Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Holidays.... are over!

I must start off by apologizing to my 14 committed followers and the other 7 people who anonymously read my blog for my extended absence. I truly hope my lack of writing hasn’t led you to read Stephen King or Danielle Steel novels. I trust you all had a great Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah and New Year and what have you. I haven’t written for the typical and obvious excuses. Busy prepping, cleaning, decorating, shopping, wrapping, hiding, returning, exchanging, more cleaning, de-decorating, exercising, organizing, potty training and pretty much anything else the tilt-O-whirl of holidays bring. I kept Kylee out of school one day so she and I could do that mommy-daughter thang and it was more fun than I expected it to be.
Christmas was our new normal routine. It didn’t look like your typical Norman Rockwell painting, but it was still…..good.  It was similar to last year with less snarling and eye rolling. The X-man had the kids on Christmas eve and I picked them up Christmas morning. I was welcomed into my ex-in-law’s home and even had a stocking and a couple of gifts. There was an undeniable presence that we were moving into a new neighborhood of sentiments. We have vacated the Resentful block and signed a new lease with Acceptance. It was, nice.
Later we ventured to my mom’s where we all meet for breakfast before opening presents. I have one older sister, one younger step sister and two older step brothers… With our blended family, the grandchildren/cousins multiplied seemingly overnight. I kept looking around and asking myself, were there this many kids last year? Not to mention my brother’s wife has two children from a previous marriage. Anyhow, the house resembled a 24 hour drop in daycare center running a holiday special. Overall, Christmas day is very busy, over stimulating, unrelenting and tiresome. And I love every minute of it.
Apparently cheap manufactured toys from China make my children leap for joy.  I was able to clean out their toys, closets and drawers to make room for next year’s good will donations. Deep down, getting rid of old stuff gives me an indescribable sense of accomplishment, validity, and calmness. Kylee doesn’t share this passion yet, so until she can appreciate a load labeled GOOD WILL, I had no choice but to do it behind her back in a very covert mission sorta way. And as I predicted, she never noticed that her  baby doll that chirped like a dying bird was gone, or that the Strawberry Shortcake figurine was MIA, or that the happy meal toys with missing pieces were no longer at the bottom of her toy box. She was fine and continued on with life blissfully unaware.
After all the shopping was done, the bills were paid barely I had a sigh of relief. I had made it unscathed and un-homeless. And just like in a game of monopoly after you invest all your money into Park Ave and Broadway, thinking you just won the entire game, you draw the cards to pay more taxes, go to jail or something to make you wanna quit the game entirely. Or at least throw a mad cussing fit in the privacy of your own livingroom.  Right after the last check cleared, my Check Engine light comes on. Ever notice how when that light comes on you’re more aware of every sound and bump your car makes? A few run arounds later I discovered that my thermostat needed to be replaced. $160 later my inspection needs to be updated… $40 later Kylee has a fever… Urgent care co-pay and 70 something  whose counting dollars later I start feeling sick too. GAH!
My sister took me out to a nice steak dinner for NYE. We got dressed up like we were 21 years old, took a shot of 5 hour energy and I think we both had every intention of being out all night. We made it to about 10:30pm before realizing we would both be content at home in our PJ’s watching the old episodes of Clarissa Explains It All and Are You Afraid of the Dark. (That’s 1990’s Nickolodean shows) I think I have realized that 2 kids in your 20’s makes you feel like you’re in your 30’s. It was a great night though.
I’ve always heard that boys are more stubborn than girls. I think I always knew that, but now I know it’s true. Potty training Logan is about as frustrating as putting a soft noodle through a key hole. So imagine my excitement when he says to me, “I go poop mommy?”  We hurried to the potty, sat him on his throne. No turds at all and he says “I done.” Grrr! I put him in the bath…He poops.in.the.tub. So I spent the next 40 minutes sanitizing, bleaching, and pouting.
I enjoy getting time off from work and having the extra time with my kids. We get to stay in our jammies all day and go at whatever pace we choose. However 4 days off at home also means 4 days of endless sibling disagreements. One wants to watch Dino Dan, the other wants Max and Ruby. One wants to color while the other wants to dump the crayons. One wants to sit on my lap, the other one wants to sit on my lap. One wants taquitos, the other wants candy.  One wants to drive me crazy, the other wants to assist in driving me crazy. TV portrays these characters to be self sufficient who can play quietly together with little to no supervision.  Don’t believe everything you see on TV. My kids will go to their room to play, and 3 minutes into Entertainment Tonight cooking dinner I’m being sequestered back to referee an argument. So much for getting anything done without being interrupted.
Like most moms, we like to go insane together so play dates are a necessity. My friend Kandace came over with her boys. We always approach these play dates with the hopeful and na├»ve predictions that the kids will play together quietly and nicely and we might actually get an entire thought out without being interrupted with tattling and yelling. We assume our kids are just as tired of us as we are of them and out of sheer appreciation might actually take the opportunity to have fun with their friends and for the love of gawd leave us alone! They don’t. They nag us more. Mother friendships are a vital tool if you want to survive motherhood with at least 1/3 of your sanity intact. We typically end our play dates even more frazzled than we were before. I guess it’s just comforting to see another worn out face and to know, you aren’t alone.
I apologize for the lapse in postings for those who get a hoot. I also apologize if this post is kind of scattered. But this was my holiday break in a nut house… SHELL, nut shell! Thanks for reading!