Like a Chicken Carcass Christmas

One thing that happened at the time we decided to up and leave, again, is that not only do we have to pack everything up the day after Christmas (Think: "Here are your gifts kids. Like 'em? Great, now give 'em back so I can put them in the bottom of this box that you won't see for another week or so.") but since we have no income, we are practicing what many people are experiencing as well this year: Christmas-lite. (I have already told Kurt that after he unwraps his gift that I got him BEFORE we knew we were leaving, I will be taking it back to get a refund. And his heart will swell two sizes that day just at the thought of me saving money! Merry Christmas sweets!)

About a month and a half ago I had gotten to the end of my rope with the kids, particularly our eldest. Without much thought, I slapped a huge piece of wrapping paper up on the wall, put a picture of each kid above their very own column and explained to them that I spoke to Santa Claus and as of that moment, he didn't have them on the good list and if they were to earn a spot on his good list, they needed to start following instructions first time they were given. This would be noted by a Santa Sticker on the gift wrap....if they didn't prove they could do this, well, Santa would be very disappointed. They got right to work following our instructions, earning their stickers, happily doing what they were told, la-te-da-te-da, everything was sunshine and roses....for about a week, maybe two.

Their columns are about half full. As much as a scrooge as I can feel (especially once a month or so....hee hee) I don't know that I can tell them Santa won't be here on account of their behavior. After all, they are pretty darn good, most of the time. But it could make for a very interesting conversation on Christmas morning about why Santa only brought one little thing....yes, we are looking forward to our Christmas-lite. It might look a little like a picked-over-chicken-carcass-Christmas this year but I imagine it will be one we don't forget. And although many of the gifts are garage-sale and second-hand store bought, I doubt the kids will notice the difference since, when you are 2, or 4, the best part is in the unwrapping anyway.

Another thing that has happened since our life got sucked up into a whirl-wind again is that everything seems just a little, well, crazier. Yesterday my friends planned a little going away "all-members meeting" for our mom's club at my favorite place, Sugar Pies. The kids and I arrived a little early so we could hang out with the owner. As I was getting out of the car, my phone rang and when I tried to get it out of my zipped vest pocket, the zipper got stuck. Needless-to-say, I missed the call....and then every. other. call. for the next hour and a half! I swear I had more calls come in yesterday morning then I do in an entire day usually. As I was sitting there, working on the zipper, the kids asking for this and that and I nodding my head in approval to the owner's husband working the register, a random guy sat down next to me. I looked up and asked if he might be good at un-sticking stuck zippers. He took the challenge and whisked the pink vest from me, asking if he might go sit outside away from the noise of our growing group. On his way out he asked for a knife. (This can't end well, was my only thought.) Meanwhile, Liam was having a hard day, crying anytime I put him down as he was hungry and teething. Lily comes running up and announces she has to poop RIGHT NOW....down goes Liam who immediately burst into more tears, random friend told to keep an eye on him, and off I whiz Lily to the restroom where she pees all over her pants, even though she is sitting on the toilet...go figure. On our way back out, random zipper-undoing man asked if he might just cut the vest open. I am guessing he would've whipped out the duct tape next to fix it. With a very polite no, thank you, I mentioned I would just take it to the dry cleaner next door and see what they could do. He took it over for me and as I turned around I noticed Aidan was "making snow" with packets of sugar and splenda, ALL OVER SUGAR PIES!

By the end of the "meeting" I had missed a dozen calls, cleaned up far too much "snow" and taken much too much time trying to convince a 2 year old that she had to stay in the peed on clothes just a little while longer since we didn't have any spare pants in the car. My kids ate twice as much sugar as their weekly allowance would appreciate and I had to let down a friend by telling her sorry, we would NOT be debuting our 3 day road trip with a live-web-feed-video- cam...BUT the dry cleaners easily undid my vest zipper with some nifty little tool and so by golly, we are going on that note and claiming victory for all. 

The rest of the day was met with similar craziness, and as I shopped for something to put under the tree for Kurt (that he might actually get to keep) I realized that wow, I'm either an extremely boring person in terms of fashion or there are a lot of ridiculous clothes out there. The comments Lily repeatedly heard during our hour shopping trip to Macy's were:

 "Wow, who would wear that?" and
"You can't be serious?!" and
"Don't they make anything nice for UNDER $50?" and
"Ewww, Lily, don't lick the mirrors!"

Perhaps I will just tell him he didn't earn enough Santa Stickers this year....

Merry Christmas to you all!

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