December 2014 Fly on the Wall: The Extra Bearded Edition

Fly on the WallWelcome to the December edition of the Fly on the Wall.  If you haven’t been here before, here’s a simple explanation:  These are snippets of life from my house.  I am simultaneously posting these snippets along with other participating bloggers.  Please, please, pretty please stop by the links of the other participants at the bottom of the post or you may find reindeer poop in your stocking!!!!!

We last left our superheroes starting to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner… We hosted Thanksgiving again this year.  We had Evil Genius’s now traditional turkey in a bucket and the not so traditional turkey made of cheese, sausage, and crackers…

10620237_10203670796387356_8976289056525414897_oWords uttered the week of Thanksgiving:  “It’s Tuesday. Do you know where your turkey bucket is?”

IMG_3267

My parents came up for Thanksgiving. Can you tell who the dog was most taken with?

Conversations held on Thanksgiving in our house:

Me to the Professor: “Are your pants on inside out?”
The Professor: “Oh.” Looks down at his pants, inspects them for a bit. “I guess they are” (Goes right back to watching tv).
Evil Genius: “Go fix them please!”

Tell me, what is wrong with this picture?

Tell me, what is wrong with this picture?

Now we are busy prepping for Christmas here at the house of nuts Almond.

There was Christmas shopping.  He bought himself an early present.  He's so good to him.

There was Christmas shopping. He bought himself an early present. He’s so good to him.

Here are the roles currently assumed by the people who occupy this place:

The Princess:  Craft Nazi
The Professor:  Christmas Expert
Evil Genius:  Evil Baker and Evil Chef
Me:  Space Occupier

The craft Nazi busy at work.  She wants to do crafts every second of every day!

The craft Nazi busy at work. She wants to do crafts every second of every day!

Me to The Princess: What are you going to make for Christmas gifts this year?
Princess: I don’t know.
Me (thinking I’m very smart and clever): Should we look on the internet for some ideas?
Princess: SURE!

I pull out my laptop and stupidly google “homemade gifts kids can make”. At search result #1, she gasps. At result #2 she squees… At result #154 she’s still ooing and ahhing.

An hour later, it’s quite apparent that she wants to make ALL the presents.
“All” as in every.single.craft on the internet. Be ready, people, be ready for all the crafts!

Evil Genius gets back from the ISU game to see me frantically trying to paint The Princess’s nails because it was bedtime and we had almost run out of time to do it.

Evil Genius: “I thought Moms enjoyed doing that with their daughters?”
Me: *Angry glare as I manage to paint my thumb holiday red*

Christmas nails.

Christmas nails.

Princess: Daddy what’s in these enchiladas?
Evil Genius: Chicken, sour cream, cheese, cumin-
Princess: Ew, HUMAN????
Evil Genius: No, CUMIN!

Rest assured that all of the cooking the Evil Genius does is 100% human free!

One thing that has recently come out of the Evil Genius's kitchen: Chocolate Peanut Butter trees!  (Yes they washed their hands but apparently not their faces!)

One thing that has recently come out of the Evil Genius’s kitchen: Chocolate Peanut Butter trees! (Yes they washed their hands but apparently not their faces!)

Speaking of holidays, today marks a special day.  After a few months of growth, my husband will finally be allowed to shave his beard.  They were not allowed to even trim them lest pay the fine of $100!  The picture below is almost three weeks old, so his beard is much scragglier even now.  There will be a lot of happy wives this weekend.  I hope to get a before and after picture that I can share!

He looks annoyed, but he loves it when she cuddles with him, because at least she's warm!

He looks annoyed, but he loves it when she cuddles with him, because at least she’s warm!

That’s all I’ve got.  Have a Happy Holiday!  And be sure to check out the links down below this picture of Christmas cuties or they just might very well tell Santa on you!

IMG_3288This month’s Fly Participants.  Give them a round of buzzzzzzzzzzzz…

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty

http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                 Stacy Sews and Schools

http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                            Battered Hope

http://dinoheromommy.com/                                 Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com                    Juicebox Confession

http://www.risanye.com                                     Risa Nye

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com               The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

http://www.clutteredgenius.com                          Cluttered Genius

 

Advertisements

Deck the Halls With Lots of Vomit, Fa La La La La…

Did you miss me the last few days?  Do you feel like I kind of left you hanging there?

Let’s review…

Previously on The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Protecting the earth from evil by dying them hideous shades of tie-dye!  Look up in the sky, it's a peacock, it's a rainbow, it's TIE-DYE GIRL!

