MERRY CHRISTMAS!

wpid-wp-1419472085102.jpegMerry Christmas! I’m invisible! At least … I think I am? Because, camo.

You know what? IT’S BEEN A DAMN GOOD YEAR.

It’s also been incredibly difficult in a lot of different ways that needn’t be rehashed, and I’m not sorry to see it draw to a close. But I feel really optimistic about 2015 …

Because when you’re wearing an adult-sized onesie with antlers and holding a bottle of egg nog, that’s what happens. Optimism.

LALALALALALALA …

It is now December 22 and I have not purchased one Christmassy item. Robbie did order one thing off Amazon … but that’s it. Nothing else has been done.

10849725_1565162037052276_6916118220399881664_nPulling off this year’s holiday will be my greatest mom feat to date. And you know, pretending it’s not happening — kind of like how I’m pretending Pepper isn’t screaming from her bed instead of napping right now — kind of makes it all go away.

Denial is fun!

A Perfect Storm.

IMG_20141220_115305This must be one of those life experiences that we will one day look back on and laugh about, but right now, it sucks.

I’m now well enough to be completely and utterly mad at everyone. I’m mad that I’m sick. I’m mad at my husband for not feeding our children in a scheduled manner. I’m mad at my children for being obnoxious. I’m mad at the mess and the calendar that tells me that Christmas is 5 days away.

I’m irritated that no one else seems to be able to keep Pepper’s hair out of her eyes. I’m annoyed that no one else can tell whose underwear is whose. Is it really that hard? Maybe it is, and all this time I have been undervaluing myself as a stay-at-home mom. Maybe I AM using my degree. Maybe it IS extremely difficult to run a household and manage to keep hair ties in a toddler’s hair.

I should give myself more credit.

I’m premenstrual and coughy and so, so miserable. I’m tired of being alone in my room, but whenever I leave, I immediately get mad over something I see or hear. No one wants to be around me. I don’t want to be around me. Nothing brings out my extreme control freak tendencies like being sick right before Christmas, when I should be doing a million other things.

My husband is very tall and likes to stash random items in out-of-reach locations, where you can see them and think to yourself, “What the hell IS that?” I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a glow-in-the-dark bracelet or a plastic slinky or a $75 piece of silver. And it’s too high for you to get it down. Just acknowledge that it’s out of place and carry on.

My house is weird.

All I want for Christmas is to somehow find a way to get all the things done that need to get done, without hurting my husband, and for everyone in my house to be well. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!

Don’t answer that.

02-grumpy-cat-christmas

The Only Time I Will Ever Reference “Frozen.”

I don’t consider myself to be a Disney person AT ALL, except for this one time, when I ask you …

IMG_20141219_113951

I’m sick. Like, super sick. Robbie took me to the doctor yesterday, and as I laid on the exam table waiting for the results of my flu test, I mustered the strength to say “Wouldn’t it be about right if she came back and said it’s an untreatable virus?”

And that is exactly what happened.

I have something called “parainfluenza,” which is just as awful-feeling as the flu but it’s untreatable and lasts for half the amount of time. That’s a whole lot of good and bad rolled into one. I’ve been quarantined to my bedroom, and Robbie checks on me (with his shirt pulled over his face) and brings me food occasionally (spraying Lysol all the way down the hall).

Yesterday I was too sick to care about anything, but today I feel better enough to be royally PISSED OFF that I’m sick in the bed when there is so much to do. I realized I missed #TBT this week (read: “Throwback Thursday,” my favorite social media day of the week), in addition to Maverick’s class party which I was supposed to help with since I am co-room mom.

Let it be known that I am the worst co-room mom there ever was. If not for the real room mom, who is amazing, the kids would be royally screwed out of a party or they would all be carrying the paraflu virus right now … and in the mind of a first-grader, I’m not sure which is worse.

I also realized that today is the last day of school until after Christmas and I did not send gifts for the teachers. I have done nothing. I went on vacation, came home, and immediately went into quarantine. My house is a wreck, I’m supposed to be hosting Christmas dinner IN 6 DAYS, and no gifts have been purchased for anyone. Nary a stocking stuffer or white elephant gift.

Nothing.

It’s ironic that I’ve spent this holiday season on a virtual soapbox, telling every mom I come in contact with to just “focus on what matters” and “let the bull shit go,” and here I am 6 days from Christmas about to implode because I put everything off until the last minute and now that last minute is here and I’m stuck in the freaking bed.

