Random and Stuff

- If you were feeling guilty about that bag of miniature Snickers with Almonds that you ate right before Halloween, you can stop now. I opened a new bag yesterday and learned that there are only 14 bars in a bag. If you translate that to full-size candy bars, that's only like 3 or maybe 4. You aren't nearly as big of a pig as you thought you were.

- The deer are trying to attack my car. I'M ON TO YOU DEER--Stop hanging out at the side of the road and trying to time your jog across for the moment when I'm going to come passing through. I refuse to help you with your suicide mission. Just leave me and my car alone, thank you very much.

- If you give a Toddler one of her favorite vegetables (mini corn) and it's been doused in some sort of fiery Chinese sauce, she will eat a piece, scream bloody murder, eat another piece, scream bloody murder again, then eat yet another piece and scream bloody murder yet again. You should know that she can't resist the miniature corn goodness, even if she knows it's going to hurt her mouth. Not nice, Daddy!

- If your fantasy football team is struggling and you need a little pick-me-up, just schedule yourself to play me next week. I have an amazing ability to motivate oponents into having their best game of the season.

- Is it just me or is it physically impossible for the Steelers and Penguins to play well at the same time? Penguins in last place = Steelers SuperBowl victory. Steelers go 8-8 = Penguins in the playoffs.

- If I give Alexis a cup of blueberry applesauce and Daddy is not home, she will eat every bite without dropping so much as a speck. If Daddy is home, then she will somehow manage to spread the applesauce love all over her face, shirt, arms, table, chair, and walls.


My Snowman, My Hero

Houston, we have a problem. It seems I am not the only one in this house that likes bright lights and shiny balls (Note to you snickering over there: get your mind out of the gutter). Alexis is has really taken a liking to all the Christmas crap that has started to invade our home. And I mean really taken a liking to it. To the point that she is expending all of her energy trying to touch every single thing. If I try to wind a string of lights through some tree branches, she's on the other side pulling them back out and seeing if they make a good necklace. If I put an ornament on a tree, she pulls it off so she can see if it will bounce. If I start digging in a box, she shoves me out of the way so she can dig for her own treasure.

Most of my Christmas decorations are of the breakable variety. This has never been a problem, despite the fact that we have way too many cats and dogs. Ten plus years of cats climbing and sleeping in my Christmas tree has taught me how to attach ornaments just right. Years with dogs has taught me that if a round, shiny object is within reach, it's eligible for a game of fetch so it's best not to decorate the bottom few feet. But I wasn't counting on Alexis making it a challenge to just get the items on the tree in the first place. My only saving grace is that she has fallen in love with the fiber optic snowman. I'm currently negotiating his fee for lulling her into a rainbow-lights induced trance for a few hours.


Taking Back the House, One Closet at a Time

Earlier this week I was feeling a little ambitious and thought I would break out Christmas Tree #1 (Oh, you just knew there would be multiple involved at my house). I was looking around and debating whether to start with the Picture Perfect Tree or perhaps one of the smaller ones when I realized that I had a problem. There was entirely too much brightly-colored plastic crap all over my house. I don't recall the moment when it happened, but I do believe Fisher Price set up shop in my living room. And my dining room. And the entire upstairs. There was no room for even one Christmas tree, let alone several.

I immediately declared war on the toys. Within minutes it became clear that the Toddler was a traitor; she was siding with the toys. Every toy she hadn't touched in months instantly became the greatest toy ever. If I selected a pile to neatly stash into a basket, she became infatuated with pulling the toys back out of the basket as fast as possible. If I hauled something down to the garage, she stood at the top of the stairs crying for it to return. And return it will, for I am wrapping every toy I hid from her and giving them all back to her for Christmas.

Anytime I get in that kind of desperate to clean mood, it usually continues on for hours. So after the fiasco with the toys was over, I decided to tackle my closet. We're talking about the closet that I haven't opened for over two and a half years. At some point after the conversion to maternity clothes I just stopped putting away most of my laundry. Since I hated maternity clothes and their over-priced ugliness, I got by with the minimum. It all fit quite nicely in one basket, with a few pieces hung on the outside of the closet door. When I packed away the maternity clothes, I kept the habit of living out of baskets.

I figured the most efficient way of reclaiming my closet was to just declare its entire contents null and void. If I hadn't worn something in nearly three years then it probably didn't fit, would be mocked by anyone with any fashion sense, or just wasn't necessary. Along the way I encountered a skirt that I bought about a month before I found out I was pregnant. I only wore it twice--once for my Brother-in-law's wedding in Belgium, and once to work. I instantly fell back in love with that skirt. As I stared at its perfect blend of lime green and white and its flirty, but not too flirty, little ruffles, I realized that I used to be one skinny beyotch. There was no way that skirt would ever fit again. As anyone who likes to torture themself would, I set it aside so that I could keep staring at it, reminding myself that having a baby does indeed change everything and that she is worth it (that one's hard to remember when the kid in question is using closet cleaning time to throw books down the stairs, trying to hit the dog and laughing hysterically every time she succeeds).

I continued stuffing the old clothes into bags so that I could take them to Goodwill and filling the cleaned out closet with my more recent acquisitions, every once in a while glancing at the symbolic skirt. I lugged a total of four bags of old clothes to the car with the knowledge that if they didn't leave the premises that day, they never would. After Alexis and I returned from the Goodwill drop point, I grabbed the skirt and started to hang it up in the back of the closet. I hesitated, then decided I might as well go for the ultimate form of torture--I tried it on.

It fit.

Never mind the road map to China that carrying a baby for ten months left me, the skirt still fits. Not quite the same since the road map came with a spare tire, but IT FITS. It really doesn't matter that there still isn't a single Christmas tree set up, because that skirt fits.