Ready or Not Kindergarten, Here She Comes (And Mommy Tries Not To Cry)

Five years ago... and now she's ready for kindergarten.

Five years ago… and now she’s ready for kindergarten.

I swore up and down that I wasn’t going to be one of those parents who lost it when their youngest went off into the great world of public education.  And yet here I am, bawling my eyes out at all hours of the night. And she hasn’t even started yet.

When my son started kindergarten it was a joyous occasion as well as a bit of a relief for us.  FINALLY he was going to be in an environment when he had to listen to someone else.  Maybe then he would finally have the challenge and the help that he needed.  And the best thing was that I was going to be right across the hall.  That backfired on me later, but at the beginning that was very nice to be near enough that he could see me.

He never worried, he did ask a lot of questions, but there was never any doubt that he was going and he barely looked back.  And the nightmare began shortly after that.

I have mixed emotions on The Princess starting kindergarten.  On one hand I know that she is more than ready.  But I’m also hearing things that I never heard from The Professor that are breaking my heart.

IMG_2175“You’ll be right there with me, right?  Right there in the room?”

“Mommy will you still remember me when I go to kindergarten?”

“Mommy I will miss you when I’m at school.”

We’ve had our moments, but she and I have always had a special bond.  When I went back to work after having her, it was short-lived.  I ended up taking a part-time job so we could share daycare between the two of us while Evil Genius was in school.  Even the year I worked full-time we never were very far apart.  So the idea of me not being right there is somewhat new to her.

As the time for school drew closer she asked for something simple.  She asked me for a picture of the two of us.  Two copies-one for her and one for me.  That way I will remember her while she’s at school and she can have my picture there in her backpack for reassurance.  While very sweet, she can’t take all the credit for that because she saw it on a tv show.

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The picture I had Evil Genius take of us at the fair for The Princess.

What’s breaking my heart right now is that I don’t know if I can deliver.  My printer is down, and I have spent quite a bit of time trying to get my computer to behave to get everything put back on it.  My printer, as you might recall, forgets who it is.  It also has been jamming up and eating paper and ink.  Unless I find a place here in town to print it out, she may not get to have her picture after all.

She’s always making up songs about how much she loves her mommy. How sweet is that?  I also have a pile of artwork that would put any artist to shame.  Every day she draws me pictures.  They are always the same scene, of the two of us standing together, holding a heart.  I have so many of these sweet pictures that I don’t know what to do with all of them.

Now this one is a little different.  We are wearing crowns.

Now this one is a little different, we’re not holding a heart but we are wearing crowns.  I guess I’m “fixing” her crown in this picture.

I just don’t get why she loves me so much.  She loves me, she really does.  Sometimes I wonder why.  I’m not a particularly good mom.  I try.  I always have good intentions.  I give an ample supply of hugs and kisses and let her sing her songs for me.  I just hope to continues to love me this much, even after she discovers all of the cookie-baking Pinterest moms who can take their kids to Disneyworld.

Tomorrow is not the actual start of Kindergarten.  Just a short amount of time where she can go in, meet her teacher, and see where everything is.  Then the real fun begins on Thursday.  Remember that this is the child that the pediatrician said that kindergarten would have a problem with her.  We’ll just have to see what comes of it.

Will I cry then?  Maybe not because I’m crying now.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

She calls it our house of love.

She calls it our house of love.  Indeed.

May Secret Subject Swap: My Life Without Kids

secretWelcome to Take One of May’s Secret Subject Swaps. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My prompt is this:  Imagine yourself with no children, where would you be and what would you be doing? If you have no children, imagine yourself with children, how do you think life would be different?

It was submitted by: http://aworkingmomswhoas.blogspot.com/

If I had no children:

IMG_2307-001Eating would be much different.  I could eat grown up foods when I wanted, and no one would complain about it.  Or wear it.

I'm visiting today but no car rides with weird children...I would travel, and no one would be fighting in the backseat or complaining about the destination.  Or wearing Wal-Mart bags on their heads.

IMG_1591 (2)I would be fabulously in shape, since I would be able to work out and do things like take walks, take long bike rides, and do yoga without anyone protesting.