10419947_10155184580285508_2704794408911973268_n

First grade art by Maverick.

Well-played, universe.

At least my Christmas tree, which took an inordinate amount of time to put up despite it’s homely appearance, hasn’t fallen over yet. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence — has it happened to any of you? My friend Mary Lee fought the good fight with hers the other week and won, because that’s what moms do, they win Christmas. These pictures she took cheered me up.

934875_10205122113270246_143690723059332852_n

The fallen tree.

10849835_10205126267094089_9166951742925752950_n

At least her nails look nice.

Until I get better and can win Christmas at the very last minute, I will rest knowing that our entire family is pitching in to help. I have to admit, it’s pretty validating to see just how many people it takes to keep up with a house and three small children when the mom is incapacitated.

That’s a gift that you can’t put a price tag on.

Black Santa.

Today, Robbie and I put our marriage on the line and brought a live tree into our house and put stuff on it.

10635993_1558811224354024_4394608826743847270_nJust like everything else, accomplishing this with three kids running and screaming and undoing everything right after you JUST DID IT was pretty freaking miserable. I know I’m not supposed to say that, and we did take cute pictures of the kids to post to social media so everyone could see how much we’re rocking Christmas … but … wow.

Yeah.

However, all of that stress melted away when I found my Most Favorite Ornament Ever. One of the kids ripped the lid off a plastic tub, and I was in the middle of yelling “FOR THE LOVE, STOP STEPPING ON THE LIGHTS!!!!” and there it was. My black Santa.

Me and Santa, 2014.

Me and Santa, 2014.

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you should recognize it. For a refresher, read the short background story.

This is the ornament no one can touch because it’s my favorite. Yes, oldest child, you can play with the plaster hand print we made when you were tiny. But don’t you dare touch Black Santa.

This thing brings me infinite, indescribable joy. I couldn’t ask for a better conversation piece of holiday decor.

This Holiday.

Since none of the retailers seem to be selling self-respect, sanity, or nannies who are both legal and willing work for free, I’m just going to sit this Cyber Monday out.

While the rest of you frantically put up holiday decorations over the weekend, I was trapped in an enclosed space with four other humans who can’t control their gasses. When we finally got home, I declared Thanksgiving officially over and switched out the wreaths on our front door.

10458214_10155116112855508_734467617946772132_nThis Christmas, I REFUSE to try to make everyone happy. That is an impossible task that is rarely accomplished by anyone, and even if you somehow manage to make it happen and all the people are happy … then you probably aren’t.

I don’t care to make anyone happy except for the people who live in my house. Their happiness is my top priority, and I won’t apologize for it. I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings, but if it does, you should turn to the people in your own house for comfort.

There will be tacky decorations. There will be hot cocoa. There will be beverages containing alcohol. We will listen for reindeer. We will bake cookies. I will probably yell and then feel bad about it.

The likelihood of me sending out Christmas cards is very, very low. I probably could pull it off if I really put my mind to it and acted like a crazy person for the next few days, but it’s not worth it to me. I just spent the past week of my life acting crazy. I think it’s time to put a stop to that.

There will be no last-minute rush to the store for gifts for so-and-so because we just found out they’re coming over. Nope. No adults will get a gift from us this year, not only because we don’t have the money for it, but because I also do not have the wherewithal to Pinterest some handmade bullshit to wrap up and give away to everyone. I just don’t. I’m not sorry. If you’re expecting a gift, don’t come over.

If you do come over, here’s what you can expect: a very low-key holiday experience full of laughter and the occasional high-pitched screech. There will also be crying, because my kids are small and someone is always crying. You may also get a whiff of a poop or pee smell. I’m sorry about that. The good news is that, overall, my house will smell nice because my mother-in-law gave me some awesome Yankee candles that are “Autumn Leaf” scented and they mask the poop odor like a boss.

It will be cozy here. The floor will be strewn with toys. Something will be baking. The cups will be plastic and the plates will be paper. No one will be camera-ready except for me, because I have a deep, irrational need to look nice when people come over. It’s the one remaining thing I have control over, so don’t hate on the fact that I spent an hour on my hair. I did it because no one in my life is predictable … except for my curling iron.

We have dance parties here. You can join in if you like.

This year, I’m TAKING BACK MY JOY. Starting now. Happy December 1!