Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Teenage Elf’

Kitchen Swearing and Bad Songs

I haven’t blogged in a while.  I thought people might notice, and start asking me where I’ve been.  No one did.   Really, not a single, “Where are you?”.  Not even from my Mom.  I’m working through it.  Kinda painful.

Guess it doesn’t matter.  I’m like an addict.  When I can’t find time to blog, I miss it.  I miss it so badly.  I long for it.  So, that’s my secret.  But, they say it’s better to get that stuff out in the open. So, there it is.

Every Mom knows that the Holiday season is just like having another part time job.  On top of your full time job.  On top of being a mother and wife.  Much is required.

At work, things are cranking up.  The boys’  wrestling season has begun, and Olivia is (was) playing basketball.  Plus, I’ve been developing a plot line for our “Teenage Elf”, and posting updates on Facebook.  It’s not like these posts happen by themselves.  And, I mean, if I don’t do them, who will?  That’s the question you have to ask yourself.  I think the answer is: no one I’ve ever known who is an adult, and not on psychotropic drugs.

teenage elf and barbie

All that beautiful stuff in my life is happening at the same time.  This leaves me very little time to breath, think, or write blogs.   That’s the order of my priorities.  I like to breath, think, write blogs, and then everything else.  You’re right. I’m a little off.

At any rate, I would never complain.  Because I feel like the luckiest, most blessed darn girl to be able to do all this stuff.  I might be having more fun right now than I’ve ever had.  And, Eddie is feeling good. So, there’s just nothing in the world to complain about.  Except people are designed to complain, so I still can find ways.

Last weekend, from Friday to Sunday evening, every moment was filled with athletic events.  Literally, every minute of the weekend was spoken for.  No one has ever accused me of being a neat freak.  (Which is unfair, because I really would like to be called that.  And, I do make my bed every day.) But, I do have some standards.  I almost always spend a few hours cleaning on the weekends.  I never really realized what a difference this cleaning made, until I couldn’t do it, and we were slowly buried in filth.

I knew this filth was getting to me.  But I wasn’t complaining out loud.  I just kept telling myself how fortunate I was to be able to have a great job, and to have kids who are healthy, and doing what they love to do.  All the while I’m telling myself these things, my eye is starting to twitch, and my nerves are fraying, because I’m walking out of the door every morning leaving the house in chaos.

Then, one morning I cracked.

Our dishwasher was broken.  Again.  I came back from walking Reggie, and Scott was packing his lunch.  There were dirty dishes on the counter, and the kitchen was an ugly landscape.  Scott patted me on the arm and asked me how I was doing.  I swore.  I did.  It wasn’t a lady like swear word either.  It was the worst kind of swear word.  I told Scott that I was going to be late for work, because I had to clean the bleepin kitchen.  Then I slammed the dog food bowl on the ground and walked out.

What the?

Yeah.  Just because I’m telling you that now, doesn’t mean I’m proud of myself.  I’m not.  I know you’re disappointed in me.  I get it.  I didn’t know that word was in my vocabulary.  I can’t remember ever saying it before.  Scott says I dropped the “f’ bomb one time when he threw a squeaky toy at me while I was sleeping.  I really didn’t.  He heard me wrong.  He just enjoys holding that over me.

That whole kitchen explosion was a total temper tantrum.  I sounded as ugly as my kitchen looked.  Scott was sorta speechless.  I surprised myself.  I had no idea that was brewing.

When I came back in the kitchen after getting dressed, guess what?  The kitchen was pretty clean.  I guess that’s what it takes.  Swearing.  I had no idea about this.  I’m going to pin what I learned on Pinterest.  How to clean your kitchen:  vinegar, baking soda, and “F” Bombs.

No.  I’m not going to do that.  Because swearing is bad.  It’s not a real strategy. But, I have to tell you, it does work better than gentle reminders.

But, no!  Of course, I won’t pin it.  That isn’t right, right?  You don’t think I should.  Do you?  I guess I’m a little torn, because it really did work.