.My house would be clean.
(Though I must say my house, however messy that it is, doesn’t look like a drunken Barbie orgy took place. Oh poor Flynn Ryder-it must hurt to be passed out in that pose…)

IMG_1185I would sleep, perchance to dream and not be awakened by a little one at 6 am on a Saturday “Mommy you need to GET UP!”  (Some people are just too perky that early…)

But I would NOT have:

Bloggers in my Top 20 could receive this beautiful handmade, um, thing.  She says its a weapon...Original artwork for free.  Like this, um thing.

IMG_0460The experience of seeing the world as a child sees it.

IMG_0876Free comedic entertainment (I think he’s trying to read someone’s shirt while running those bases).

IMG_1225Infinite love.

The truth is, although there are times when I would like to just be able to have a day away, I was a very boring person before my kids came along.  I really don’t want to imagine a life without them.

This post is written for all the Moms out there.  Happy Mother’s Day ladies!

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com

http://chewylicious.wordpress.com/

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/

http://followmehome.shellybean.com

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/

http://aworkingmomswhoas.blogspot.com/

https://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com/

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com/

dates2diapers2.blogspot.com

www.akashicwindow.blogspot.com

http://theycallmemummy.com

www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com

She Got “Rounded Up”

All ready to be "rounded up".

All ready to be “rounded up”.

Preparations began for the next school year these last couple of weeks.  One of these things was my son’s IEP meeting where we reviewed his education plan for the next year.  The other thing that took place was the long anticipated Kindergarten Roundup for The Princess.

One day back before Christmas I happened to be at the school and actually happened to remember to give them her information (a good parent probably would have done this a long time ago). At the end of February I got a letter in the mail about Kindergarten Roundup.  Then me being the fabulous Mom that I am I forgot to sign her up.  Luckily they know me all too well and were sure to call me and tell me which day and time they could fit us in.

This is a good thing.  She has been home with me for the most part this past year.  She’s bored, though she would never admit it.  She needs a challenge.  Mommy can only do so much to get her interested in learning.  Sometimes I feel like if I could jump into the TV she might be more interested in something besides playing Hello Kitty legos.

As it drew closer to the much anticipated day of Roundup, she experienced a whole range of emotions from excitement to total fear of what was going to take place.

First she was just bubbling over with excitement.  “I get to go to KINDERGARTEN in a couple of weeks!”  She thought she would get to start going immediately following the roundup, but I had to keep reminding her that this was only a day to go in and visit.

Later on in the same week she changed her mind and informed me.  “I don’t think I want to go to Kindergarten anymore, I just want to stay home with you.”
This surprised me.  “Why?”
“Because I would just miss you too much.”

Then a few days later she said “I guess Kindergarten would be fun.  I’ll go.”
Again I’m surprised.  “What made you change your mind?”
“Well you’ll be there too.  In my room, just like Preschool.”
“No honey, I won’t be in your room.  Most likely not even in your school.”
“OH.  Never mind.”

Then The Professor came bringing his artwork home from the Art Fair.  Since he’s on an IEP, we didn’t have his conference until the meeting and naturally I forgot all about the whole fair thing.
The Princess could not take her eyes off of the art.  “You have Art in school?” she asked curiously.
“Yes!”  He replied
“And you had it in KINDERGARTEN?”  She asked, excitement creeping into her voice.
“Uh-huh.” He answered.
Apparently that settled it.  She ran over to me all excited “Mommy, I want to go to Kindergarten and do ART!”
Just to be sure she’s still with the program we have displayed the artwork predominantly at the top of the stairs.

The Professor shows off his artwork.

The Professor shows off his artwork.

The day of the round up arrived and she was ready to go the second she bounced out of bed.  All I heard all morning.  “When are we going to Kindergarten?  Is it time for the round up?  When do I get to be rounded up?”

I really wonder if she thought it was going to be like cowboys rounding up cows or something.  It’s more like herding cats.  I know because I’ve done it.

She was also very put out that I had to brush her hair.  At this point she almost changed her mind about going.  Yes honey, when you get ready to go to school you have to have your hair brushed EVERY DAY!  Gee mom, say it ain’t so!

