I don’t know about you all, but I am in a slight post holiday slump… The anticipation of Christmas is over, the presents have been unwrapped, and the children have started up their bickering and attempts to maim each other in earnest once again… I will admit, I did try to convince the girls that Santa is still watching them, but he just doesn’t hold the same sway when he isn’t showing up again for 11 months.

I think the main reason for my slump is the cleaning, though. The relentless, never ending cleaning. There are reams of wadded up wrapping paper, boxes of new things that have yet to find a home, and bits of cardboard everywhere I turn. I have had to clear a path through each of my children’s rooms just so they can reach their beds.

Anyway, all of this cleaning gives me a lot of “thinking time.” Which is dangerous to say the least. In one of my many musings (the others were super intellectual and not at all ridiculous like this one) I decided that there should be some sort of after Christmas song… I mean there is an infinite amount of Christmas music and not one thing for me to passive aggressively hum at top volume as I clean around my lounging family.

So, I present, the dumbest thing I have ever written… But for some reason it made me laugh.

To the tune of “12 Days of Christmas.”

“In the 12 days post-Christmas, these things ann-oy-oy-ed me…”

12 (hundred) boxes
11 (million) pine needles
10 stale cookies
9 stepped on legos
8 toys a-beeping
7 golden wrappers (on the floooooooor) (because apparently we have a full-time maaaaaiiiiiid)
6 broken ornaments
5 loads of laundry
4 missing batteries
3 wrestling pitbulls (okay 2, but they might. as. well. be. threeeeeeeee)
2 fighting children
1 unhelpful husband

and a Mom that is going CRAY-ZEEEEEEE!!!

I hope you all enjoyed a glimpse of my descent into clutter-induced madness.

Have a wonderful New Year!!!

Christmas makes my hair stand on end.

I freaking love Christmas!!!

There’s fun music, presents, good cheer, a higher tolerance for a little extra fluff around your middle, and you get to have a tree inside your house… I mean really, what’s not to like? I will even tolerate the horrible, cold, wet snow without complaint one day a year just because it’s sparkly and festive.

For me, this time of year is full of love and blessings and that feeling of Christmas magic I still have left over from childhood. However, now that I’m an adult, the magical wonderment is now mixed with the very grown-up reality of Christmas stress-induced cardiac pulmina. Is there such a thing as a cardiac pulmina? I think I just made that up… It sounded festive and scary at the same time. Anyway…

Every year I have glorious, glittery, sugar-plum laced visions of spending my time cheerfully listening to Christmas music with my children as I buzz around the kitchen making amazing candies and canning festive jams for all to enjoy. Also, I’m wearing a fancy ruffled apron. My house, of course, is decorated from stern to stem and looks exactly like the North Pole. Every present for every person is beautifully wrapped and stacked neatly underneath my tree by the second week of December and I am relaxed and content.

Smash cut to me looking at the calender on December 17th and realizing that Christmas is less than 10 days away and I haven’t bought anyone anything. In fact, my tree isn’t even decorated. Though, to be fair, it was decorated until the girls decided to play something called the “spy game” that involved them rescuing all of the ornaments off of the tree and smuggling them in a backpack to their rooms.

Yes, rather than my blissfully organized Christmas fantasies, I spent the three days after my horrible December 17th realization frantically scouring the internet for the perfect present for the perfect price, clicking swiftly from page to page, sweat forming on my brow, as I tried to find a way to avoid paying double the present’s value in shipping. I ended up wasting hours of my life with absolutely no results. I eventually came to the sad conclusion that if I got the gifts I wanted to get for everyone I would indeed be paying the extra shipping, which made me sick to my stomach… That is, until I remembered that Amazon two-day ships things for free when you sign up for a free month trial membership of Amazon Prime. So being the frugal person I am I signed up for the free trial with every intention of cancelling it immediately upon receiving my packages…

I have turned myself into some kind of Christmas-time free shipping scam artist. It is shameful.

At this point, Christmas presents have started arriving on my doorstep (thank God!), bringing with them a mixture of relief and horror. Relief that I am finally done shopping, horror that I now have to wrap the damn things. And I am not good at wrapping things.