Sewer grossness be gone!  (Because I have to put this picture in whenever I can…)

We last left our sort of heroine counting her blessings after the sewer backed up into her basement and left behind an odor similar to what one can only imagine the bog of eternal stench would smell like.

I was a little busy, but I managed to keep writing some stuff.

Enter the family Christmas this past weekend:  A little more than twenty four hours spent doing Christmas with two different families two and a half hours away from home.  Plus a visit to a third on the way home. Busy, busy, busy.

My stomach was rumbly.  I figured it was just all of the fish chowder I ate.  Or stress.  Or lack of sleep.  Or kids.  Or that I’m crazy.  I downed a Coke or two or seven and ignored it.

And while we were doing Christmas we received quite a few gifts.  However we got one additional one that we were not expecting.  A wonderful group of people in the blogging world got together to help us out in our time of stinkiness by making sure that we didn’t have to wait until after the fact to celebrate our Christmas day at home.  It’s something that I’ll never forget.

Again, for the zillionth time, thank you my friends.

Thanks to this thoughtful gift, the Monday after our weekend jaunt was spent at Target getting the presents that we had been putting off.  Even though I’d been up all night the night before with a stomachache, I was dead tired, and I felt like my food had been sitting at the bottom of my throat for two days, I was going to get my shopping finished!

As it turns out, I was pretty much spot on.  After I finished all of my shopping, I topped it off by puking for five minutes in the store bathroom.  Pretty much everything I had eaten the past day or two.  Isn’t that magical?  I’m sure that the people in the bathroom who heard me making sounds like I was dying thought so.

Then I came home and slept and puked and slept and puked in a vicious cycle that lasted through Christmas Eve.  I know there were things going on around me.  My kids played, they checked on me, they asked me for stuff.  At times I even responded with a half conscious “Honey I love you, I’m not being lazy I’m just really sick.”

I vaguely remember Evil Genius wrapping all the presents, doing the last minute grocery shopping, cooking all the meals, renting some movies, and even washing some dishes.  If there was a medal for that, I’m sure I’d dip it in chocolate and give it to him.

I said I wanted to rest and not gain any weight this Christmas, I didn’t mean it quite like that!

Luckily, I recovered enough to enjoy my kids opening their presents, and a wonderful dinner and dessert cooked by Evil Genius.  I was even conscious for most of it.

December 2013

See the tie-dyed shirt that Evil Genius is wearing? Is that not the coolest shirt ever in the history of geekdom. And sadly not in my size.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s back to the real world.  I’m still not feeling well *urp* but there are no more excuses and I have to work as well as attempt to do those things known as chores.  The kids are for the most part well entertained by their gifts, except when they’re not.  Yesterday as I attempted to do the working from home part of my job I heard my daughter yell at least once “Mommy I’m LONELY!”

Translation-she’s ready to go back to school already.  We’re only a little ways into the SIXTEEN day break that the kids have this year.  Wow.  They have it rough.  We may not survive this…

The Professor is good, because he has a lot of screens to look at and that makes him happy.  Except when he’s not.

Oh… and the Christmas card?  Remember that from last week’s Fly on the Wall post?  After all that had happened, I thought I had better be a good girl and take them with me while I was visiting family and work on them in the spare time I foolishly thought I would have.

Then I left them at my mom’s house, because apparently the flu which infected my gut had already seeped into my brain, I just didn’t know it.

Once my brain began comprehending things, I mentioned something to my mom and she immediately sent them to me, only they no longer can be considered Christmas cards.  We’re now in the beginning stages of turning them into New Year’s cards, with only a few days before I have to send them.  The beginning stages as in I bought stuff to make them with and have felt too lousy and had too little time to do anything with them.

We’ll see how long before I just give up and figure that this year Christmas has just officially kicked my butt.

I hope you are all having a joyous holiday thus far!  I hope you actually got your Christmas cards sent out, enjoyed a lovely time with your family, and are enjoying the stretch of time between the two holidays without any sort of poop or puke in your midst.  Let me know how your holiday went by telling me in the comments!

And I leave you with my absolute favorite picture from the holiday…

Where else do you play with catnip mice but in a Christmas kitty bag?

Where else do you play with catnip mice but in a Christmas kitty bag?

Oh Crap, Literally: Counting My Blessings

fortune-cookie

So it’s not exactly fortune cookie material…

Count your blessings, because in the blink of an eye you could be ankle deep in your own poo!

