"By the rooster, Snoo, the male has to fertilize the egg in order to make a chick."

"I don't get that, so what, does like the rooster like go poop on the egg or something?"

...background heckling from siblings

"Say WHAT? Why in the world would pooping on an egg fertilize it? That's a totally different bodily function coming from a totally different area of the body which has nothing to do with s*x. Goodness child."

"So what do they do then?"

"They do want what most creatures do to have babies, silly girl."

With a look of mortification and disgust on her face.."You mean they have chicken s*x? That's disgusting. Oh my gosh. Yuck!"

...hysterical laughter coming from the diningroom at this point

"Yes my dear child, they have chicken s*x."

The things kids say, I tell you, there's never an end to the amusement and surprise.

By this time I can't stop laughing and now I will never be able to look at an egg again and I already have issues with eggs as it is. After that was settled lunch began with J refusing to eat his egg salad sandwich and muffled giggles about which was funnier, the idea of chickens having s*x at all or the question of a rooster pooping on an egg as a feasable way to make baby chickens-and then admitting this thought outloud.

Yes, we're all crazy, no need to email me to confirm this widely known fact. At the end of the day though, my darling daughter can be assured she learned something new. Roosters, in fact, do not go around pooping on the hen's eggs. At least not that I know of. And chickens have s*x.

Ew, gross.