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.