All right, I admit it wasn’t really ankle deep, but there was definitely poo involved.  It was definitely a crappy thing to have happen!

This past weekend we had a not so welcome gift from the sewage fairy.  Some roots from the tree outside our house got into our sewer line.  Our basement went from 0 to a lovely spread of muck on the floor on one side in a few hours.  I just happened to go downstairs for a loaf of bread and ended up playing a game of stepping stones to get to the freezer.  I more or less had to sit IN the freezer to get the bread out, and I hollered to Evil Genius to come look at the basement.

The next morning we had a quick visit from the city guy who simply said “Yup, you’re backed up.”  This was followed by waiting a few hours for our local Roto-Rooter guy to come out and snake the drain.

Yeah, this tree.  I like this tree...

Yeah, this tree. I like this tree… I’m sad about it.  It’s going to have to come down.

And by the way, he didn’t have to do it once.  Or twice. He had to run it FOUR times.

Lucky us!

Incidentally, I have discovered what the worst smell in the world is.  If you have kids, take their worst diaper or poop accident and multiply the smell by 1000.  That is the smell that will linger after Roto-Rooter has left your house.  I started smelling it about the time he was finished, and then he brought the weird drum shaped device through the upstairs he stopped and showed me the sewage covered tree roots.  I just about threw up, it smelled that bad. And remember, that stuff doesn’t usually bother me.  That means it was really, really bad.

As he often is, Evil Genius was amazing.  He came home from work while I was at my job and cleaned it all up.  By the time I came home my house was transformed from stinky mess to a lovely Lysol smell.  And I like the smell of that particular cleaner, so that’s quite all right.

Confession time:  I have to admit when it happened I went a little nuts.  I worried and I cried.  Because that’s what I do.  Having to shell out a large chunk of change ten days before Christmas when you’re not exactly rolling in the dough makes your wallet hurt.  Add to that fact that I had just had my hair colored for the first time in many years the Friday before. It was my Christmas gift from my husband.  While I loved how it looked and it wasn’t terribly expensive, the guilt of spending that money on myself instead of my kids just about killed me.

Moms do that.  We put our family first.  So it’s a natural mom reaction to feel bad in these situations.  Even though no one was dying and nothing really terrible was going to come of it, I still felt bad.

And I continued to feel bad about it.  I was so preoccupied that I ran into the side of the cart corral at Target.  While the car was fine other than a few scratches in the paint, my already wounded pride was aching.  And then I burst into tears in the store, because here I was surrounded by all of the things I would like to get for my kids, but couldn’t at the moment.  Not that my kids NEED anything, because they have plenty of toys.

So then I felt bad for feeling bad.  After all, we still had a house, food in our kitchen, heat, running water, clothing, and so forth.  Why was I fretting over the fact that we might have to postpone Christmas?  They would be spending time with their extended family and would get gifts from their grandparents the weekend before.

I guess because I don’t want my kids to know just yet that sometimes life just really sucks.

And we’ve had it worse.  Much, much worse. Three years ago we had a flood.  During this flood our sewer system got overwhelmed and backed up.  And kept backing up-all the way up our basement stairs.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  My husband was at work and couldn’t leave, and I thought we were going to float right out of our house.  We lost our furnace and thought we’d lost our freezer, which was floating around in the basement.

Weeks later miraculously our freezer came back to life.  And we got a new furnace through a local organization who happened to be helping winterize our house at the time.

I also have to keep in mind that this is the first Christmas in a long time that one of us hasn’t been out of work or in school.  My husband is working a job that while the commute is long and some aspects of it are stressful, he is doing what he loves at a company that is very supportive and truly appreciates him as an employee.  We have good health insurance.  We have great benefits.

So what the hell am I upset about?  Counting my blessings makes even the worst situation seem a lot better.

Speaking of blessings, I want to thank my blogging friends who had kind words to offer me as I was fretting about the whole thing.  It really meant the world just to hear that things will get better!  Sometimes it’s nice just to have someone listen. We don’t need any help, we will be fine!  It’s just another setback in a series of things that are getting better slowly but not quite fast enough to make me happy.  I just have to remember that sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back!

Oh, and by the way, I’ve got about a thousand crap references saved up since this whole mess started.  I bet you can’t wait!

crapNow before you go away thinking “Sheesh, I thought this lady is supposed to be funny!”  I want you to remember that even the funniest people have unfunny days.  But you can get your laugh on over at Moms Who Write and Blog, where they have a little shindig going on known as Mom For the Holidays!  You can read many great posts (but not ghosts) from Christmases pasts!

