Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

The kids had their end of year parties on Dec 20th.  I did my usual story reading to the preschool masses.

I was game master for N's class.  We played reindeer games.  

We had a good Christmas.  The kids got entirely too much stuff, but strangely I haven't gone mad with organizational obsessing.  My Christmas decorations are still up, and I can't get motivated to take them down.  Strange.

New Avenger pjs.  Thrilling, eh?

Twas the night before Christmas and all the through the house, big sister was in her headgear reading to her brothers.  And momma loved it.  

The spoils on Christmas day....

This might be one of my favorite photos ever.  G is so, so excited!

Mamaw got the kids ornaments.  M's ornament (from Etsy) was much smaller than my MIL thought it would be.  When he opened the box he said, "Oooo, a wittle baby toy!"  

I'm a little tired of Christmas break....these past 9 days have been mostly alright, but I've only gone a little ape on G for whining and being an aggravating pest.  The hardest part of this time of year is the inability to go outside due to the cold which leaves us with not much to do because I refuse to go places where everyone else is.  Like the mall.

On the 21st I took all 3 kids to see Hotel Transylvania at the discount movie, and today I took N and G to a local paint spot to create our own canvas paintings.  Otherwise, I've been wading through a sea of toys.  

I've finished two children's novels, The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo and The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, and am making extremely slow progress through Ann Patchet's Bel Canto.  Grown up books are  

I have worked out 3 days this week, thanks to D who knows I need a little bit of time away so as not to lose it completely.  

Geez, this is boring.  Just like Christmas break. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Trying to eat whole foods has the potential to drive me nuts

I try to follow the "100 Days of Whole Foods" challenge up to a point, as well as do lots of the things Michael Pollan suggested in his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma to eat more locally grown, naturally raised food.

As best I can, I buy foods with 5 ingredients or less.  We do a weekly CSA program to get local produce.  Ninety percent of the time I make muffins and biscuits from scratch.  I've even gotten to the point where I purchase a cage-free chicken, cook it, remove the meat for meals and boil the bones to make my own stock for soups.  I think it is helping my bottom line too, which is an added benefit.

Like any person with OCD, I have the great ability to obsess over things to an unhealthy degree.  Sometimes I find myself in the throes of an obsessive episode in the grocery store aisles.

Today, for example, I wanted to purchase polenta and pesto for our supper.  I got hung up on buying jarred pesto because it had more than 5 ingredients, and I know how to make pesto.  I usually make it in the summer when I can get fresh basil.  So I stood in the Italian food section for awhile debating whether I should buy it or make it.  I started to walk to the produce area, thinking about getting the basil and the spinach and the pine nuts and getting a little worked up because that means  I had to quickly talk myself down and just buy the damn jar.

When I see people in grocery stores chatting on their cell phones I wonder how they can possibly have a conversation when there are so many decisions that have to be made and so many ingredients to count and so many sugar grams to consider.  And on top of all that there is the cost and the coupons.


It all gets a little exhausting.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What haven't we done this Christmas season?

I'm not saying I'm ready for Christmas to be over, but we sure have packed a whole lot of stuff into the month.

There was the tree decorating.....
(which we actually had to do twice on the basement tree since it fell over, which is a story unto itself.)

The Christmas t-shirt making....

The gingerbread house making...... 
(N did hers at school)

The wearing of the Christmas shirts to a family party....

The meeting with friends for lunch, an ornament exchange and cookie decorating.....

The performing of Christmas music in Ensemble.....

The baking of Christmas cookies....
(By g*d, my sons WILL know how to bake/cook!)

Yesterday we had the school celebrations, the photos of which are still hanging out on the camera.  And there is more to come.
I hope I have enough energy reserves for it.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I sent N off to school today without thinking once about the terrible shooting in CT.  It didn't even cross my mind to be scared or anxious.  Today was the best possible day of all days to send a kid to school because everyone was on high-alert.  Police came to N's school to greet the children when they arrived off the buses, an effort in reinforcing to the kids (and perhaps parents) that the kids are safe.  I understand the reasoning, but I have mixed feelings.  It should have been life as normal, in my opinion.

It is impossible to make sense of tragedy like this.  I haven't the foggiest what life is about, its purpose, and I don't pretend to have a clue as to what G*d thinks or feels or controls or doesn't control.  It seems a bit irrational to try to make rational sense of an irrational act.

Of course, people have blamed guns.  And they've blamed the lack of coverage and funding in mental health.  There's been blame thrown at video games and antipsychotic medicines being given to children, as well as the lack of school prayer.

We keep thinking maybe this is the problem, and if we just fix this, then nothing bad will ever happen.  Or if we fix that, we'll have turned it around.  The problem is that we have to fix this, that, the other, that one over there, and a whole slew of them others to make lasting change and avoid similar events happening with such frequency.  If it was an easy fix, or if there is even a fix at all, surely we would have fixed it.