When we arrived at the school, she bounded in.  I think she was thinking that she would come to the door and they would announce her presence.  “PRE-SENT-ING her highness Princess Tantrum!”  Other little girls would appear and they would run off together and play in a pink castle.  No-she had to go with her mom, to the school library and WAIT.

This was where she got cold feet.  She found her nametag, let me put it on her dress and that was that.  She climbed on my lap and wrapped herself around me like a boa constrictor.  “I’m not going, I’m going to stay here with you.”

CRAP!  Where is a tea party set and willing playmates when I need it?

Luckily for me, the teacher that The Professor had in Kindergarten was helping with the round up.  I thought that was nice since she is retiring at the end of the school year.  While the principal was starting her spiel to the parents, she came in and started talking to The Princess. This calmed Princess Tantrum down, and when it was time to go down to the classrooms she practically skipped out with her.

An hour and a half later, I went down to retrieve her and was informed with a wink from The Professor’s former teacher that she was indeed ready.  Like there was any doubt.

And just in case there was, we got the letter in the mail that she will be a Kindergartener in the fall.  Sorry kid, there’s no turning back now.  I hope someone is going to warn the art teacher.

All rounded up.

All rounded up.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Weak Week

It did seem a bit like a weak week to me.  My husband was on death’s door for at least two days (and missed work for three) while I’ve been suffering a bit, um, mentally (damn PMS).  But I did get new glasses this week, which was very exciting to me.  The picture is a bit blurry, but let’s just pretend that it’s on purpose, shall we?

IMG_1670

Monday  The ADD Kitchen 4:  Baby Its Cold Outside But We Want to be Healthy Edition  Baking when it’s cold outside makes the house warm!  Some stuff that actually worked for me for once!

Tuesday  Insomnia:  It’s Nothing to Lose Sleep Over  I’m a zombie, RAWR!

Wednesday  I am “Loded”  It’s not like it sounds at all.  This is what happens when you are all out of “v”s.

Thursday  Theme Thursday:  The ADD 80s Child Looks at 80s Teen Movies  Jenn challenges me to figure out which member of The Breakfast Club I am.  All I can think about is Sixteen Candles.  Here is the scary result.

Friday  Fly on the Wall January 2013:  The Princess Edition  Find out what man cans and lady cans are.

Saturday  The Flake Award:  The Please Don’t Hate Me Because I Forgot About My Award Post  I’m a flake and how I’m trying to make up for it.

My favorite posts this week:

(Is it sad that I really don’t remember much from this past week?  I haven’t been drunk or anything, honest!)

Depression-S*&T That Everyone Should Know  Nicole Knepper-Finally, someone who explains depression in language that I can relate to, in poop terms.  Well you know, sometimes you just feel like poop…  This is a must read!

ALL the Fly on the Wall posts this week!

Best Search Terms This Week:

Mr T Cooking-I pity the fool!

She wants my zamboni-Is this something like “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” or more like a penis reference?

What does batman eat for dinner-It really sounds like there should be a punchline.  Now I’m wondering, WHAT?

Abby’s Flying Fairy School lyrics-Look up high, in the sky, it’s a school, it can fly!  Um… I used to know all the lyrics… A quick search reveals that you can find the lyrics HERE.  So if you’re looking, now you know where!

Coming Up Next Week:

I have one very exciting thing to share:  I’ll be guest posting over at Menopausal Mother!  Yahoo!  But enough about me, go enjoy your weekend!

yay weekend

I Am “Loded”

This post brought to you late by HP.  The Printers that forget stuff.

I am loved.  Every day I am lavished with gifts.  Not just any gifts, handmade gifts.  Like this one:

IMG_1457

It’s a vase of flowers.  Sparkly pipe cleaners with tiny little flower paper punches that she punched out of construction paper.  I should have been suspicious when she asked me punch holes in the middle of the flower punches.  She then snuck away and returned with this mug that she stole from me.  First she asked me to close me eyes, and then she yelled “SURPRISE!”  Then she told me where I needed to display it.  The whole world needs to see her art, you know.

