Share Your World – 52

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What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

Chocolate. Sometimes I’ll eat chocolate brownie fudge or vanilla with hot fudge from Sonic, but otherwise it’s regular ol’ chocolate, Edy’s only. If I’m eating frozen yogurt, then chocolate is out and vanilla is in. Yes, I’m basic.

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

My brain is temporarily in a Parks & Rec “Treat Yo’self” and The Office “Finer Things Club” freeze.



There. Now that’s done.

I’m not really a “finer things” person, being country and uncultured and all, so don’t laugh…but what I’d treat myself to is a kick-ass steak and some really good vodka.

Have you ever been drunk?

Considering that I ended my last answer with “vodka,” yes.

Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is…

Watching Judge Judy. I don’t watch it often, but I do enjoy it as long as Sam isn’t in the room, as he always argues with her and criticizes her verdicts. STFU, Sam, you don’t argue with Judge Judy!

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that Christmas went well. Everyone loved their gifts, there was no drama, Baby Girl tried — and liked — a vegetable. Winning! I’m looking forward to a week of not having anything scheduled and not having to people. Love Christmas, but lord, my batteries need to be recharged.

The Share Your World challenge is hosted by Cee — check out her blog here.


It’s Christmas!

All the presents are wrapped. All of the presents my husband went out and bought because he temporarily lost his mind and decided that everyone need just a little something extra to go with the gifts we already had are wrapped. The stockings are hung and the stocking holders are duct-taped to the mantle because I bought heavy things to go in them. Little Man’s plot to booby trap Santa has been foiled (he didn’t get to sleep on the couch, so he wasn’t alerted by the jingle bells that he sneaked into the stockings).

We’re done for the night.

Unless Baby Girl wakes up at 2:00 again asking for a bottle. (Yes, she’s back on the nightly bottle after getting sick because that’s the only way we could get fluids in her, so now we’ve gotta go through the painful process of taking it again…after Christmas.) Fingers are crossed that won’t happen since she had a busy day and no nap. If she does, we’ll haul her into “the big bed” as she calls it and hope she sleeps.

I stayed home all day, doing more cooking and cleaning, while Sam took the kids to a birthday party. I made a turkey breast in the crockpot (and it was heavenly and juicy), mashed potatoes, lima beans, a baked potato for me, corn on the cob, and biscuits. We used the nice plates and silverware we got as wedding gifts, and LM expressed shock over the fact that we owned such fancy things. The meal was followed by chocolate cake. It was all so good, and even Baby Girl ate more than just her cheesey roll up.

Afterwards we decorated our salt dough ornaments and opened gifts left from Rufus (our elf). They loved the new jammies and books. Then they opened one gift each from us, plus LM gave his dad and me our gifts. (He gave me Kylo Ren and Rey action figures; his dad got a socket wrench set.)

While Sam and I were busy cleaning the kitchen, we heard the distinct sound of paper being torn and found Baby Girl busy opening more presents. We told her not to do it, and went back into the kitchen where I watched her watch me from the corner of her eye, give me a devilish grin, and sprint back to the tree to finish her business. So, the kids also got to finish opening a carry along Lego case each since BG started each of them.

Eventually we got them into their jammies, brushed their teeth, made sure Santa had his goodies (Little Man left a letter with the goodies admonishing him for not bringing his dog a gift last year and asking for one this year), and read The Night Before Christmas.

I like how we’ve settled into our own family tradition now. It’s nice going to visit family for Christmas (well, sometimes it’s maddening, but mostly nice), but I like having our own Anxious Family thing. Christmas Eve dinner, dessert, crafts, a movie if we have time, open a present, read the book. It feels special to have our own little thing now.

It’s now officially Christmas Day in my neck of the woods, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, y’all.

More Things Kids Say: Superman and Hanukkah

Earlier this week my dad and stepmom took me out for a belated birthday dinner. We were all talking about Christmas when Little Man announced, “I’m not celebrating Christmas this year; I’m celebrating Hanukkah!”

Sam and I exchanged glances. This was new to us. I was hoping this wouldn’t be like Thanksgiving when LM went on a political rant at my dad’s dinner table. Things got uncomfortable and a bit tense.

My stepmom asked LM if he didn’t want Santa to leave toys under the Christmas tree this year.

“No,” he answered.

“You don’t want presents?”

“You get presents with Hanukkah. But I really want to celebrate Hanukkah because it has a much cooler story than Christmas.”

Yikes. Telling people who get irked over saying “Happy Holidays” that the Christmas story is less cool than another story might be worse than singing Obama’s praises while making negative comments about Trump at Thanksgiving.