And to go right along with that, tomorrow is Fly on the Wall, The Holiday Edition, going live at 10 am EST/9 am CST!

Oh There’s No One Like Mom For The Holidays!

MWWAB holidaysGet ready… It’s time for Mom for the Holidays! My sister moms over at Moms Who Write and Blog are putting together some of the best mom lit and parent humor for the holidays on the Internet! Hosted by the hostesses with the mostesses moi and supermom Lisa Nolan at LisaNolan.com.

Do things get a little crazy for you this time of year? Believe me, you’re not the only one!  So go and take some time out for yourself, because you deserve it! Head over to our group Pinterest board and re pin some great posts to read later (when your family has passed out from too much sugar-plum goodness). You can also hangout with us at our  Facebook Event starting on Wednesday 12/18 at 6 pm! And if you love to read mom blogs, click on our holiday lit and parent humor link and read yourself to sleep, because goodness knows you’re going to need all the sleep you can get!

Will you be there with bells on?  Ho ho ho!  Let’s get our holidays on, Moms!

Getting ready for Christmas

What You Missed These Past Few Weeks, Probably Because You Forgot I Had A Blog

*Waves frantically*

Hello!

It’s not that I don’t love you all, but the paying job and those people !known as a family have had to take priority.  And hey, my house was clean for almost a week!

This is what I’ve done lately, which hasn’t been much.  You might be bored, or curious, or have nothing better to do than to peruse these posts, which is totally okay with me!

This Past Week

The 80s Child Thinks of ChristmasRelive your childhood through my reblog!

Might As Well Face It, I’m No Robert Palmer-It’s Twisted Mixtape Tuesday, the addiction edition.

Flaming Pillow Pets and Other Christmas List Nos-Here I was totally out of the blogging habit, and I got sucked back in by the idea of this post.  Some blogging friends and I vent about things that we don’t want our kids to get this Christmas, carnival style.  Even if you don’t want to read about combustible pillow pets, scroll down to the bottom of my post and check out the other bloggers’ Christmas item vetoes.

Ode To The Baking Queen-If you are familiar at all with The Secret Subject Swap or Fly on the Wall, you’ve probably heard about Karen of Baking in a Tornado.  Someone had a brilliant idea to do an Advent calendar of sorts just for her, and I got Friday the 13th to share something with her.  I wrote her a song, sort of.

Previously on the Sadder But Wiser Girl

And recently… okay maybe not so recently:

Let It Snow: The Blogging Conference That Really Should Have Happened in a Snowstorm-My prompt for the Secret Subject Swap was whether I’d rather be on an island alone with all the amenities or trapped in a snowstorm for a week with my favorite people.  Obviously the title gives it away!

Christmas, Christmas, CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Twisted Mixtape Tuesday, Christmas Style!

Fly on the Wall November 2013: The Princess Edition II-Everything entertaining that the Princess has said and done recently.  This should really have a laugh track.

Football, Food and Fashion Sense-Once again I make brilliant observations and even learn some things from a football game.  It won’t happen again, promise.

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: Tell Me A Story!  Songs that tell a story.  My idea, thank you very much!

Best and Most Disturbing Search Terms

Now what you’re really been waiting for… trust me, I’ve been totally saving them up for you!  Apparently while I was on my little hiatus people were totally wondering about their bodily functions:

yo I p!  Yo I do 2!

troi cake, or even better, deanna troi underwear Get both and you can eat your cake AND wear her underwear too.

fat unicorns farting rainbows  Don’t discriminate, what about the skinny ones?

what does glue do to your poop?  People look this stuff up?????

where do unicorns poop?  Now I want to know too.

Why am I not pooping glitter?  Because you need more fiber?

John Cusack headband I just.can’t.imagine.

What aisle is pudding in at Target?  Again, people look this stuff up?????

antibacterial lotion This seems normal compared to the other stuff.  Now I have to find out why this leads to my blog!

This Next Week

I’ll roll out some sort of Christmas related reblog from back when I had more time and more ambition to write stuff!

There will beTwisted Mixtape Tuesday- it’s another dealer’s choice, a free for all, an   opportunity for us to share whatever the heck we feel like!  So I will share WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE!

Fly on the Wall-Another invitation for you to come into my house and try to figure out how I have yet to actually go nuts.

Cherish this time, because WHO KNOWS when I’ll write enough to actually be able to post another one of these wrap-ups!  It’s a busy, busy time of year.