My daughter could probably open her own Etsy shop.  The kid’s got skills.  At the rate I’m going, she may have to open one to help support us.

She creates non stop many days.  She does art from the time she is done cuddling with me on the couch until I tell her “That’s enough art for the day!”

IMG_1660

This one cracks me up.  It makes me think of a Radiohead performance on SNL.  The band is playing and there’s a guy sticking wires in a little box.  Similar?  I think so.  And it’s all mine, sitting right next to my spot on the couch.

She reminds me all the time of why she makes these things for me.  She sings the song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Making something is one way to say… I love you.”  She also tells me-all the time, and constantly asks for hugs and kisses.

And there are pictures.  I wrote awhile back about how there is no more room in my house for all of the things that she makes.  She used to draw two tiny pictures on a piece of paper and present it to me.  “Oh I love it, but can’t you add more?”  She would get mad at me and stomp off.  Apparently I was messing with her creativity.  It must have gotten through, because she’s drawing much more on her pictures now.  I would display some, but as usual, my printer thinks it’s missing something.  Today is the scanner.  Who knows what tomorrow?

IMG_0629

The dry erase board helped a little with the art pile up, but we’re never allowed to erase it.  I take pictures from time to time.  This particular one is an oldie but a goodie from this past summer.

For Christmas Grandma presented both kids with a big box of stuff.  The Professor received a box of science stuff so he can get to work on solving our world energy crisis.  She received an art box full of art products in addition to a big bag of recycled materials to use it with.  She was thrilled.  She’s a funny girl.

One of her recent creations was made partly with stickers from the box, partly from a picture frame kit that I had picked up at Goodwill.  Oh, and scotch tape.  She was giddy when she presented this to me along with two others.

IMG_1598

Me:  “You ‘lode’ me?”
Princess Artistic:  “No I LOVE you.  I don’t have any ‘v’s.”

Alright, I’ll take it.  That way in a few years when she starts to loathe me I have this among many other reminders of that sweet messy haired girl who used to “lode” me.

January Secret Subject Swap: Like Mother, Like Daughter, Except When We’re Not

secret

Welcome to Round Two of the January Secret Subject Swap. 17 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.  At the end of the post is the list of ALL the people who participated this month!

This is my second time participating!  Here is my prompt, submitted by Denise at Go Cheap or Go Home:  I knew I had turned into my mother when…

But she is my real mom. And I bet she likes this just as much as I do.

She IS my real mom, and I bet she loves this just as much as I do.  This is one of my favorite pictures!

Well, I haven’t actually had that exact moment yet where I thought I was turning into my Mom.  There are lots of ways that we are similar, and ways that I wish I could be more like her!  I will now attempt to list some of these things-keep in mind my mind is a bit fuzzy from what they say is bronchitis, but I’m beginning to think there is some sort of brain eating virus accompanying it.

Ways I Wish I Was More Like My Mom:

My Mom is a pretty crafty person-to have her craft skills would be awesome!  I’m good at scrapbooking, but have never been much at the other stuff.  Remember, you all saw my cakes.

We've had kitty ribbon shredders, why have I never thought of this?

Eureka!  Forget those fancy edge trimmers, I have a cat!

She’s also great at being thrifty. I used to be.  Now that I have no control over my money situation not so much.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for financial security…  When I was a kid she would do little things like do rebates or work part-time here and there so that we had money for little things like music lessons.  When my son was little I still was able to do those things, but since then all of the various ways I managed to bring in extra money have gone the way of the dinosaur.  All but one of the places I have picked up extra CPR classes have shut down or quit offering services, people were not interested in sending their kids to my preschool music classes, and I can’t even hired for ONE job these days let alone an extra job for cash.  I’m hoping I can start bringing in something with my writing here soon.  That would be swell!

This was too funny not to share!

This was too funny not to share!

