Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Crisis of Faith (in Santa)

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that Micah, my oldest, is a thinker.  Nothing gets past his steel-trap mind.  This is the child who, at 4 years of age, asked Jason, "If God is so mighty, why did Jesus have to die?"  Wow.  Let's all ponder that a minute, shall we?  But don't hurt yourself.

As we were eating dinner tonight, Micah asks, "Mommy does Santa travel all over the world or just in America?"  Before I could answer, he continued, "Because people in other parts of the world believe in people other than Santa.  So are they RIGHT?"  

Honestly, when people tell me they don't "do" Santa, I totally respect that.  Not necessarily because of the "it's wrong to lie to your kids" argument, but more because it's really hard to KEEP lying to your kids, especially when your 6 yr. old is waiting to poke all kinds of holes in your story.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave... right?

On one hand, I feel like I'm leading him to a double-standard: I want him to understand that it's OK for others to create their own tales of Santa, but when it comes to Jesus, we believe in one true God.  But on the other hand, at 28 years old (and holding), I can totally "get" that and I'm not any worse for the wear.  And, the most obvious point is that Santa is fictional, which he'll understand one day, most likely sooner rather than later.  Once he figures it out, his siblings don't even have a chance. 

I decided to simply to ask him what he thought.  He gave me some convoluted example of some other Santa-figure with wings that I have totally never heard of before, and he concluded that people on earth don't have wings, so the other people who believe in characters other than the "true" Santa must be wrong.  That's a boy with conviction!  Or dogma.  :)  

There will be enough time another day to clear up this confusion.  I just hope I'm doing the right thing between now and then.  


Friday, November 28, 2008

I Braved Black Friday Crowds and Lived to Tell the Tale

As everyone knows, today is THE biggest shopping day of the year. And could I even pretend to claim shopping as my spiritual gift if I were unwilling to venture out pre-sunrise on Black Friday? That would be a negative, Ghostrider. So after 3 stops last night to locate a newspaper for the ads, I finally got my hands on the ads and planned my shopping strategy, which began with getting to JC Penney at 4:00 AM. I cannot tell you the last time I saw 4:00 AM willingly. Or if I've EVER seen 4 AM willingly.

The line at JCP was pretty short when I parked at 3:40 AM (WHAT?!?!). So I waited in my locked van (Have I mentioned that, due to my stranger phobia, I rarely, if ever, venture out in the dark alone? Let's just say I've seen 1 too many TV shows where fake crimes have been committed against fictional characters. I'ma little jumpy in the dark. Today was a real breakthrough for me.) until 3:50 and then got in line to wait. To my supreme luck, it began sprinkling. But seriously, due to my bad habit of neglecting to clean out my van of all the extra crap that accumulates, I was prepared with a waterproof pull-over.

I got into JCP at 4, and went straight to the toys where I was hoping to score a Batmobile for Cade for the low low price of $15. Too bad it was a remote-controlled vehicle, which was not what I was wanting at all. I browsed the jewelry section briefly, until I noticed a Chester Molester looking fella who seemed to be following me around (paranoid, much? I told you- it's a real problem). So I hightailed it out of JCP and drove to the-store-who-must-not-be-named, where all the great deals started at 5:00.

Apparently, our store-who-must-not-be-named is open 24 hrs. Which means that, rather than everyone waiting in line outside, these same crazies were INSIDE WITH THEIR CARTS clogging up the aisles. It was ridiculous. I could barely get down any of the aisles to figure out where the cheap crap I wanted was located. I was on a mission for the $29 bike and parked my own cart right next to them. I befriended 2 ladies who were shopping together and they shared some Black Friday secrets with me and 1 of them even kept an eye on my cart whilst I mapped out the remainder of my plan of attack. As I was standing in the Crayola aisle examining an art set, a kind lady politely informed me that I had put my top on inside out. Nice. It was one of those longer tops (a friend of mine calls them "shresses"- is it a shirt? a dress? It's a shress!) and I did have a sweater over it, so I don't think it was too obvious. In my defense, I got dressed quickly AND in the dark, so it was an honest mistake, to be sure. I made a mental note to turn it the right way once I was safely back in my locked van.

At 5:00 store-who-must-not-be-named time, someone must have blown a whistle or threw down a flag or something, b/c all of the crazies simultaneously began lunging toward the pallets loaded with merchandise. I quickly got my bike and even scored the Batmobile. I was checked out and loaded back in my van headed to Toys R Us by 5:10. Not too shabby.

By the time I got to TRU, there was no waiting in line. The crazies were inside the store already. Thankfully, my children are not of the age that electronics are the order of the day, so I was able to steer around those crowds and head straight to the Iron Man dress up costume that I think Micah giggle with delight over on Christmas morning. Actually, I had one helpful associate help me locate my item and the poor guy got accosted 4 different times with various questions while trying to point me in the right direction. I hope those employees got holiday pay or a back massage or something extra for helping all the crazies today.

I was out the door of TRU by 5:30, so I scooted on over to Target for the $15 Air Hog helicopter, which is the ONLY thing Micah has asked for this year. Cade, on the other hand, wants one of everything. When I took him to TRU a few weeks ago, his pure unadulterated joy at every item on the shelves (Wrapping paper! Awesome! Transformers! Awesome! That dino thing! Awesome! That unidentifiable toy! Awesome! Literally this is how it went until I threatened to take him home if he didn't stop making me look like the mom who keeps her kid locked in a closet with little to no contact to the outside world.) was endearing and yet disturbing at the same time. Either we need to teach him more about thankfulness and appreciating what you have or this kid needs to get out more.

