Caloden


Green, Green, Green
December 30, 2005, 8:17 am
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Somedays I deeply dislike The Dooce.com. I religiously read her blog, and in frustrated stalker fashion get irked when she doesn’t update on a daily basis. I love looking at all her pictures of her seemingly fabulous life. Look at her. She’s obviously fit and thin, which indicates an enviable strain of self-control in her character. Her house appears clean and void of dustbunnies in all the pictures. Leta’s car seat never appears to be encrusted with Cheerio guck. She makes an INCOME from her blog, which I still don’t quite understand but completely admire. And most of all, Jon seems to adore her -baggage and all.

I know her life isn’t all daisies and tulips. I’ve read of her emotional demons and chronic colonic issues. I have no feel for the latter, being a regular girl myself. But for the former, I can definitely feel some of that. And being a mother, under any circumstance, is difficult on any given day. Add in a handful of a daughter- a dilemma I FULLY understand- and each day is a challenge. But this woman gets to stay at home, with her daughter, her devoted spouse and make a living doing something she loves.

This is all adding up to a review of my life as the year comes to a close. I have to make some serious changes and envying somebody else’s seemingly perfect existence is a nice little diversion from that task. I have been compiling a mental list, but need to write it down -lest I stuff it deep into the couch cushions never to again be seen.

On a completely different note, Devon is quite taken with a Tellatubbies show this morning. They are creepy little guys. Are they aliens? Mammals? Until this he has yet to show much interest in TV. Maybe I’ll start that list with a daily session of TV for the little guy, it could lead to some free time for me…. Okay, maybe not, but a nice thought.



Uh-Huh
December 28, 2005, 8:32 pm
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Apparently the post holiday lethargy is not just pure laziness on my part. I am sick. Fuuuuuuuuck. I am queasy, the room routinely spins, I fluctuate between sweating, hot flashes and shivering. My bones feel like they are hollow, my arms are far too heavy for my shoulders, my ankles may very well collapse from the weight of my ass. I can’t parent my three children, the laundry is out of the question, and I hope Devon can learn to change his own diapers before morning. Maybe the children can just graze, free range style, if I pour an entire box of cereal on the coffee table. The dog can clean up any that spills on the floor.

I caught this from one of the ten one-year olsd I watched at the ski mountain yesterday. Was it pouty Wyatt with the 100.5 temperature? Or Romiana who had three days of the runs? Or maybe Tanner and his waterfall of green snot? Whatever the case, there is no way I am venturing out at 6:45 tomorrow morning for more. Free ski passes be damned, I am staying home to contaminate my own brood. That way when I heal, they will all be coming down with it. And then I can spend a week with barfing, fevery kids of my own. Nail me to my cross right now, dammit.



Up and at ‘Em
December 28, 2005, 3:20 pm
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I just can’t seem to get off my ever expanding ass this week. E! has 24 hour 101 Most… shows running 24/7, the kids don’t have school so they don’t need clean socks, we have turkey dinner for another few nights…. When Devon runs out of diapers, which will likely be tomorrow, I will face reality and participate in reality. Until then I am reveling in the last lazy days of 2005.



Christmas Truths
December 22, 2005, 9:37 pm
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I am a Christmas loser. It’s true. Every year in about October, I have the grandest of plans. I see the children and myself baking gingerbread men and cheerfully delivering them to friends and neighbors. In my head I concoct elaborate Advent calenders, with a different treat in each pocket-day of the month. In July I honestly believe that by September’s end I will have ALL my shopping completed, stocking stuffers and all. I always design and paint a Christmas card and, in my head, decide to mail one to every person I have ever known or encountered. These are always my bestest of intentions. Too fucking bad I always get in the way on my inner Martha Stewart.

Reality is always a bit different than one’s intentions. Truth is if we end up baking, the Pilsbury doughboy is our inspiration. This year I didn’t even buy an Advent calendar. It is December 22, and not only have I not bought or made a single present for any friend or relative, I am not sure I have finished the childrens’ shopping. This year I did design and paint a card, but it ended up as my current masthead. I figure if my true friends are clever enough to find my blog, well then merry, merry.

December 25 will come whether or not I have met with the holiday expectations. Tonight Matt and I bought a ferret for Cassidy and her broken heart. Did we not just kill off our guinea pig? Yes, indeed. But I have high hopes for this ferret. We got a cage, food, a hammock. The works. If we can keep it a secret and alive, for two more days, we are Golden. I have special ordered Loren’s snow skate and am praying it will arrive by Saturday. We popped a Nerf football in the basket for Devon, plus a handfull of plastic jungle animals. He is just happy when we turn on the Christmas lights, so I think we’re good with him. As for the other things? No, not gonna get cards mailed. Missed the deadline to get packages deilvered. But at this point it is what it is.

Deep down, I know that by July, I will again have dreams of Christmas grandeur. I will envision a Martha Perfect holiday. And I will know that I am just the Martha to create that perfection.



