I know you've been waiting for it.
There was such potential for blog fodder - two weeks at home with the kids, the obligatory Christmas visit to Chez Inlaw, my parents' visit (and yes, they stayed at our house) - I almost hate to tell you that the last couple of weeks have been remarkably unremarkable.
I did, however, create a new word. I'm hoping it gets picked up like The Yarn Harlot's "Kinneared", a practice which I personally love, and I think my vast readership appreciates my skill at surreptitiously taking photos of unsuspecting people.
The PK twist, though, is that I like to take pictures of my kids and capture the actual thing I want to get a picture of in the background, like the pic of Robert Goulet I got at Tito's Christmas Play or the one of Mark Twain at Ted Drewes. It's an actual picture of something, it's just that the focus of the photo is not in the foreground, it's in the background. I'm sure you're familiar with my work, if you read BMB with any regularity.
Ok, so my new word - let me set this up a bit. Sometimes, no matter what I do, I never feel like I did enough. This is particularly true at this time of year. This year I sent Christmas cards to blood relatives only, complete with the cheesy newsletter that contains absolutely no information that I haven't already shared with you on here. (Yes, you know more about me than the people which whom I share DNA. You're welcome.) I felt bad that I didn't send cards to all of you, even though I know you won't be mad at me.
This year I also had all of my shopping done before December 1st. That's how R and I like to do it. December is stressful enough as it is. And R and I had already 'splained to the kiddos that in terms of gift quantity, this year would be a little thinner than last year because of the house and the van that we all love. And they were really cool with it.
R and I did great with our budget, and each Ape had exactly 4 gifts to open on Christmas morning. And although each Ape was extremely happy with each of their gifts, I kept feeling like I didn't do enough. I knew it made more sense (both logically and financially speaking) to limit the number of gifts so that there would be nothing I bought solely for the purpose of giving the recipient something additional to open, which would surely be forgotten in favor of a few of the Favorite gifts, which, for all intents and purposes, could have been the only things we bought in the first place.
It also helped that we knew what the Inlaws were giving the kids, and anything we got them would be completely eclipsed by their gift. More on that later.
So even though I knew I did fine with the gifts, I still sensed that the kids were disappointed and just not saying so, and I felt like I'd done an inadequate job with Christmas. Not even just with the gifts, either - we didn't bake cookies, didn't put up many decorations other than the tree and the stockings (we usually make a day of cutting out snowflakes and putting them in the windows), didn't drive out to see Christmas lights, nothing like that. It never felt like Christmas to me, not on Christmas Eve, not on Christmas Day, not even the day after. And I didn't go Day After shopping either, because my parents were coming that day.
I just couldn't shake the feeling that I hadn't done enough. And not even just the Christmas stuff - I hadn't cleaned the house enough, hadn't washed the sheets and towels for my mom and dad's visit, hadn't bought enough groceries, nothing I'd done (and I did a LOT, by any definition) was enough. And just to be clear, it wasn't that I feared anything specific happening as a result of anything I hadn't done; nothing I had left undone was a big deal. And no one was making me feel that I hadn't done enough, no one was giving me a hard time about it or anything; I was simply unsatisfied with myself.
I was consumed by this overwhelming sense of general inadequacy, and it was making me sick to my stomach. So here's the word I came up with, to describe the helpless feeling I was experiencing - the feeling that I'd messed something up irreparably and I wouldn't have a chance to go back and fix it to where I'd feel better and I knew there wasn't a damn thing I can do about it, but I couldn't stop thinking about it...
(Adj.) Stressed about something that's completely in the past that you can do nothing about, and unable to shake the feeling of utter powerlessness that you should have done something differently and now, obviously, you can't. And it's important to add the element of "I know that it makes absolutely no sense for me to even feel like this" resounding in your head all the while.
Annnnnyway, I was retro-stressing the entire way out to the Inlaws'. I should have made peppermint fudge, I should have taken a whole Xannie instead of a half, I shouldn't have drunk that caffeine, I should have worn my Wonder Woman panties; everything that entered my head was some mistake I'd made in the last 24 hours. And it was eating me alive.
But we got out there and everything was reasonably stress-free. MIL had ham and lots of snacks, and plenty of liquor, including Mimosas made with the GOOD stuff. Sweet.
MIL and FIL have a Wii. It's made them rather popular party hosts in their neighborhood, apparently. The kids were playing with it while they waited for dinner. My nephews 1Gig and 2Gig are quite adept at it, as they have not one, but two Wii's at their house, along with their two Lexuses. Hey, I'm thrilled for their parents' success. I just kinda shake my head in bewildered awe at it sometimes because, try as I might, I just can't imagine having that kind of money.