My Mom had to go it alone often when my sister and I were little. My Dad was often out at “sea”, what they call it when Navy guys go out on their tour of duty.  Often he was gone for months at a time.  Not only that, we moved a lot!  She made sure we had a fun time wherever we lived.  I don’t think I am nearly as good or as patient a parent as she was with us when we were kids.  I’m hoping I get better as time goes on.

moms that do everything

I’ll include my address if anyone wants to come over and take me up on this.

She’s really good about remembering those all important things like birthdays and anniversaries.  She always remembers and I always look forward to getting a nice card in the mail for special occasions.  I now have calendars with reminders on both my computer AND my phone, and I STILL forget.  I guess I do remember them, just never in time to get something into the mail.  I suppose if the calendars were to slap me across the face with the card and then push me out the door to the post office with it in my hand, they might be more useful!  For the record, I do remember the things in the house I live in.  Beyond my little ADD world, forget it…

The Ways That I See That We Are Alike:

There’s definitely the sense of humor.  The weird sense of humor that I have runs in the family.  A little morbid and maybe a little bit different than what other people might consider funny.  But when we get together we all just get each other.

Because I too am strange and unusual.

Because I too am strange and unusual.

Growing up, movies were something that we watched together as a family on a regular basis.  Therefore we can quote most of the same movies and tv shows. We quote so many movies and shows on a daily basis at our house that awhile back I even wrote about it. My Mom and I have a lot of the same movies on our favorites list.  I’ve branched out a little since I’ve married my husband, but the old stand-bys are still the best!

I bet you can name that movie...

I bet you can name that movie… one of our very favorites.

We have this thing that we call the recessive gene.  No it’s not a disease or a birth defect.  It’s this thing that happens to some members of our family.  You can be anywhere, anytime, and hear someone say something or even just see something and you automatically break into song.  I can’t control myself any time anyone says anything that remotely resembles a line from a song.  And neither can she.  For example, if someone says the word “so” or “sew” or “sow”-I have to go there. I have to follow up with singing “… a needle pulling thread”.  Sad…but true…

genetics

We both enjoy working with kids, because kids are funny (though oftentimes it’s the adults that suck).  She was a second grade teacher for years, and now is a school librarian-both at the same school I started out teaching at.  I taught preschool for a long time.  Neither of us went insane doing it.  Seriously though, much like me she hasn’t decided what she wants to be when she grows up either.

commas

We like punctuation. If you’d like, I can even sing you the song from the original “Electric Company”.

There’s a few other things too:  One in particular is the annual tradition of the lost gift.  Every year Mom misplaces a gift for someone.  This is due to the fact that she starts her shopping early and spreads it out.  Guess what, I’ve done the same thing a few times, just in a different way.  I have bought things for people and totally forgotten them until I accidentally happen upon them.  (The thing, not the person.)  And it has recently come to light that this was passed down from her mother to her, and now to me.  I just had to change it up a bit.

Perhaps as I get older I’ll be more like my mom in the ways that I want to be.  Like when I grow up?  Oh I forgot, I refuse to grow up, just get old.

The '70s are a long way down there anymore...

The ’70s are a long way down there anymore…

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                     

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com/

http://lifeonthesonnyside.blogspot.com/

http://suburbiainterrupted.com/                             

http://www.bigaandlittlea.com                       

http://ibddaddyandme.blogspot.com

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/

http://www.3monkeysandamartini.com

http://www.somethingclever2point0.com/

http://www.themommyref.blogspot.com/

http://rushingforbagels.blogspot.com

http://gocheapgohome.com

http://www.rebekaches.com

http://mooreorganizedmayhem.blogspot.com/

http://slackermomof4.blogspot.com/

http://www.mommyunmuted.com/

2012 Is Done: The Year in Review So We Can Just Move On

I like this so I'm using it again, because it really describes my year!

I like this so I’m using it again, because it really describes my year!

