I am writing

I'm writing this, surrounded by my THREE kids!

What?!

I'm writing on my new Macbook.

What?!

I just mistook Ella Fitzgerald's Frosty the Snowman, for Carol Channing.

What?!

Real life Christmas letter

want to know the truth
or should I gloss it over
or do none at all

It is no surprise to those of you who know me that I will not be sending out Christmas cards this year. I just don't have time. Plus, I'd have to get everyone a box to put the Christmas letter in because it would be 400 pages long. This has been – to put it simply – A CRAZY ASS YEAR FULL OF CRAZY ASS THINGS.

I briefly thought of doing a card with a note about how things are going. Sort of pretending that the year started October 20th when Ike-a-saurus came home. But even then, too much to talk about.

Then I thought maybe I should just a write a letter that shows off our exciting day-to-day action:

Dear Everyone,

Today I stepped on a Lego piece and swore like a sailer in front of my kids. Last week Georgia ate three of my birth control pills. The economy is shit and we're worried about going broke. But that's mostly because I want to spend all of our mortgage payments on things like a new macbook and adorable shoes for the wee-er one, and diy robots for the wee one, and probably a Corvette or a prancing pony for Ike-a-saurus because we are just so happy to finally have him home.

I cook pasta and forget about it and nearly burn down the house almost everyday. The wee-er one refuses to wear anything but pajamas. The wee one never stops talking, especially when he is talking about trying to not talk as much. Ike-a-saurus is not pooping. The dog IS pooping. Everywhere.

The wee one just hit the wee-er one in the nose so hard it squeaked. That means I have to stop writing this letter.

Happy holidays!
Kari

You know what, though? if I had time, I could totally write a sappy Christmas card, too. I mean, we have Ike! He's home! He's here! The wee one just tied for first place in first grade for his Robot Hand science project. I am wearing my size 6 jeans again, almost back to normal. The wee-er one comes up to me throughout the day and whispers, "I lub you mommy." My husband does laundry – every day!

See? I could totally write one of those annoying letters, too. This has been a year of Terrible. But also a year of Wow! And there are still a few days left. I better not write anything else about it until 2008 is officially done. God knows what could happen in the next few weeks!

So no Christmas cards this year. Maybe a Christmas email. Maybe a holiday photo of the kids in their new Christmas jammies. Or maybe I will wait a while. Maybe I will try to salvage these next few days from the traditional holiday panic, and instead use them to rest and reflect.

Ah, who am I kidding? There are cookies to be made! Presents to be wrapped! QVC to be watched! Diapers to be changed! I think our holiday card this year should probably just be a picture of the empty couch. We are too busy running around and playing and fighting and crying and laughing to sit still for a picture. I like it that way, too.

We almost made it a year

they were missing us
her file was gathering dust
well, not anymore!

I don't know why I try to do things like sleep and clean myself. It only, inevitably, causes trouble.

After the pantyliner episode, you'd think I would have learned my lesson. But no. I thought I'd go out on a limb and take a shower this morning – well, not just a shower, but a real cleansing experience, involving shampoo and leg shaving.

So I go downstairs, bring the car seat up to my bathroom, wrap a sleeping Ike-a-saurus up in a blanket, and stick him in the seat. I put Sesame Street on the TV in my room, while the wee-er one sits on my bed eating dry cheerios.

So far so good.

I manage to get shampoo into my hair when I notice a suspicious arm waving around the partially opened bathroom door. Then I see a grinning face. At least I think she was grinning. I didn't have my glasses on. I rubbed the steaming glass of the shower door to get a better look, and there is the wee-er one, holding a package of birth control pills and smiling. A package of birth control pills I had not yet started taking. With three pills missing.

BANG goes the shower door, as I leap out at her, hollering, "DID YOU EAT THOSE?! DID YOU EAT THEM?!" She, of course, bolts. So I am soaking wet, butt naked, half covered in shampoo, freezing my ass off, and chasing her around the house. I finally wrench the package from her hand and pry open her mouth. Much to my dismay I discover finely chomped pill residue in her back teeth. Excellent.

By this time, she is, of course, hysterical. And who wouldn't be with a dripping wet, screaming, naked mad woman chasing after them? I am like a miniature, soaking Yeti, with a more powerful screech.

I calm her down, run back into the bathroom, slip on all the soap and water, almost end up in an unfortunate split position, twirl around and catch myself just before landing on the peacefully sleeping Ike-a-saurus. (What a great story that would have made – "Sorry about that, kid. I know you were born so early and were so strong and brave in the hospital. You would have led a completely normal life had your mother not  slipped and flattened you like a pancake. However, you are making great money in this circus sideshow as Ike the Flounder Boy, so to each his own.)