But I will share one thing.  Take a looksie:

I went RED!

I went RED!  Isn’t this exciting???

Flaming Pillow Pets and Other Christmas List Nos

At the top of the cat's Christmas list?  A box?  And that's fine with me.

At the top of the cat’s Christmas list? A box. And that’s fine with me.  The kids are a little more complicated.

You know what is wonderful about programming on PBS for kids?  NO COMMERCIALS for toys!!!!!

Up until the last year or so, for the most part I kept my children blissfully ignorant of the hottest items out there, because the only thing I let them watch was PBS or movies rented from the kids section of Family Video (because they’re FREEEEEEEEEEEE!)

Occasionally, however, something would slip through my stronghold of noncommercialism.  My first experience with this were the Pillow Pets.  My kids saw these commercials and went nuts.  Because it’s a pillow AND it’s a pet!

OMG IT'S A PILLOW AND A PET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG IT’S A PILLOW AND A PET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, both of my children own three of them.  I like the original pillow pets when they were just a pillow and a pet and nothing else.Then apparently everything in the world had to transform from a pillow into something else, because who wants a pillow that’s just… a pillow.  Boring, right?  I got so annoyed by this last year that I had to write a whole rant about pillows that transform.

The latest annoyance by this company has got to be the “Dream Lites”.  Both of my children have wanted one since they came out.  Perhaps you’ve heard of these?  An animal pillow that lights up and projects stars on the ceiling.  Cool huh, NOT!  Every time we go to a Wal-Mart my kids have to stop and look at the Dream Lites. Both kids have picked out exactly which one they think they must have and exactly how they will use them.  I don’t get this-they’re not even soft, so I can’t understand why anyone would want a hard pillow that lights up.  Imagine my delight when I heard that one caught fire.  NO!  You can’t have one because they’re a FIRE HAZARD!  There, I said it.  Mean Mom…

Now that my children are watching things like Vortex (the current equivalent of our childhood Saturday morning cartoons) on Saturday mornings, they are inundated with all of the ridiculous things that are being marketed to kids.  And they want them.  This year they took the toy catalog long before we were even allowed to speak of Christmas and pretty much circled everything in it.  Apparently they thought they were being helpful by using different colored pens to denote who wanted what.  But when they both circle everything, does it really matter?

Then I came up with the brilliant idea of having them write Christmas lists.  The Professor didn’t really quite get that he had to ask for presents for himself.  When I pointed that out he scrapped the list.  The Princess took the idea and ran, except that when I got the list, I needed an interpreter.  Enter Grandma, the former second grade teacher, who was able to decipher the list in a jiffy.

Scan

The Princess writes her first Christmas list. Impressive, but she is not a Jedi yet.

You’ve got to love a kid who asks for belts for Christmas, especially one like her whose butt is always hanging out of her pants! AND STILTS, she asked for STILTS for Christmas.  LOL!

And no, she’s not getting a bird.  Or a computer.

(If anyone knows what the second to last item is, please enlighten me, because even with the expert help, I couldn’t figure it out.)

IMG_1503

The Professor at Christmas. One toy or book is all he really needs. That is until we’re all done, then he wonders “That’s IT?????” (You only got 200 toys this year, what do you mean that’s it?)

The Professor is still thinking over his list.  I really hope I get one before Christmas…

Aside from the aforementioned flaming pillow pet nightlight things and the bird, here are some other things that my kids won’t be seeing under the tree this year.  Or any year.  Ever.

Furby-What the hell do kids see in those things?  I think they are CREEPY!
Easy Bake Oven-Refer to the whole Dream Lite thing above.
Robot Claw Grabber Thingie-Not because my kids would get in trouble with it, I’m talking about my husband.  No, no ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Barbie Dream House With Two Separate Elevators-Since our Barbie house has no stairs of any kind, Barbie has to teleport from floor to floor.  So much better than an elevator or even two, don’t you think?
Hello Kitty Pop Star-No!  NO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Ugglys Pug Electronic Pet-Nobody gets anything with the word “ugly” in it… especially this.
Back to the two elevators thing… WHY would Barbie need two elevators?  Is Barbie too good to share an elevator with anyone?  Do they have elevator races?  Inquiring minds WANT TO KNOW!

What ARE my kids getting for Christmas? Aside from visiting Gamestop for a used DS for The Princess, the verdict is still out.  I guess you’ll just have to come back and see.  I might even blog about it.

making list imageSome of my awesome blogging buddies also have things that they are not wanting to see under their trees.  Here are the links to check out their Christmas “NOS”!