2012 started out with a bang and went up and down all year.  The world didn’t end, so I’m saying it’s going out in a good way.  I didn’t start blogging until June and didn’t really start seriously blogging until fall.  Here’s an itty bitty summary of the Year of the Sadder But Wiser Girl:

2012-The Highs and Lows of the Year

January-The hubs took his degree he was awarded at the end of 2011 and put it to work at a wonderful corporation.  The downside?  Loooooooong hours and a loooooooong drive.  What degree?  What are you talking about?  Are they giving away degrees somewhere?  Where do I find one of these things called “jobs”?  Three years prior, my husband was laid off at the company that he had worked at for thirteen years.  They basically announced one day that “Yeah, we’re closing”.  He took a huge pay cut as he went on to another job at another factory.  When things were looking similarly dire over in that place, he made the ultimate decision:  he went back to school, full-time, to pursue his mechanical engineering degree at the tender age of 35.

February-We went roller skating for the first time since I graduated from college.  Since my husband has to drive an hour up and back to work each day, we had to buy a car that wasn’t old ant that we could trust.  Hello huge car payments.

March-We made our first attempt at compost.  It was a moot point, since we then had a drought and it really didn’t matter what we did…

The kid is cute, so what if we never really used the compost?  ;-)

The kid is cute, so what if we never really used the compost? 😉

April-Our fourteen year old kitty passed away on Easter Sunday.  In happier news, at the end of the month we went to our first live NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway.

May-I turned 38.  My little girl turned four, and I attempted my first fancy birthday cake-a princess castle cake.  Someday I will blog about it and horrify millions of people.  My son survived first grade and lived to tell about it.

June-I started a blog.  If I didn’t start this blog, I was going to be mobbed by people who thought I had a real penchant for storytelling.  My first attempts were pretty bad, but eventually I caught on.  Read my June archives for my first and really lame blog posts.

Mid month I was informed my job was being taken over by a taco that would work on call for pennies.  No unemployment, just the promise of jobs falling out of the sky with great recommendations.  Neither of these materialized, by the way, and I progressed upon the path that brought this lil ole blog to what it is now.   With over 400 Followers, I can say it is almost a marginal success.

July-The day my job poofed into thin air, my husband achieved full time status.  Since then he is a minor celebrity at his workplace-I believe they could possibly build him a litter so he never has to walk through the plant again.

August-We got a dog.  My husband contracted shingles.  And my son started second grade.  All totally unrelated things, thank goodness.

September-We quietly celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary and I was buried under the artwork in my house.

For the record, this is what started all the zamboni business.  I still don't think she really knows what a zamboni is.

My daughter made what she called a zamboni.  This is what started the nonsense with all the boxes.

October-I find that Halloween and Halloweens past provides almost unlimited posting potential.  All kinds of people come to my blog looking for costume ideas.  Nice.

November-I am dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming thanks to The Bearded Iris.  In other words, I actually start using my Twitter account for something other than just that mysterious entity that shares my posts with the world.  One Mom Dragged Into the 21st Century

December-I entered a Christmas tree contest and didn’t win, my kids made Christmas cards that didn’t get sent, I saw Elvis, and we didn’t die in a fiery apocalypse.  Merry Christmas.

And then, the year was over.

Stuff that people looked at a lot:  Man this Home Page/Archives post must be really amazing millions of people seem to visit it… I can’t tell a lot from the stats, but I Peed My Pants at Wal-Mart was probably the most popular post this year.  Hooray for incontinence!

Some of My Favorite Posts:  The Sadder But Wiser Girl…Poop Detective, The Five Stages of Dishes, Yo P.E.E.Ps and P.O.O.Ps, The Recessive Gene: My Pool Needs A Lifeguard.

Search terms used most to find my blog Fantasy Football, which is TERRIBLY uninteresting to me.

Funniest and Most Disturbing Search Engine Terms of 2012:  I pee funny, evil houses, glue sniffing crack, unicorn fart ffpp, I’ve just peed in my big knickers, image of every single pillow pet in the world, I think I have diarrhea from green bean casserole, naked pumpkin man costume, turkey toilet paper, girl poops out a mouse, the brain and people, bucket hoarding, garbage hums, and naked Chad Knaus…

I’m sorry, but anyone who’s looking for naked pictures of Chad Knaus has some serious issues…

zombies

Oh I LOVE it when google fills stuff in for me! The results are quite hilarious, just like my search engine results.