“Oh, really?” she asked. I figured she was thinking, This is what happens when you don’t take your kids to church for four years!

“Well,” Little Man continued, “Superman did fly the Jews out of Egypt, after all. That’s pretty awesome.” He had a big smirk on his face.

“Superman? Egypt?” my stepmom asked incredulously as I got the reference and nearly spit my sweet tea out laughing. He had watched one of the Christmas episodes of Friends with me last week and using it to make a joke.


“He’s talking about Friends, the TV show,” I explained, but that did little to explain things.

“He wants to be Jewish because of a TV show?” she asked.

“No. He was making a joke. Just…” I shrugged.

“It’s a joke!” Little Man said. “Of course I want presents on Christmas morning.”

Like mother, like son — making random references to TV shows as jokes that nearly no one gets.

All The Christmas Things

This is very likely the last year that Little Man will believe in Santa Claus. He no longer thinks the Elf on the Shelf is real (mainly because he found the box Rufus lives in the other 11 months of the year) and he has been questioning whether Santa is real again. (He first did this when he was three or four — scoffed at the idea of a sleigh traveling such a far distance without a jet pack.)


This was my effort at getting LM to believe in Rufus again. Can’t imagine why it didn’t work.

I always thought that when LM seriously asked me about Santa (especially considering that we do a watered down version of Santa) that I’d tell him the truth.

I didn’t.

After being bummed over the Elf, I want to finish this Christmas with him waking up on Christmas morning looking under the tree thinking something magical has happened. We can talk about other types of Christmas magic, but you know the one I’m talking about will be lost forever after this year.

When he asked, I turned the question around on LM and asked what he thought. He rambled on a bit, then asked me again, and I started rambling about the magic and spirit of Christmas. After going on, he lost the ability to pay attention (which I was banking on) and went on to something else. He also got a letter from the North Pole in the mail (from a festival he went to), plus I’m going to do the Portable North Pole app on my phone for a message from Santa, so — by God — we’re going to get through these next six days with him believing in something that I didn’t care if he believed in in the first place when he was little. Funny how that works. And when he finally does stop believing, I’m gonna bawl my eyes out since that means those little boy days are coming to an end. (This would be the part where Sam would be all, “E, stop getting sad over when the kids grow up! God!”)

Despite Little Man’s decreased interest in Rufus, I’ve been trying to keep our Elf active. Baby Girl thinks that Rufus is actually Santa and will talk to him about what she wants for Christmas (we’re now at “a ball, a book, a hamburger, and a Snowman”). She doesn’t get the pranks, though. She will next year, and I bet LM will be able to come up with some fun things. Overall, I’ve missed a few nights moving the Elf, but found that getting online after the rest of the family goes to bed and catching up on blog reading helps me. Namely, reading StomperDad’s Daily Elf post is what helps me. His post reminds me to move the thing, plus sometimes I steal what his elves did.


Snowball fiiiight!


Rufus TP’d the tree! Stolen from StomperDad.

We took the kids to see Santa at the mall last weekend. I waited three hours while Sam roamed around with the kids. We really wanted a nice picture of the two kids with Santa for the Christmas card, but when our turn came up, Baby Girl wanted no part of Santa. “I scared, Mommy. I don’t like him!” she told me. As I tried to escort her out, the pissed off elf helper tried to make me put her down on Santa’s lap for the $30 picture. That didn’t happen, and she came dangerously close to seeing that “Pissed Off Mommy Over Not Respecting Boundaries” is a hella lot more scary than “Pissed Off Elf Over Not Selling A Picture.” I got some grumbling about “parents these days,” but whatever.

Since that didn’t work out, we took some pictures at home. A few of them were bad enough that we could’ve used them to be funny (like last year), but I settled on one super sweet picture to send everyone.

And, since this has turned into a random, all over the place, holiday post, I might as well talk about my baking.

I was the treat master today.

I baked a cheesecake (despite being cracked, Sam said it was the best he’d had anywhere), dipped Oreo’s and peanut butter chocolate graham crackers into chocolate, made Andes chocolate bark, made praline squares, and made a huge thing of Christmas crack (lots of chocolate and peanuts). screenshot-2016-12-19-at-2-11-47-am

Hooray for sugar and chocolate!

That’s the last of the baking I’ll have to do until the end of the week. I’m making a chocolate cake for my mother-in-law’s get-together, but that’s it (I think).