Dear Santa, Please Don’t-Jen from My Skewed View

The Gift That JUST.KEEPS.ON.GIVING-Katia from I Am The Milk

My Child Models Deserve the Best at Christmas-Jean from Mama Schmama

Santa Employs Sweatshop Labor-Rachel from Tao of Poop

Three Things I Don’t Want My Son To Get For Christmas-Kristi from Finding Ninee

Holy Testosterone, Batman!  Why Are Superheroes So ANGRY These Days?-Sarah from Left Brain Buddha

Thanks for Nothing, “American Girls”.  Why I Hate American Girl Dolls-Stephanie from Mommy Is For Real

Is there something that you hope that your child does not receive this year?  Share, share, SHARE your thoughts in the comments!

Christmas, Christmas, CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

twisted mixtape tuesdayI’m still here.  At some point I’ll go through the long story of why I’ve been absent.  But for now I’m just here for the music.

This week’s Twisted Mixtape Tuesday theme is CHRISTMAS!  I like Christmas a lot.  As a matter of fact, I wrote a post about what Christmas music I love and what I hate last year.  At the risk of sounding a bit repetitive I’m going to name some of those favorites again… because IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!!

TMTchristmasFirst let’s have some fun.

I Wish It Was Christmas Today-Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan

I can’t pinpoint exactly what makes me crack up every time I see this.  There’s so much to laugh at.  But it’s fun, and that’s what counts.  BECAUSE It’s Christmas!!!!

Now let’s get nostalgic…

Christmastime is Here-Vince Guaraldi Trio

Raise your hand if you grew up awaiting the Charlie Brown Christmas special every year!  I knew it was Christmas time when I heard this song.  A Charlie Brown Christmas remains one of my all time favorite Christmas cartoons!

Speaking of knowing when it’s Christmastime, this next song is the first one on my Christmas playlist.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas-Bing Crosby

While I’m not a huge Bing Crosby fan there are several of his that I do love like this one.

O Holy Night-Josh Groban

The voice makes me swoon.  The guy isn’t bad to look at either.  I love this version of O Holy Night so much!

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo-Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The first time I heard this I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  Orchestra and electric guitar meets Christmas tradition.  It ROCKS.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel-Enya

Now let’s go in a completely different direction and play some relaxing tunes.  I am a huge fan of Enya, as well as of this particular Christmas carol.  This song is so beautiful.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas-Rascal Flatts

I resisted liking this group for so long, but this is the song that got me to start really listening to them.  This beautiful acappela rendition is wonderful.

All I Want for Christmas Is You-Mariah Carey

My husband’s ears are probably bleeding.  I don’t know why I like this song.  It’s an earworm that burrows into my head and won’t go away, and I just keep singing it.

A Soalin-Peter, Paul, and Mary

I stuck this in here because I performed it once in college.  I think it’s neat.

Mary Did You Know-Kenny Rogers/Wynonna Judd

My son loves this song so much that he still wants to listen to it whether it is Christmas or not when we go to my parents house.

Silent Night/7 O’clock News-Simon and Garfunkel

Of course I had to stick Simon and Garfunkel in here somewhere!

Sleigh Ride-The Boston Pops

I have to tell you a story.  This song was something that our high school orchestra played every single year.  It was tradition.  One year our orchestra director decided to try to do something different.  It didn’t go over so well.  As a matter of fact, it was mutiny.  The sheet music to the song that he wanted to do was hidden and everyone’s music was replaced with sleigh ride.  It’s a classic.  Don’t mess with classics, especially if there are whips in the song.

I’m sure that you have opinions. What Christmas songs do you love?  Which ones do you hate?  I’m anxious to hear what you think! Make you own list and then get your behind over to Jen Kehl’s blog and hook it up!  Come on, it’s CHRISTMAS!

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!

Last Call: The Final Week in a Nutshell of 2012

I’ll be the first to admit I’m way, way behind on my reading.  I haven’t been reading other folk’s blogs like I usually do, because this is such a busy time!  Today is my Dad’s birthday and tomorrow is New Years Eve.  So I promise, I’ll be brief.  Because I’ve got stuff to do and places to go.  Well maybe nowhere to go but I certainly have things to do!

Sooo…just in case you were extremely busy like many of us were this past week, here is the week in review.

a-charlie-brown-christmasSunday  I took a good hard look (er, listen) at holiday music and picked my favorite versions and the songs that make me want to run for the hills.  Holiday Music:  The Great Ones and the Really Annoying (In My Unprofessional Opinion)

 

Monday I take a moment to remember why we celebrate Christmas.  The Hokey Pokey Is NOT What It’s All About

The kids on Christmas morning.