Every year I sit down with my wrapping paper, tape, and scissors, and visualize the perfectly wrapped presents that will soon emerge from between my hands (apparently I do a lot of wishful visualizing around the holidays)… And every year someone asks me as they’re opening their gift, “Aw, did the girls help you wrap this?” Um…. NO!!! They didn’t, actually!!! And guess what, I tried really hard!!! I just suck at wrapping presents, ok?!?” Well, I would never talk to anyone like that, but you can see how I would be highly insulted…

Therefore, to formally and forever end any debate about my gift wrapping skills, I present the following:

Below is are some photos of a present that I wrapped and a present that my 3 year old wrapped… I think you will find that you can easily tell the difference.

Okay, okay, I hope you’ve all had a good laugh. I suck at the present wrapping thing! Sadly, I try really really hard to do a good job and they always end up looking ridiculous. If you’re curious, mine is the one with less tape.

Anyway, stressful though it might be, I do adore Christmas… I love giving presents and, okay, I’ll admit it, I love getting presents too… Seriously, if someone tells you they don’t like getting presents back away slowly because they are not to be trusted. Presents rock, spending time with your family rocks, and having an excuse to eat waaaaaay too much rocks. So even though I now have a bald spot as a result of my frenetic December shenanigans, I am so looking forward to the next few days of wonder and cheer. Yay Christmas!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and thank you so much for spending your time reading this!!!

How the hell did my Mom do it???

Growing up, I never remember having to hunt through the laundry basket for a pair of clean underwear… I don’t remember my mother ever once frantically digging through a metric ton of laundry to try and find me a pair of matching socks as I slowly came closer to being late for school with each passing second…

Was there a constant pile of laundry in the hallway? No. Was the counter covered in a month’s worth of junk mail and store advertisements that has yet to be gone through? No. Did my mother suddenly scream out in the middle of breakfast, “Oh my God, did we forget to do your homework last night?!?” Most certainly not. I seem to recall her totally having it together.

I, on the other hand, have been at this “home-making” gig for quite some time now and I feel like I have yet to get the hang of it. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked myself in the mirror and thought, “What the hell?!? I look like a grown up!!!” Quickly followed by the near panic attack inducing realization that I am, in fact, a grown up, and not only that but I am somebody’s mother… Two somebodies as a matter of fact, not to mention the man of the house that seems to require quite a bit of attention as well. People’s lives literally depend on me. Oh my God. OH MY GOD!!! Help!!! Does anyone have a paper bag?!?

I try. Lord knows I do, but no matter how organized, how caught up I feel like I am, how many hours I spend in a day, there is always something that I haven’t gotten done. I can never seem to remember it all, keep up with it all, or have everything all in its place all at the same time. As a matter of fact, as we speak, there are two huge piles of laundry sitting unfolded on top of the dryer, my house is a bit messy, my husband’s sock drawer is empty, both my kid’s rooms need cleaned, and I won’t even get into what my own room looks like… Also, I should probably unload the dishwasher.

Why is it so hard?!? I can’t understand for the life of me what is so complicated about keeping the house clean, the laundry done, and all the kid’s stuff organized. I just don’t have it in me, I guess. My natural inclination is toward utter chaos and I can only fight it to a certain point. Plus, my children (the little one in particular) literally follow me around the house as I clean destroying any semblance of order I tried to create… And my husband? How do we put this delicately? Um… Let’s just say he loves nothing more than shaving in the nice clean (20 minutes of scrubbing, thank you very much!) bathroom sink or cooking a gourmet meal (aka messiest meal he can conceive of) on my nice clean stove.

Insert gigantic world-weary sigh here. Also, picture me with big dark circles under my eyes and my hair standing on end.

I think the reason my inability to keep things in order bothers me so much is because I feel like I am working the 24/7 shift and just barely keeping things from falling apart at the seams. I am holding onto organization with just the tippy tips of my fingers and it is fighting like a marlin (um, that’s a saying, right?) trying to get away from me. I mean, I am a grown up (where’s that paper bag???), yet I don’t feel like one, nor am I quite pulling off at least acting like one.

I wonder if my kids will make fun of me behind my back when they’re teenagers and tell all of their friends how hopeless I am… And say they wish I was more like their friend’s Mom because at least they never ran out of clean socks.

Again, world-weary sigh.

I guess all I can say is that they have a disorganized mom but they are happy and healthy, super cute, charming, smart, clean, well-dressed, and always have their hair fixed. I know I’m doing something right (or at least partially right)… And maybe someday I will actually get the hang of this whole thing… Perhaps I just need another 10 years or so of practice?

Until then, I will just have to resign myself to the fact that I will always be forgetting something and my house will never f-ing (Mom, I know you read this so I censored that just for you even though I was thinking the actual word ♥) be clean.