My Favorite Blogs of 2012-Now keep in mind that I JUST discovered blogging this year and I’m still a newbie. I read a lot of blogs.  As a matter of fact, the more I discover the harder it is for me to keep up with all of them, because you know I have to do stuff like pay attention to my children and (occasionally) do housework. Here are some that I have found myself reading the most.  You know, the blogs that I just can’t wait for new posts from and rarely miss reading a post?  My Top 20 in no particular order:  Menopausal Mother, momtimes4, atlantamomofthree, Motherhood is an Art, Funny Is Family, Cloudy With a Chance of Wine, Debie Hive, Diapers… or Wine?  Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, Miss Banana Pants, Lady or Not… Here I Come, Ninja Mom, Baking in a Tornado, The Tao of Poop, Rants from Mommyland, Marj Hatzell is the Domestic Goddess, Go Cheap or Go Home, Mom’s World, Something Clever 2.0, You Know It Happens At Your House Too.  And of course Parenting, Illustrated with Crappy Pictures-but she doesn’t really need the publicity, now does she?  There are others I’ve just started reading… Maybe you’ll make the list next year, which at the rate I’m going will be the top 100.  Don’t hate me if you blog and read my blog and you’re not on my list.  I bet I read your blog too!  Bloggers are awesome people, and the best circle of folks I know.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!

Bloggers in my Top 20 could receive this beautiful handmade, um, thing.  She says its a weapon...

Bloggers in my Top 20 could receive this beautiful handmade, um, thing. She says its a weapon…

So here it is, the New Year.  Did anyone actually, you know, go OUT and stuff?  We didn’t… details on how we spent our New Years will be coming.  For now I need to publish and be done.  Happy New Year everyone!

End of the Week Holiday Spectacular: Wrapped Up and Delivered With a Big Bow

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Well it’s the weekend and we are all still here.  Happy Non Apocalypse Weekend!  Here is a wrap up of the week.

MONDAY-Gift Ideas For Broke Folks, Part I (Maybe)

TUESDAY-Delicious Evil Lurks in the Downstairs Freezer 

WEDNESDAY-Excellently Weird Gifts Just In Time for the Giving

THURSDAY- Ooooooh Those Christmas Eyes!

FRIDAY-This is interesting, two posts in one day with the word “Edition” in them.  Perhaps you should listen to New Edition while reading them?  Limited Edition Cat Butt Christmas Cards and Fly on the Wall-The Holiday Edition 2012

Bestest Stuff of the Week-I mean it!

All of the Fly On The Wall posts-links to all on Friday’s Fly on the Wall-The Holiday Edition 2012

Motherhood Is An Art-Does Christmas Time Make You Feel Like Crying?  🙂

You Know It Happens At Your House Too-Things I Need To Know Before the End of the World

Buzzfeed-26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year-I dare you to read this without shedding a tear.

I’m not sure what will come out of my head between now and Christmas.  I may have time to post and I may not.  Enjoy your holidays and I’ll see ya when I see ya…

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Limited Edition Cat Butt Christmas Cards

We've done a few, but we have many cards to go...

We’ve done a few, but we have many cards to go…

A picture is worth a thousand words, and since my son has been little, I have started making picture Christmas cards.  The first year it was simply a photo on nice Christmas cardstock with a little message in it.  Since then I’ve gotten a bit more elaborate, even shelling out the dough for the store bought ones you do online.

This year we’re going back to basics.  Princess Artistic is EXTREMELY interested in making cards for everyone, and since we are buried in a blizzard I figured this would be a prime opportunity for her to do just that.  And with her brother home to help this made it even better.  I figure at this point it’s pretty hopeless to get all of that done in time.  They will get there when they get there, and that’s ok.

Fortunately in the past I have way over bought on the card making supplies, and have inherited some as well through some relatives.  I took down the big box of cards from the shelf, dug out all of the Christmas stickers, punches, stamps, and Christmas colored ink and paints.  I let them create with some supervision.  They look pretty nice!  We have many more to make, though.