Wednesday A summary of my Christmas.  Elvis was there.  Wrapping Up Christmas

 

 

 

 

new-years-resolutions-cats-treadmill-exerciseThursday I tried out a new prompt-Theme Thursday over at Something Clever 2.0.  The theme was New Years Resolutions, which I actually don’t make. New Years Resolutions or Lack Thereof.

 

 

He probably reads my blog.  Must be a Chad Knaus fan.

Friday I looked back over some of the stuff I actually learned this year.  After I published this, I found the original list I made.  Much better than what I actually wrote down.  What I Learned in 2012:  An Introvert’s Introspective Retrospective

 

 

bats n miceSaturday was a reblog.  Shockingly, I didn’t seem to lose any followers over it.  Read here to find out why I don’t eat chocolate sprinkles.  The Scoop on the Poop:  Why I Don’t Eat Chocolate Sprinkles and Other Revelations.

 

 

 

I don’t have a list of favorite blog posts this week, though I assure you there were MANY great ones this week.  I’m just waaaaay behind on my reading.  Please refer to my little list here in the right hand column of all the great blogs I follow.  Each one of them is special to me for a good reason. Which reminds me, I really need to add a few blogs to it!

Coming tomorrow, the best of 2012.  If you made my list, you could be the recipient of a beautiful handmade award!  My daughter, however, does not take requests, she just creates.  Future independent artist, she is.

Her creations will be much better than the "Geller Cup".

Her creations will be much better than the “Geller Cup”.

Wrapping Up Christmas: Illness, Elvis, Sparkly Chests, Draco, Giant Hams, and Toothpaste in My Eye

The kids on Christmas morning.

The kids on Christmas morning.

Do you do pretty much the same thing every Christmas?  Do you throw caution to the wind and do something different EVERY YEAR?

At the rate we are going, we are easily going to become tradition rebels.  Last year we decided to change up tradition, due to my husband’s graduation from Engineering School the week before Christmas and the fact that every single Christmas my son starts throwing up (true story).  So instead of splitting it up over two days, we did some of Christmas that weekend, and then on Christmas Eve we went to my parent’s house.  It worked-there was no puking of any kind.  Isn’t that nice?

THIS year we had an almost twelve days of Christmas.  Eleven days is close enough, right? Actually it was just a few days all spread out, but it’s easier to say eleven days instead of one here and then one there… It started with a cold.  A really bad cold, and ended with a clogged sink and toothpaste in my eye.

I think I’ve already beat the early Christmas story to death, so I’ll be brief.  The first day of Christmas my two kids and  me saw Elvis and my family (keep twisting the syllables and eventually you’ll get it to fit.  Trust me.)  Really, I have a relative who does a pretty great Elvis, and was the entertainment at my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary.  The cold was the one I had (and still have a little bit) and the one that Evil Genius was dying from and ended up staying home with nice warm animals.  I can’t say that I blamed him, I had been at that same point two days prior and if I thought I had the chance to stay in bed and veg I gladly would have.  But I’m the Mom, that doesn’t happen.

While we were there we obviously got the much needed family time, ate some great food, and exchanged gifts.   I received a wonderfully warm soft purple Old Navy hoodie that unfortunately was covered with sequins (apparently this was not mentioned in the online item description).  Sequins and I do not agree-especially where they were located.  That area is big enough, let’s not turn it into a “Look at my Chest” billboard.  My Mom spent quite a long time removing them.  I don’t know if “de-sequin” is a word, but it definitely applied to what had to be done!  It is now sequin free and quite nice.  Princess Christmas got to keep the pretty sparklies.  As long as she doesn’t use them to adorn her own chest I am good with that.

Later on in the week:  Behold, A blizzard!  A blizzard lovingly dubbed “Draco” by the weather community made its way to our neck of the woods midweek.  We left for our church choir Christmas party with a little snow on the ground and a couple of hours later were sliding around in tons of snow coming home.  It was definitely worth venturing out for the chicken sandwiches and apple cider.  By morning our state was pretty much at a standstill, and continued to be for the next days.  It turned out that “Draco” (being a Harry Potter fan, I really loved the name) was the worst blizzard in more than a decade.