This coming week is going to be hectic, though. (I’m preaching to the choir, I know!) Between now and December 25th, I’ve got Christmas cards to mail, last minute shopping, I’ve gotta go to LM’s school and teach jewelry making, we’re going out for my belated birthday dinner tomorrow, catching a Christmas light show on Tuesday, on Wednesday Sam and I just might get the evening to ourselves and instead of wrapping presents, we’ll go see Rogue One again. Aaand then…Thursday is when we get together with our friends to exchange gifts, Little Man has a birthday party to attend on Friday, and Saturday — Christmas Eve — is when we’ll be doing all the cleaning and cooking for our Christmas Eve meal (which will be for four people, not 15), plus crafts, movies, and hot cocoa. And then comes Christmas Day, opening presents, hosting a brunch, followed by Christmas at my Dad’s, then Christmas at my in-laws, followed by a brunch the next day at my former stepmom’s house.

(If I write down all the things I have to do in more than one place, then it’s more likely that I’ll remember to do them…or at least stumble across where I wrote them down and get reminded that way, right? We’ll see.)

How’s your week looking? Crazy busy or are you avoiding some of the madness?

Llama Llama Family Holiday Drama

My title wins, I think. Llama Llama Holiday Drama just isn’t enough drama. Throw the family in there, Llama Llama Family Holiday Drama, and you’ve got a winner.

So, don’t you love it when strangers on the Internet ramble about their family drama? Not really? Then skip this one, because ramble I will.


Baby Girl loves these books!

So, on my husband’s side of the family, there are lots of people who don’t like each other. This isn’t abnormal, because statistics show that only 20 percent of members of an extended family like each other at any given time. No, not really, but that can’t be too far off.

Keeping that statistic in mind, I was volunteered to cook Christmas Eve dinner. Once by Little Man, who sent out sweet messages to everybody on his Facebook list and asked everyone over. That obviously didn’t count. The other time was by my mother-in-law.

Here’s how it went…

“E, my niece and her family don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas,” she told me.

“Hmm.” The niece and her family (all older than me) moved back to town about a year ago, have a place to live, and have lots of close family members who aren’t my husband and myself. That sounds about as strange as saying the Anxious Family doesn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas.

“I can’t invite them to my house during our family get-together because people might get mad,” she told me.

“Who might get mad?” I asked.

“Well, you know, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” she responded.

“It’s your house. Whose toes would you be stepping on?”

“Some of the others might not want them here. I’d have to call around and ask. You know how it is.”

Not really. “Is someone mad at them?” I named over the other families that were coming, wondering if there was a beef that I was unaware of. There wasn’t.

She shook her head. “No. But you know how people are. Someone might not want them here and get upset, and then we’d have drama at Christmas.”

“Well, it’s your house. If you want to invite them, then you should. I wouldn’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”

She sighed. Clearly I wasn’t getting it. “Well, maybe no one would get upset. But they might. And then what if [Niece’s] brother comes to town and finds out where they’re going for Christmas? I don’t want him and his family piling in here. And neither does her aunt, that’s why she’s not inviting them over for Christmas, either. And if I do invite [Niece], then I can’t tell her that she can’t let her brother come over. It’s Christmas, for crying out loud.”

“Well…” I wasn’t exactly at a loss for words, but none of the words I had were appropriate for deescalating drama over potential Christmas drama. Plus a headache was starting to come on.

“I know!” she said excitedly, suddenly having an idea. “We could just invite them to your house for Christmas Eve to eat dinner. And we could invite [lists several other relatives]. And if the brother finds out about it, we can just tell them that since it’s at your house that he can’t come; it wouldn’t matter then.”

Great. I get to cook and clean for fifteen people (instead of the just four of us) and potentially have a family pissed off at me.

“Yeah. I don’t know…” At some point, if you display being reserved or uncomfortable about something, people pick up on that and back off, right?

“It’s be great!” MIL said. “Everyone would be so happy and we wouldn’t have to worry about Christmas being ruined.”

I told her I’d let her know, that Sam and I needed to talk about it first, plus I needed to check to see what my dad had going on. I barely got the words out of my mouth to Sam when he said it wasn’t happening. He talked about how we already have our own Christmas Eve tradition with the kids and that he doesn’t want to break that, plus if his mom wants to invite people over for dinner, she should do it at her own house on Christmas Eve and deal with it. So, I texted MIL that we weren’t going to be able to do it. I felt relieved, but felt a bit guilty, too.

And then MIL texted me yesterday to ask me if the plans were still on and to let me know that everyone was excited about coming.


We’re used to this method of hers — she will disregard whatever you say and move on with her plans. Sometimes we (or Sam’s siblings) shut our mouths and go with it, sometimes not. This wasn’t one of those times, so I broke it to her again that I wasn’t hosting anything on Christmas Eve. She didn’t say anything else about it, so I think we’re fer sure off the hook now.