I just have to think about it.  I’m always thinking.

The other day, I was on my way to work and I was thinking about blood sugar.  I was trying to remember the mechanics of how your body keeps blood sugar stabilized.  I’ve read a lot about this stuff.  I really should know this.  I’m really interested in these things.  And strangely, for how much I have read, I know very little.  I can’t seem to retain any of the facts I learn.   And, it occurred to me then, that the reason I get side tracked is because I get busy with things like Teenage Elf photo shoots.

I was arranging Teenage Elf on our buffet one morning, and taking a dozen or so pictures.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Scott shake his head at me.  He does that sometimes.  I’m not sure I like it.  I want to believe that he’s shaking his head like, “Oh, my wife.  She’s so cute.  Who else would dedicate this much time to the plot line of an imaginary Teenage Elf?”

I feel like that might not be what he’s really thinking though.

I don’t get it either.  I wish it would occur to me to act more appropriately.  It never does.

But, then again, Scott can get kinda boring.  Maybe I’m good for him?  I mean,  he puts really almost no effort into Christmas.  He doesn’t even like Christmas music.  Yeah.  I know.  His soul is dark.

The bad thing is, after all these years he’s begun to influence me.  I used to LOVE Christmas music.  Now, I like it less.  The other day I was hanging out with some hilarious friends.  I told them I heard the world’s WORST Christmas song on the radio.  I told them that I for real have to turn the radio dial so fast when it comes on the radio.  The song brings violent images to my mind.  When this song comes on,  I see myself stuffing a sock in the singer’s mouth.

I sang a line from this horrid song to my friend.  She said, “What?  That’s the Carpenters.  That’s a great song.”

So, that’s surprising.  I learned something new.  You can be a totally awesome person, and still like really terrible songs.  Here is the song.  What do YOU  think? It’s terrible, right?

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My Crop Top and our New Holiday Tradition

I’ve decided I don’t need to go to the gym any more.  I’ve discovered YouTube.  After my walks in the morning, I plug in whatever I have time to do into the YouTube search bar.  I pick workouts that are as short as 5, 10 or 15 minutes, because it’s like I’ve always said, “go hard, or go home.”

I’m excited. These workouts have cool names that help me understand why I’m doing them: “Bikini Butt” and “5 Minute Crop Top Workout” are a couple of my favorites.  I’ve never worn a bikini, or a crop top, but I have a feeling that’s about to change.

Crop tops are THE COOLEST!  (Literally, I guess.) I saw a young woman at Costco the other day wearing one of these shirts.  It was around 20 degrees outside, and she and I crossed paths in the parking lot as I was running to my car to get out of the cold.  I saw her belly button, and her rock hard abs. I thought, good for her.  She’s not gonna let the negative wind chill tell her what to do.  I know it’s only a matter of time before I too can wear crop tops to Costco, or work, or my kids athletic events. I guess it’s just something everyone can look forward to seeing.  Especially my kids.

Do you have an, “Elf on a Shelf”?  I’m so sad we missed this tradition.  My friends at work have young children, and they have the best stories about this guy.  Olivia’s gotten wind of these stories, and it’s not good.  Olivia is holding a grudge against me.  I have totally failed in the holiday tradition department as a Mom, and I’m sorry for it.

The other night, Olivia was particularly bitter about our lack of traditions.  She made quite a speech about it.  She said, “When I’m a Mom, I’m going to do Santa Clause, Elf on a Shelf, Saint Nick, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Leprechauns!”

Leprechauns, Olivia?  Really?  Leprechauns are a tradition Moms do? I feel pretty doubtful about that.  I think Leprechaun traditions are just bad form.  I told Olivia that the only reason a Mom would do a Leprechaun tradition is if she was drunk.  Because, that’s just like the Irish.  I told Olivia she should be pretty darn thankful her Mom is sober.  How about being sober for a tradition, Olivia?  Why don’t the Leprechaun Moms try that?