I grab the phone.

Note to self:  even with poison control stickers on every house phone, go on and program the damn number into your mobile phone. You may not have a regular phone handy. You may think you could never forget the poison control number, but you can. You may, in fact, fruitlessly call Delta airlines a bunch of times, because their number is very close to the poison control number.

I finally get the right number.

The lady all but laughs and says Micronor is fine. The wee-er one may end up with some nausea, but that's about it.

So there you go.

Two nearly demolished inner thigh muscles, about an inch of water on the bathroom floor (did I mention I left the shower on and the shower door open while all of this was happening?), and a probable heart attack later, all is fine.

And the wee-er one… well, she's actually been less moody today.

I guess we know what someone's getting in her stocking this year!

The Great Toy Explosion of Aught 8

probably should get
a few wee-sized haz mat suits
for this endeavor

In the spirit of Christmas this year, instead of shaking our heads in embarrassment at the amount of toys and plastic, we are attempting to get rid of a Whole Lot O' Crap before Santa arrives.

Right now there are drifts of toys in the corners of rooms. Piles that are taller than the wee-er one. Sinkholes of building toys.

The daily exposure to lead paint and various other plasticky chemicals must make our house visible from outer space.

So we are cleaning this superfund site up. It is quite an endeavor. We have to take breaks to wash our hands because there is a fine layer of actually palpable germs on everything. Or at least this is how I feel. It is probably just crayon dust and weird lego slime, but it feels like you could hold your hand under a magnifying glass (I have found 3!) and see the germs smiling at you.

I know we're not the only people to do this during the holiday season, but it actually works out really well. All of the birthdays are in the summer and fall, so there is just enough time to play with birthday stuff, get tired of it and get rid of it before the Christmas stuff rolls in. And ditto for Christmas. Once the birthdays roll around, the Christmas stuff that was successful is still being played with, and the unsuccessful stuff is ready to be donated.

When Ike-a-sauru was due in November, this was going to jack with the system. But thankfully (can I say that?) he followed the tradition of summer babies so our toy purging schedule remains in tact.

I just figured out that if we have another baby one day (HAHAHAHA), that baby will have to born in June. Then we will have all the kids birthday's in the summer – May, June, July, August, and parents in the fall – September, October.

Look at me going on and on about things that make no sense. I am procrastinating the end of the toy purge. There are piles and piles on the floor and it is exhausting to think about going back in there and finishing the job.

More M&Ms! Fuel for the marathon!

The Great Toy Explosion must be contained!

Also…

I can't stop dreaming about the space elevator.

It is giving me fits.

In my dreams things come sliding down the space elevator cable to spook us all. Giant, building sized kites are tethered to it for celebration. It comes crashing to Earth.

Why should a space elevator scare me like that? It's the same feeling I get when I see the huge underbelly of an iceberg. I have to run screaming from the room. Seriously. The artist rendition of the cable needed to make the elevator work? Sphincter-tightening.

Carbon nanotubes, be damned. I can't look at it anymore.

so far this morning…

staying on your toes
is much easier to do
when you're not sleeping

I tried to sleep a little extra this morning. Ike-a-saurus was tucked snugly under my arm, the wee one was off at school, and the wee-er one was in my room, sitting on the floor, quietly dressing her baby dolls. This is too tempting of a situation.

So I dozed. At one point I woke up thinking that I heard the bathroom cabinet open, but that couldn't be because it's child-proofed.

I grabbed my glasses and looked over to the bathroom. The wee-er one was in there, having opened (!) the child-proofed cabinet under the sink. She was carefully placing a pantyliner in her pull-up. She stood there for a minute, made some adjustments, and got a concentrated look on her face. Then she reached back into her pull-up and pulled out a peed on pantyliner. She rolled it up in some toilet paper, threw it away and came back into the room to play with her dolls some more.

Right.

No more dozing.

Thank God we anticipated the thwarting of the child-proofed cabinets and put all the cleaners up high in the laundry room. The pantyliners, though, I may never be able to look at the same again.

This is why I love Texas

Today, we broke a record – 81 degrees. Tonight? It is sleeting.

I tried to wake up the wee one so he could run outside. We may not get sleet again this year. But he was sound asleep and not having any of his crazy mom poking at him to come see.

Between this and Ike-a-saurus spitting up perfectly formed logs of cheese out his nose, tonight has been super eventful!

ETA: I just want to clarify that it's not just sleet, but thunder sleet.