Welcome Home
December 21, 2005, 7:30 am
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One of the worst ways to return home from a long weekend is to walk in and discover your daughter’s guinea pig unresponsive as she is stuffed into the corner of her cage. Chaos awaited us upon our return last night. George, our hugely obese orange tabby cat, is always pissed when I return from a trip. He doesn’t enjoy solitude, he prefers to have constant company to ensure that his food bowl can be filled multiple times throughout the day. Last night, being no different, brought George to the door mewing and thrashing about as he demanded food and fresh water from the tap. Our shithead dog, Mouse, was bouncing around and wrestling with George, who is much bigger than he. So I went immediately to check on the pig because I didn’t hear her whistling and jumping in the cage. Finding her in that unnatural position, I let out a gasp that caused three young heads to instantly swivel my way -all with perfect oh’s upon their faces. Knowing what was about to ensue, I quickly covered the cage and started directing: food for the cat, water for the dog, gate on the stairs, turn up the heat. Once done, I pried her out of the corner to find her completely paralyzed but breathing -albeit labored breathing. Devon started giggling and dancing as he saw me carrying the inert cavvy, he loves Whinny the Guinea. He went over to the cage, grabbed some hay to feed her and started making his pseudo whistling sounds at her as he waddled over and snuggled his head against her fur. Cassidy began crying buckets. Loren had stayed with my parents over the weekend and had been feeding Whinny. He started crying as it dawned upon him that his actions might have lead to her demise. I assured him that he in no way had done anything to result in the ever siffening pig. We wrapped Whinny in a towel and started telling our favorite pig stories. About that time Matt came home from work and we filled him in on events. Matt is tall, 6’6″. He scooped Cass up into a huge hug and wrapped his other arm around Loren while I went to put Devon down for the night. When I came down Matt was explaining the process of letting go and remembering the good.

Later I tucked Loren into bed, he appeared to be at peace with the evening and saying goodbye to Whinny. Cass was drained and shivering from so much emotion, and she ended up snuggling into bed between us for the night. I rubbed one arm as Matt rubbed the other. He talked to her again about the honor of sharing life with an animal and the inevitability of letting go of a shorter life. We both watched as her eyes became heavier and heavier and she let go of the day altogether.

This morning Loren got up and went snowboarding with his best friends. Cass and I discussed Whinny’s burial plans, a difficult task since the ground is frozen. She is more upbeat as she anticipates the excitement of the next few days. From time to time I see a shadow pass over her, but the resilience of childhood coupled with the Christmas season seems to be bouying her. Devon keeps going to the cage and looking for the pig. I am going to remove it and try to explain that she has gone bye-bye.



Behind the Magic
December 15, 2005, 8:55 pm
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I remember the exact moment I figured it all out. I was five. We were at our kitchen table painting wooden Christmas ornaments, my mom was a combination of cheap and creative and so we often made things like ornaments. My pile contained a variety of Christmas and winter things. There was a snowman, a star, Santa Clause, Baby Jesus in a manger and a very pregnant Mother Mary. I remember looking back and forth between Santa and Mary, puzzling over why Santa traveled down the chimney and Mary had angels for boyfriends. (I have to insert that I had an older brother and through some rather unfortunate events I was well aware of how a lady could get pregnant, a bit much for a five year old to handle.) But as I muddled through the mystery, it hit me. It was all a bunch of hooey. Santa could in no way fit through a chimney and even if he could, he would die of ash inhalation or a clausterphobic fit. Mary and Joseph really were not so chaste, she got with child just like any other woman.

As I watch my own children grow I am awed by their faith. Their innocence is so precious and I want them to trust. I want them to have the luxury to believe.

Every year I get a little antsy around Christmas time. It’s a love hate thing. I want to believe in some of the magic but I end up feeling empty. I wish I could have told my parents at that moment, maybe they would have steered me back towards the magic. I just hope that my children will trust enough to let me know when they are puzzling over the bigger questions.



Holly Jolly
December 14, 2005, 9:16 pm
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Indications that I might be cracking under the holiday stress:

1. Last night when I went to the store to buy baking supplies (marshmallows and Rice Crispies) I also bought paper plates.
2. We have taken to eating on those plates so I don’t have to wash real ones.
3. We can no longer eat at the dining room table because it is covered in Christmas decoration boxes.
4. The table remains covered in boxes because I can’t muster up the energy to actually put the decorations on a tree.
5. I have started turning Devon’s socks inside out in an effort to make laundry go further.
6. I have stopped monitoring the older kids’ feet and their sock status.
7. Although I painted a 2005 Christmas card (I used a portion of it for the new mast head above) the notion of buying stamps and mailing those cards seems more like a Valentine’s Day project.
8. Tonight, instead of dinner, I ate an entire plate of rice crispie wreaths -off a paper plate.
9. I have been wearing the same pair of J.Lo knock-off sweat pants for three days, and have no plans of a costume change for tomorrow.
10. Friday I am expected to travel to my mother-in-law’s house, who is no longer my mother-in-law, for a weekend of good, wholesome, dysfunctional family fun.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. And I mean that in a really good way.