Anyway, at one point, FIL mentioned a game called Rayman Raving Rabbids (or something like that) and one particular game within this game he said was, and I quote, "right up your alley, Sarah."
He went on to describe a game which involves the various deranged rabbit-like creatures atop the Arch De Triomphe shaking up a bottle of booze, guzzling it quickly and letting out a belch that shatters the windows on the Champs Elysses and sets off the alarms on all the Peugots. Charming. And the fact that it made FIL think of me? I have a tear in my eye.
So the kids were so good at Chez Inlaw, FIL asked me if there was something wrong with them. Gee, FIL, if this is how you want them to behave, then why question it? Act like there's something wrong with my kids if they're being good? Yeah, that makes sense. And it makes me feel like a fantastic parent. Thanks.
Ok, so what did MIL and FIL get my kids for Christmas?
I hereby retract all the smack I've talked about my inlaws.
R and I have known about the Wii for months. FIL asked both R and Reverend Aldi if they thought the kids would like one. R said uh, YEAH! without hesitation. The Reverend kinda hemmed and hawed, knowing he'd have to clear it with Mrs. Aldi, and Mrs. Aldi didn't want one in her house because they're too viiiiiiiolent.
Um, Mrs. A? Two things. First of all, your husband is a total fucking pussy, and secondly, you could use a little violence in your house in the form of a lil swat on the BEE-hind because, let's be honest, your brattyass kids could sure use one. There, I said it.
Eventually she caved and the Aldis got one too, but for the record, Reverend Aldi is the most pussy-whipped man I've ever encountered in my life. Perhaps she figured if The Rev had a Wii to play with, he'd quit bugging her for sex. We're pretty sure he's not gittin any.
Oh, and let me share what they got Beebie for Christmas. Not just the High School Musical DVD game. No, no. THIS TOO.
Oh, it's fuckin ON.
So the Wii has become a cherished member of our family, as has the hutch we got on Craigslist to go with the dining room table we got for free. R and I unpacked dishes that we got for our wedding ten years ago that were still in the boxes, and as we placed them on the shelves we realized that we have an alarming lack of liquor in the house. We have beer, sure, but if you're a mixed drinks kind of person, you'd be shitouttaluck at my house. We're thinking of having a bar-stocking party. We'll invite people over for dinner and Wii games, and they'll be asked to bring a bottle of whatever they want to add to our bar. Sure, it's tacky, but I'm like that and y'all know it.
I also got to do a little yarn shopping over Christmas break, which was awesome. It was the first time I've bought yarn in a shop since February. I got some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino so I could make my very first cabled project and my first FO of 2008 - Fetching!
I added a cable round at the end to make them longer, and I didn't bother with the picot bind-off, and they're not perfect, but I think they came out pretty good. I absolutely love the yarn; the color especially.
I'm waiting for the kids to go back to school, then I'm going to sneak up on the Ice Queen while she's sleeping and kick her ass. I was afraid to pick Her Majesty up while my parents were here because I wouldn't be able to give her my full attention.
So, moving on to the Parental Visit. I was really nervous, especially about them staying with us. I certainly didn't want it to come down to me screaming "GET OUT... OF THE HOUSE YOU BOUGHT FOR ME!!" Oh, and let me just say that Beeb was a good sport for letting Nana and PopPop stay in her bedroom, but she did request that I wash the sheets after their departure, just in case they took a "nap" while they were here. Tee hee!!!
Some of the highlights of their visit include Tito's Birthday Party. He's 5 now. It's the beginning of the six weeks out of each year that the boys are the same age. After a few days of Wii Bowling, Tito thought we should go real bowling. So we did. I bowling a 248 in Wii Bowling. And in real bowling? Well, I SUCK. But I'm an excellent ball-handler. And I look hot under bowling-alley lighting, do I not?
Another highlight was Mom and Dad offering to watch the kiddos while R and I went to see Sweeney Todd.
Here's my assessment of Sweeney Todd: If you can't stand the sight of blood, you and Sweeney Todd really can't be friends. However, if the thought of seeing Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman together on the big screen is as hot to you as it is to me, you'll figure out a way to deal with the bloody stuff and concentrate on Johnny's extremely sexy eye makeup. Beeeeeyootiful.
That's enough for now, I think. The kids go back to school tomorrow, and let me just say... I CAN'T WAIT.
I'm gonna Wii Bowl ALL DAY.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I know you've been waiting for it.