ANYWAY, when I got to Target, the line was wrapped around the building. Obviously, I missed the memo that Target had some not-to-be-missed deals, b/c I was just there for a plastic helicopter. I conducted an informal poll of people standing in line near me and the general consensus was that no one was there for any one thing in particular. Except me. By the time I located the Air Hogs, there were only 3 left. I picked up one to look at it and while I was examining it for suitability, the other 2 got snatched up. So I decided to purchase the one I was holding by default.

The checkout lines at Target weren't too intimidating either and I was back in my warm (locked) van by 6:20. My next stop was Kohl's, but I knew I needed some edible reinforcements before I braved the looooong lines that Kohl's is notorious for every day of the week, not to mention Black Friday. To my credit, I went to Kohl's on Wednesday and put the toys I was purchasing on hold. Now, my friends, aren't you glad you've read this diatribe thus far for that little tidbit of info? Yes, it's true. If you do holds on Wednesday, they will still be waiting for you at the customer service counter on Friday. It took no time to get the goods, but it took forever to check out. 20 minutes. By far the longest wait to checkout, hands down. It was 7:30 when I drove away from Kohl's.

I made a couple of other superflous stops on the way home, including a stop in the McD's drive-thru for breakfast for the children. I was home by 8:00 AM on a major shopping high, just 4 short hours after beginning my excursion. Once the kiddos were seated around the table chowing down on their eggs and sausage, I went back to bed.

For the most part, my Christmas shopping is complete!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Miracle

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving and all, I felt it only appropriate to share with the blogosphere my TG miracle: Almost all the laundry in my house has been washed and put away. Almost.


Since I had the day off, I seized the opportunity to do 10 or 1,000 loads of laundry.  But when your household population equals 5 and middle of those 5 likes to change clothes each day more than a teenage girl, one day's worth of clothes is like 2 weeks worth of laundry.  And by '2 week's worth' I mean because I won't be getting around to washing anything else for 2 weeks or so.  

By that time, the boys will be begging me to teach them how to do their own laundry.  It's all part of my master plan.   

I'm kidding.  But you've heard the saying "There's truth in every joke," right?

Anyway, since not everything can be clean at once, unless we become nudists (I'll let that visual sink in for a minute...) I just have to accept that 'almost' is just going to have to be good enough. AND MOST OF IT IS PUT AWAY.  

We're looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and 2 nieces where we'll consume enough calories to help us survive through our winter hibernation.  

Oh, how I wish we could hibernate.  Several months of uninterrupted sleep sounds like a dream come true (no pun intended).  Who am I kidding... I'd take one night.  Or even a morning where the boys sleep past 6:30 when I don't have to be at work.

But I digress.  I truly hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by family, friends, and  great food!  We do have so much to be thankful for!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Micah Quips

Micah, my oldest son who is 6-going-on-60, has had his moments recently. He's been on quite a roll, actually, so I thought I would share a couple of things he has said to me lately.

I admittedly have a bad habit of putting on my make-up in the car. And by "bad habit" I mean that between getting myself and 3 children dressed, brushed (hair AND teeth) and out the door on time, I never have the few extra seconds it takes to slap on the necessary spackle. And by "in the car" I mean that yes, I am one of those people who applies make-up while driving. Thankfully (for all involved), I wasn't driving yesterday. You can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. *Sigh*

While I was fixing my face, Micah asked me, "Mommy, why do girls wear make-up?" I informed him that it makes my face look better and that's just one of those funny differences between girls and boys. He thought about this for a second and replied, "You know, clowns wear make-up too!" Well, thankyouverymuch, son, for making such an astute connection.

This morning, he got mad at me for forcing him to try and find his belt (Gasp! Teaching responsibility to children? Well, I never...!). Anyway, he has to wear it as part of his uniform everyday, so I don't think it's too much to ask of him to put it away everyday in a place where he'll be able to find it the next day. Only he didn't and he couldn't. And he was angry. At me. Because that makes so much sense when you're 6.

I caught him in the middle of his fit-throwing just as he threw in a threatening, "You'll pay for this, Woman!" I managed to give him a spanking before I about died laughing. In private of course.

Oh, he does keep us hopping. And laughing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I've avoided posting about politics on my blog, although I was avidly following the presidential campaigns. So much that I'm addicted to talk radio, further proving that I'm a 60 year old trapped in a 28 yr. old body. And I'm also currently experiencing the first stage of grief. To save you from wasting time googling it, it's denial.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Anyway, I came across this article today and really appreciated it. While I may not have agreed with every decision made by the current administration, I do feel that President Bush deserves more respect than he has received.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that, too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Would this be the definition of irony?

Jason has had a man-craving for some Chinese buffet for the last few days, since we passed a local restaurant that also advertised sushi and mongolian grill. It's like the trifecta of cheap ethnic food.

We decided to swing by there and try it out this evening so Jason would, you know, LET IT GO. And in an effort to save a dollar or twenty, we decided to take PB&J sandwiches, chips, and fruit for the boys. While they do love all the authentic Chinese delicacies one typically finds at a Chinese buffet like mozzarella sticks, fried catfish, and french fries, they usually don't eat enough to make it worth the price we have to pay. Not only monetarily, but also emotionally when they whine and complain non-stop that they can't eat the fries until they have something "healthy" like chicken nuggets. Hey, it's white meat, right?

I was a little afraid the management might throw us out for bringing outside food in, but no one seemed to care. And since I'm such an upstanding citizen, I only snuck Cade a few bites of honey chicken. I was even careful to make sure no restaurant employees were near when I was doing the sneaking.

On the way out to the van after paying the check, I noticed a handwritten poster in the restaurant window for the "Weekend Special": Fri., Sat., Sun.- Kids under 8 eat free.