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!!!

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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.

Why is my dog so obsessed with seeing me naked???

This is going to sound weird, but we don’t have a lock on our bathroom door… Okay, like I said, weird, but we have our reasons… Our house is old, in need of updating, and the bathroom door is just one of the many (MANY) projects that nobody (I’m looking at you, husband) has gotten around to doing yet.

My children, in typical child fashion, see the lack of a door lock as an open invitation to bang the door open as far as my leg will allow, poke their noses in (not necessarily the wisest decision), and stare at me with one eye so they can ask me an “emergency” question… Yes, in my household, asking if they can put their pajamas on is considered a privacy-invading emergency that cannot wait even 30 seconds.

I have heard the “my children won’t leave me alone when I’m pooping or showering” scenario from many of my friends… I actually understand not wanting to wait a single second to tell someone what’s on your mind because it is of the utmost importance (being myself what some might consider a “non-stop talker”)… The children bothering me, I get that… Hell, I actually expect it.

What I don’t get, not even a little bit, is why my dog can’t leave me alone when I’m in there.

The first time it happened, I actually screamed out in shock and horror when the door banged open and instead of seeing the adorable peach colored nose of my child I saw the decidedly unadorable black nose of my little white pitbull. It’s not like she wants to have a conversation. What in the world does she want from me that can’t wait 30 seconds? She certainly doesn’t need to put her pajamas on and never once has she asked me for permission before chewing on something or peeing on the floor.

It started out with a few scratches, but has now turned into a full-blown assault on my bathroom peace of mind… This dog is now literally throwing herself against the door while I am trying to read my magazine… Um…. I mean… While I’m trying to put on my makeup.

What used to be my favorite part of the day, my relaxing, quiet, warm and cozy shower, has now become an exercise in paranoia (“What was that? Do I feel cold air?”) and frustration. I have tried everything to keep that dog from letting all my wonderful freshly steamed shower air out and allowing the freezing cold hallway air into my 30 minutes of peace and quiet bubble. I have shoved a towel under the door as a sort of makeshift lock (she scratches, shoulders, and digs until she works the towel free), I have screamed in a super scary way at her when she pokes her nose around the shower curtain (she runs away and then returns one minute later), I have tried posting my children as guards (they get bored within three minutes and wander off)… Nothing, absolutely nothing, will keep my dog from bursting in and disrupting my amazing soulful singing.

Why?!? What in the world does she think is going on in there?!? There’s no food and nothing important to tear apart. There’s certainly not an affectionate pat on the head waiting behind the door. Is she seriously that obsessed with seeing my horrible nude form??? And even if she was, isn’t 5000 times enough??? I don’t get it!!!

I have spent hours of my life trying to solve this problem… I have even tried sneaking my way into the shower and hoping she doesn’t realize I’m in the bathroom. As I am showering, I can practically hear the Jaws theme music as I wait for the inevitable Little White Dog of Doom to burst in.

In fact, I feel like I have actually come up with a solution to this extremely pressing, urgent, and life-threatening problem of mine. However, it is the most difficult solution of all…

My husband must fix the door. Because, let’s face it, I’m not going to even attempt to figure out how to fix it myself.

The path to this solution is a long, treacherous, winding mine-field of nagging and helpful suggestions. Though may take years, though my voice may become hoarse and my will may weaken, it must be done…

Wish me luck! Also, wish Sugar luck because I’m not quite sure what I’ll do the next time I see those vacant brown eyes staring at me when I am right in the middle of a rousing shower chorus of “Firework.”

A comedy podcast by an idiot and her brother.