Friday, December 31, 2010

The one about wild partying, fuzzy socks, and becoming Dutch by osmosis...

Yesterday I was so involved with telling you all about my inner Mommie Dearest (aka my evil twin) and her unorthodox methods for achieving a clean house when living with teenagers, that I forgot to tell you about the most exciting part of my day.  And, yes, I do realize how pathetic and sad it is that THIS was the most exciting part of my day.  I need a hobby.

Anyway, the exciting thing was that I went to Big Lots.

I love Big Lots, but for some reason I forget about it and don't go there very often. Yesterday my mom told me about some things she recently bought there, and so I decided to go check it out. 

My kids (and ok, I admit it, me too...) are addicted to these things...
And LOOK how cheap they were! $3.50! For the large box!

But that's not all....then we found these crocs - for $10!
This black pair is for me, and I bought a pink pair for The Princess...

I found these earbuds for $5!  

And my favorite fuzzy socks for $3.00!

I bought two pairs.

Truly, I was thrilled with my bargains.  Also, I found these really nifty little folding reading glasses for Mr. Wonderful and an ipod skin for The Princess and I bought paper plates and shampoo and all sort of other fabulous bargains which I can't remember.

Do you think I have been married to a Dutch guy (even worse, a Dutch PILOT) for too long?  I am a bit concerned about my cheap-fest of happiness over finding these bargains.  I wonder if I have become just a tiny bit Dutch by osmosis...


I thought I'd also tell you about our exciting plans for New Year's Eve.  Here is what didn't come in the mail for us:
Which means that we will NOT be doing this tonight...

But don't feel too badly for us.  I'm actually rather glad.  We will probably have family movie night, and then we will watch these fellows on TV...

and we will watch the ball drop in Times Square while wearing our pajamas (and  fuzzy socks) and then we will head off to bed, where we will spend the next few hours listening to the crazy neighbors shooting off fireworks and listening to them fall on our roof and hoping the roof doesn't catch on fire.

Good times, I tell you.

No really, I like it this way.  The family is doing something together.  We don't have to worry about drunk drivers.  We're all comfy in our pj's.  We don't over-indulge so we feel great the next morning.  The kids love it.  I buy them sparkling grape juice and they pick out lots of frozen appetizers to munch on all night long.  They call it our family party.

It's a nice, warm pair of fuzzy socks.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zen-Mom has left the building.

I haven't been blogging much the past couple of weeks because I really haven't had much to say. It's been quiet and boring and mellow around here. It's been great.

The kids have been reading and watching movies and playing on their laptops, and Mr. Wonderful and I have just been...relaxing. And relishing the quiet pace of our days.

I've tried to keep the house tidy without going crazy and making everyone else crazy. I've been relaxed and laid back about the tumbleweeds of pet hair and the dust and the dried up, dead leaves which keep falling off of the plants (which we keep having to bring inside the house because of the cold snaps/hard freezes which we keep having.) I've made jokes about the dried crumbs which certain teenagers keep leaving on the counters and about the assorted dirty cups and plates which continue to be left on the table instead of being put in the dishwasher.  

I've asked in a sweet, calm voice for the kids to please remember their chores...I tried to remind them gently to wash the oh-so-stinky dog and to empty the oh-so-stinky litterbox. I had hoped that my holiday spirit of zen-mom would encourage them to stop being rude, selfish, sloppy, and disgusting and want to help out without forcing me to nag and yell and curse in a most unattractive manner.

Unfortunately, my hopes have been dashed.

This afternoon, I snapped.  Mommie Dearest is back.

The day started out so nicely.  We went to the bookstore and had lunch with my mom, and then ran some more errands.  But then, we came home and I saw (and smelled) the condition of the house...and I just snapped.

My inner Mommie Dearest, which I try so hard to keep under control, has spent this afternoon sighing in a loud, martyr-like manner, yelling, and generally being an unwelcome guest in my home.

However unattractive and appalling Mommie Dearest's methods are...they work.  The Boy and The Princess are apparently unable to hear (or understand) calmly spoken requests. They only seem to respond to nagging and screeching and temper tantrums.

So, much to my chagrin, I sighed and yelled and cursed and screeched about the disgusting condition of the house. I threatened and I screamed and I'm sorry to admit that I cursed like a sailor.

And the kids? They snapped to attention and they scurried around cleaning up their many piles of stuff and their trash and their empty dishes and cups. They put away the cereal boxes which have been sitting on the counter since this morning and they washed the amazingly rancid smelling dog and emptied the litterbox and cleaned the bird cage. Their beds are made and their rooms are clean.

 I am exhausted.  It's a lot harder to yell and screech than to ask nicely. I wish my kids heard me when I ask nicely. The first four-hundred and twenty times or so. Even better, I wish they could just pick up after themselves. 

Oh well. All's well that ends well. The house is clean. Finally.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All good things must end...

Usually every year after Christmas I end up putting all the Christmas decorations and ornaments away by myself.  While the kids enjoy decorating the tree, they seem to disappear when it is time for everything to be packed away.

This year, I paid them to do the dirty work.

In advance.

And it worked like a charm!
The kids worked out a system...

The Princess did the more "delicate" work of wrapping ornaments...

While The Boy gathered everything together in piles...

and dismantled the tree...

and hauled the (many) bins to the attic once they were packed.

And now, all of the angels, nativity sets, nutcrackers and santas have been packed away for another year.  The house seems so spacious...and so empty.  
The cats seem sad that their favorite toy, the tree, has disappeared.

Now that all of the decorations are gone, I can also see the dust.  I think the house needs a good cleaning.  I wonder if the kids could be bribed again....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The one about Christmas, ancient Egyptians and reptilian sacrifices. Just a normal all-American family, right?

Yesterday Mr. Wonderful and the kids went for a quick, and brisk, ride around the lake. It was in the mid 50's and the kids were bundled up as if they were trekking through the tundra!

I finished wrapping presents and baked some eggnog bread while they were gone.  It was nice and cozy inside the house, with the scent of the bread baking and Christmas music playing in the background.  After they returned, with pink cheeks and cold noses, we had our traditional Christmas Eve pizza.

Mr. Wonderful and I woke up this morning at 8:00 am and sipped our coffee while leisurely browsing the paper before the kids (finally) woke up at 8:45!! This was the first time since our kids were born that we weren't awakened early by the children. I guess this means that it's official - we really are the parents of teenagers!

We had a quiet day with a wonderful meal at my parent's house, and the kids have been busy enjoying their gifts...
Speaking of gifts, everyone's favorite gift this year was courtesy of my mom.  It's a Kleenex holder and it makes us all giggle every time we see it.
Because, you see? You pull the tissues out through the nose! You know, just like the ancient Egyptians pulled the....well, never mind.

Anyway, WE think it's funny.

And speaking of normal, or abnormal, or whatever...Look what I found in my son's turtle tank this afternoon.


Do you see it? Stretched out like a virginal sacrifice to the turtle gods to prevent the volcano from erupting is a poor dead lizard.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Is that normal?

Really, I want to know.

Is it?

By the way, The Boy assured me that he found the poor dead lizard in that condition, and he just didn't think that "it should go to waste."

So there you go - Christmas at the VK's.

Perfectly normal, right?

Merry Christmas!

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