We’ve done some card making before.  We’ve always sent the photo cards in the mail and sometimes make homemade ones for people we see often (in other words, they already know what my kids look like.)  One year my cat even tried to get into the whole Christmas card making thing.  One year my son wanted to make cards for everyone at school, from the principal to the lunch ladies (and we all know with what they put up with, they deserve them most of all).  I gathered Christmas shaped sponges, Christmas colored paint, construction paper, and glitter.  He sat and stamped for quite awhile.  Once done we proudly laid them out to dry in the game room.  Not even five minutes after we finished the cat decided that the cards would be an excellent place-for him to sit on.  He proudly turned the sparkly green Christmas tree prints into sparkly green cat butt prints.  He had a green sparkly butt for a bit after that, and we ended up making different cards to replace the three that he sat upon.  Now that he is gone, I kind of wish I had saved those butt print cards!

Ah sweet kitty, he was always willing to lend a hand, or rather a butt.

Ah sweet kitty, he was always willing to lend a hand, or rather a butt.

Who Gives A Hoot About the Inn? This Manger Has A Hot Tub!

My daughter would think this is cute.  Awwww Mommy look at the little baby beer!

My daughter would think this is cute. Awwww Mommy look at the little baby beer!

The story of Christmas is a pretty amazing story anyway.  Put it in the hands of a preschooler and you’ve got a whole new spin on things.

It all started with a plaster nativity set.  You know the ones they sell at Wal-Mart?  Grandma had sent one up a while back for Princess Creative to do her magic.  Of course, Mommy doesn’t always look very closely at things, and I failed to realize what it actually was (I thought it was a bunch of farm animals, honestly.)  We had been trying to figure out what exactly we could make nativity people out of, and had been hoping we’d find some old fashioned clothespins or something.

Upon the realization of that hey, we had the goods, the creating commenced.  She painted the figurines.  They look like they either had a day at the mud spa or are really lacking in personal hygiene.  Once this important part was completed, I offered to help her build a manger out of cardboard.  She refused.  She told me she had something in mind, and disappeared upstairs.

Who could say no to this budding artist?  I have a hard time with it!

Who could say no to this budding artist? I have a hard time with it!

She returned with a box from her room.  She hoards this stuff upstairs, you know.  Then she began collecting recyclable items from all over the house.  What resulted was an amazing manger with all of the state of the art stuff.  Because nothing is too good for the messiah, you know.  It includes:

Skylights, lamps,  and adjustable windows-Because mangers are notorious for poor lighting.

Room Service-Because room service played a very important role in the divine moment.

Hot Tub-This must be where the animals party.

Hot tub ie taco holder.  Looks like the shepherd chose to take it easy!

Hot tub ie taco holder. Looks like the shepherd chose to take it easy!

Then she sets everything up in the living room.  She confesses that she can’t find baby Jesus.  What I SHOULD have said was that baby Jesus is born on Christmas. What I said instead:  Go find it.  When she couldn’t find it, I told her to think of something else she could use.  So she compromised.  Now we have two wise men, joseph, a lamb, a Sonshine Family baby with crib and teddy bear, three Barbie dolls… and the list goes on.  The manger is the place to be, complete with lots of Barbie baby toys.  I understand the Hello Kitties came by to hang for a spell already.

The manger... the partying is happening early...

The manger… the partying is happening early…

Its probably good that we do not own an Elf on the Shelf.  I’m sure if he came by there would be all kinds of bad things happening.

So people with the cool mangers you bought at Target, don’t judge!  It may not be pretty, but it came from a very beautiful  imagination.  I still think she believes a manger is like a motel, just with animals, but we’ll go with that.

We had a neat one as kids.  It was one mom had made from a stained glass kit.  Very pretty.  I can remember being obsessed with the whole idea of the nativity.  And angels.  I always wanted to play the angel in the pageant but never did.  I’m not sure why I wanted to do that.  I must have wanted the Jelly Toast.  You know, from Hark the Herald Angels Sing-“With the jelly toast proclaim…”

Did you have a nativity scene as a kid?  Was it homemade or store bought?

My favorite nontraditional manger.  couldn't resist this one-I saw this on Facebook.

I think this has to be my favorite nontraditional manger. I couldn’t resist sharing-I saw this on Facebook.