I really do feel guilty about all this. The lack of traditions part.  Not the part about calling moms who do Leprechaun traditions drunks.  I stand by that.

I love the Holidays.  I never tried to make my kids NOT believe in stuff.  I just never thought of it.  Ever.

I have loads of happy holiday memories from when I was little, but they’re not centered around any one tradition, or character – well, other than the Christ Child, who we happen to think is real, and not a character.

I was trying to think about why I associate Christmas with joy and happiness as an adult, since I can’t remember any specific family traditions.  The only thing I consistently came up with was this: family, faith, food, music and laughter.  Those were our family’s traditions.  I’m not saying that’s the right way go, and, really, given a redo, I’d try harder with my kids.  But, in my family, that’s how it was done.

I don’t know what memories I’m helping build for my kids.  Hard to tell at this point, really.  It’s not like Scott offers me any help.  He’s not one to play his pan flute, while we gather around the piano for a merry holiday sing-a-long.  I’m kind of on my own with this stuff.

Here’s a picture I love.  This is after the Christmas eve service when I was young.  My older sister, Gail, and I are laughing about something.  I wish I knew what.  I’m drinking out of a fancy little mug.  I bet it was egg nog.  YES!  We did have a tradition.  Egg nog was a tradition.  Way to keep it simple, Mom:

christmas egg nog

Another tradition my family had growing up was this little elf my Mom brought out every year.  Believe it or not, I’ve blogged about this guy around Christmas last year.  That’s how special he is to me.  My sisters and I LOVED him.  Let it be known, this guy was around 40 years before anyone ever thought of “Elf on a Shelf”.  I don’t know how I was lucky enough to inherit him, but I did.

This year, we’re in the process of refinishing our basement.  That means all the Christmas decorations are buried somewhere in the garage.   I’m smart enough to take a pass on entering that house of horrors. The only decorating I’m doing this year is our little tree, and our little elf.  I did find the elf.  He gave me a really good idea.

The night Olivia was mourning the traditions that never were, I thought that I could start a new one.  My kids are too old for the real Elf on a Shelf, but how about “Teenage Elf”?  He looks like he could get into some Christmas trouble, right?
Here’s day one:

teenage elf

Oh, Olivia, I sure hope you didn’t want the rest of that sparkling cider. I was thirsty…..Your Friend, Teen age Elf.

Oh, that naughty little guy drank the last of the sparkling cider Olivia and her friends bought.  Looks like a lot of mischief to me.

I went to great lengths to get Olivia to discover Teenage Elf’s antics before school.  Scott did too.  Olivia woke up, and walked into the kitchen for breakfast.  Naughty Teenage Elf was laying on the counter by the coffee pot.  Scott told Olivia she looked like she needed a cup of coffee.  She looked at us real grouchy, and said, “What?”, and turned around to walk out of the kitchen.

I said, “Olivia, please.  Just get some coffee.”

She turned towards the coffee pot, and then she saw him.  She kind of laughed a little.

I expected more.

I said, “Oh, would you look at that Teenage Elf?  Boy, was he up to no good last night.  Tell me he didn’t drink the last of your sparkling cider?  That’s so mischievous! Who knows what kind of antics he’ll be into before Christmas?”

Nothing.

She just smiled again, and walked out of the kitchen to get ready for school.  Well, I’m not a quitter.  I’m certain this guy can bring happy memories of Christmas traditions to my teenagers,even if I have to ram the little sucker down their ungrateful throats.

When Zeke came in to the kitchen, I tried again.  “Zeke,  look who visited last night, Teenage Elf.  And, look at what he did.”  I pointed to the cider guzzling elf.

Zeke said, “What do you mean?”

I Explained, “You know, TEENAGE ELF!  He’s like Elf on a Shelf, only he’s Teenage Elf, because you guys are all teenagers, and Olivia wanted a Christmas tradition.  So, I’m starting a fun Christmas tradition with Teenage Elf?”

“What’s Elf on a Shelf?”

Holiday traditions can suck it.

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