What baffles me are some of the solutions that people come up the heat of the moment when events like this are so new.  Like arming teachers.  What a brilliant piece of shite.  While we're at it, let's brick up all the windows and have armed guards at every doorway.  That is exactly the safe, secure, maximum security prison-like atmosphere I want for my children.

Events like this make me thankful that my "mental health" condition is mild.  Probably most people don't pity the mentally ill person who does the unthinkable, but I do.  It is far easier to damn the Jared Loughners and Adam Lanzas of the world to hell than to see them as tormented or so far beyond the scope of normal that they don't even realize how mentally fucked up they are.  That has to be terrifying, especially for their families who see clearly that, "this person is not right."

I know I am much more understanding since my brain did its own thing despite my best efforts to control my thinking and feeling.  For better or worse, I can empathize a bit with the mentally ill, even the most horrid among us.  

Thankfully, I cannot empathize with the parents whose children were killed.  My sympathies are with them, and I hope they find comfort and peace where they can.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The fine line between conscientious and obsessed

Way back in 2004, I developed a ductal yeast infection (and then mastitis) while nursing N, which led me on a path to panic attacks, insomnia, loss of appetite, crying jags, and general depression.  It was the proverbial straw since I was probably well on my way to experiencing those things anyway.  With the infections, I began battling an invisible enemy, and no amount of cleaning and bleaching and re-cleaning made me feel any better.

Fast forward eight plus years, and I feel like I'm in 2004 all over again.

In the span of 6 weeks I've had an infected cuticle that required multiple Epsom-salt soaks per day for weeks and a round of Augmentin, as well as an abscess in my armpit that is MRSA-positive.

I am looking at every little blemish on my children and worrying that it is MRSA.  I've bleached every door handle, every faucet knob, every countertop.  I've washed towels and pillowcases.  I've developed a new, highly sanitary razor routine in the bathroom to (hopefully) keep this from ever happening again.

My meds are a life-saver, but I am still having to talk myself down on an almost constant basis, telling myself that I can only do so much when it comes to being clean and cautious, that I will never eradicate every bug, that given my general good health and doing what my doctor said I'm probably not going to die because of this.

Being conscientious, taking care to disinfect and keep one's house and self clean, is a positive thing.  But in a mind like mine, it can (could and has) become something much more sinister.

Kinda like those germs.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This is what happens when Target doesn't have Christmas shirts

To be fair, Target did have shirts for girls.  But no boy shirts....not even in the baby/toddler section.  What's up with that?

So rather than drive all over creation in search of shirts or spend entirely too much money at a boutique-type store, I bought $3 t-shirts and fabric paint at Michaels.  And then I went all Pinterest-y on my children.

Here's the thing about Pinterest and these "awesome mom" blogs about all the cool, neat stuff they do with their kids---art projects and whatnot.  You never, ever hear the back story.  Sure, the projects turn out adorable, but we all know wonder mom did her fair share of cussing and at least one of the kids will likely require therapy for some of the comments mom made under her breath about the child's lack of creativity or wonky printing skills.

So my back story is this:  This t-shirt idea sounded like something that might keep my kids from fighting for a good half-hour.  But it didn't.  G and M don't have the patience or skill for anything beyond making the handprint (although G did write the Hs on his shirt).  N was better able to help, although she started some paint color experimenting that I had to clean up.  Suffice it to say, I spent the better part of my afternoon dorking around with these shirts while the kids were off doing whatever it is they were doing.  (I was, after all, too busy with the shirts to pay any attention.)

 G's expression pretty much sums up what doing any kind of crafy/artsy project is like in this house.

N's shirt

G's shirt (He did all the Hs on his Ho-Ho-Ho)

M's shirt

These are some little ornaments I made with G's help one afternoon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas letters to Santa, 2012

N wrote her letter to Santa on Nov 25.

Dear Santa,
Here is a list of things i would like for Christmas.
1. One Direction everything (cd, shirt)
2. Monster High dolls
3. Cute clothes from a random store
4. Cute earrings (sterling silver)
5. Wipeout xbox360-Kinect
6. Brave movie-Disney
7. Barbie clothes (dresses, pants, etc)
8. Taylor Swift new cd-Red
9. a new sketch pad
10. art supplies
11. Stardoll doll
12. cute shoes (size 5)
13. some new coloring books
14. polly pockets
15. some cool stocking stuffers

Please try to get some of these things for me.  Also, try to get other things that i might like.

Yesterday, I took dictation for G, although he wrote the words "Santa" and his name at the closing of the note.

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I want Wreck-it-Ralph Smashers and Hulk Smashers and 3 Wreck-it-Ralph action figures and I want an Imaginext rocketship with an alien, a human, and costumes for them to wear and a space house for them to go inside.

And I also want Haunted House Legos.  And I want the Kinect Avengers game and Sonic Transform.  And I wan the Sonic sitting down game.  And THAT'S IT!!

I've been good and a little bit wrestlingly.