This obviously shut down my son’s school for the last two days before Christmas break, as well as my husband’s work for one of those days.  A lot of Christmas goodies got eaten that probably shouldn’t have.  Oh yes, I finally got the pretzels tried again and while they weren’t pretty, they were very good.  It didn’t make a very big batch, so we put a few in the teacher gifts, and we ate the rest.  If you missed the tales of the Christmas baking wins and fails read The ADD Kitchen Chapter 2: Cooking Calamities and Delicious Evil Lurks in the Downstairs Freezer

White chocolate peppermint pretzels

White chocolate peppermint pretzels

Christmas Eve Eve Eve (Saturday):  I was nearly done cleaning the house when the announcement came that my in-laws would in fact not be joining us due to the roads.  So we quit cleaning and we went to spend the day in town.  Then that evening we got the call that they WERE going to come after all.  At seven at night.  At least my house was already clean.

They brought both kids a set of lego type blocks called “Laser Pegs”, which are basically clear legos that light up.  They are REALLY neat, but chew on this for a minute- legos hurt pretty bad when you step on them.  At least if the lego is visible you have a fighting chance to avoid them.  Ouch, ouch, OUCH!  However, despite the ouchiness they have kept the kids very entertained.

Christmas Eve:  I spent an inordinate amount of time wandering through stores buying socks and ingredients to make a buffalo chicken dip.  We missed the church service.  We almost forgot cream cheese in our dip.  The potato soup was cooked too long.  But we DID have some yummy hot chocolate, and I tried hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps for the first time.  Fantastic!  I was toasty warm.

Christmas Day:  It was good.  Quiet, but good.  The kids opened the remainder of their presents, which wasn’t much.  I am very satisfied that a used Lite Brite that cost around a dollar has given them many hours of entertainment.  Princess Christmas was more than thrilled with her box of many princesses, the Professor has been ecstatic about the fact that we found him almost all of the Avengers action figures. All of the presents they have received over the course of the 11 Day Christmas are still being played with an appreciated. Even Evil Genius has been playing with the kids presents. The Professor was given a remote controlled helicopter by my in-laws, which was actually really a present for Evil Genius.  It has been flying around the house pretty frequently, even after the children were in bed for the night.  Both animals are absolutely terrified of it.  The cat stays hidden (more than usual) and if the dog could crawl in my pocket he would.

Unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day.

Unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day.

Christmas dinner was a ham.  A giant prepackaged precooked Farmland ham.  It’s not that we don’t have taste, it’s just that I didn’t want to do another turkey so soon, and the idea of paying anywhere between thirty and fifty dollars for a piece of meat made me physically ill.  So instead we paid $10.53 for that.  It was good.  I foresee us getting very sick of ham leftovers here in the near future.

And just like every year, when it’s all over and the kids go to bed, I have what I can only describe as “Post-Christmas Letdown”.  I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I just feel a little sad.  Maybe it was the fact that we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with family this year.  Maybe it was the cookies that got made but never frosted.  Or the Christmas dinner that didn’t have a whole lot to it other than one giant ham and green bean casserole.  Or that my husband had to return to work the next day and go back to being grumpy and semi conscious.  Or perhaps this time it was the fact that we rented an Adam Sandler movie.  Every time we rent one, I’m just disappointed. Why I put as much faith as I do in Mr Sandler, I’ll never know.  You think I’d learn, after all we have a “No Kevin James Movie” rule now at our house.  If he has anything to do with a movie, it goes to the “No Watch” list.  Which is sad, because I love Kevin James and his standup.  I just hate his movies.  Except I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, that movie was actually ok.  Now that I think about it, Adam Sandler was in that one too.  Maybe it’s a sign.

After the movie, my Christmas ended with me trying to brush my teeth and someone managing to flick minty toothpaste into my left eye.  By the way, that hurts like crazy, not to mention the burning makes it very difficult to sleep.  At least it was mint toothpaste, kind of a sign that the holiday was OVER.  Back to reality.

The reality, pets that dislike each other.  At least they're on the same piece of furniture!

The reality, pets that dislike each other. At least they’re on the same piece of furniture!

Thanks for being patient with me.  I was almost in tears over not having good internet access for almost a week.  My browser would run fine for a few minutes, and then lock up for 15 minutes or so.  Often it would end up in my just either restarting or saying to hell with it and shutting down the computer.  I uninstalled a million things and messed with a million more, only to find out that I had the wrong version of Java.  Due to this pretty much everything has been real short and sweet, and not up to my usual overdone and edited a few hundred times before publishing.  This being said, I hope to get back to the good stuff here…