Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maybe not enough valium, way too much novocain, and eventually I'm drooling on myself

Today I finally got a crown (well the temporary one) put on a tooth that had a root canal 4 years ago.  I am honestly afraid of the dentist.  I had a dentist I liked back at our old house who did not tell me I needed a crown, but I took my good ol' time finding a new dentist here & she told me I needed one (or else, apparently, the tooth can break... look, I'm not a dentist.)  Anywho, today was the day.  I had my Valium at the ready, thanks to a very bad experience with a filling during which they could not, no matter how hard they tried, numb my tooth.  That was a white knuckle ride on the pain train.  After that, I would have NO dental work done without happy pills first.  Now, in my current state of residence, they cannot prescribe anxiolytics.  I had to take an expired Valium left over from my old dentist.  I was a little fuzzy for a short period of time, but not nearly fuzzy enough OR for long enough... but oh well.  It had to do.  At least I didn't sing crazy little made up songs for them... Ever do that?  Oh, me neither.

So everything was going fine, until they went to replace a nearby filling that was reaching the end of it's days, and found out that was the tooth the other doctor couldn't numb, either.  Apparently he didn't fully remove the cavity before filling it (probably due to my pain), and it had gotten much worse underneath.  Well, surprise surprise... they couldn't numb the tooth, either.  So, the Valium got me through the door, but didn't help much in the chair!  After over 20 sticks with the novocain, seriously, I could not feel much of my face.  I didn't even know where my tongue was.  She asked me to bite a few times, and I had to tell her to let me know when I was biting, because I couldn't tell.  She asked me to bite one last time, and I made a funny face because I realized I was biting on my tongue, and that's why my teeth wouldn't close.  But that damn tooth, still super painful.  She said it may need a root canal.  They can knock me out, thankyouverymuch.  I'm not doing that again.  That is enough of this tomfoolery. 

The best part wasn't me slurring my answers to her (99.9% from the excessive novocaine... only 0.1% early on from the valium, unfortunately), and it wasn't the adorable Droopy the Dog face that accompanied the novocain overkill, it was the dentist dropping my tooth on the floor.

So, the little crown "tooth" they put over your old tooth (which they whittle down to a nubbin), needs to be shaped and such... so she's working on this crown with some little spinning tool... when it catches the crown and flings it across the room.  The dentists look of horror was quickly replaced by laughter as I yelled "Five second rule!!!"  Of course, it was a little slurry, but the hygienist and the doc got it, and were quick to assure me they had things to clean it with before putting it back in my mouth.  Apparently "A little dirt never hurt." is frowned upon in dentistry.

My Dad was watching the baby, with great success I might add, in the waiting room.  We had to pick up my oldest son at school, so my Dad treated everyone to lunch after that.  On the way home, I was sipping my drink... which entailed holding the one side of my mouth closed in order to get anything out of the straw, and then trying to hold it closed until I swallowed.  I only learned about that second part after an entire mouthful of soda fell out of my face onto my hair. 

After all that, my face hurts.  I'm not up for eating, and not even too thrilled about drinking.  All those shots of novocain, and the painful drilling.  I am hoping tomorrow goes better.  Also, I'm not allowed to floss that tooth.  Those who know me best, know I have some obsessive compulsive issues, and flossing is one of them.  It's driving me crazy (yeah, I know, I'm already there...) not being able to floss that tooth, and in the proper order that I floss my teeth.  (That space is #7, every single time.)  However, even though I'm feeling a bit bummed about my sore mouth and flossing disruption, my kids kept me smiling today.  As a bonus, I'll share a little kid-ism from my oldest son, today.

Son Mom!  I forgot, there is sauce in my pocket!

Me No kidding.  

His pocket was, quite literally, oozing BBQ sauce all over the place.  Apparently, claiming he was doing some sort of magic trick, he had hidden the BBQ sauce packet in his pocket.  When he plopped down on our driveway to color with chalk, explosion!  And "sauce pocket" was created.  There is never a dull moment... or one that doesn't require stain remover. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pull out the parka, it's tax season

I know some folks hate tax season.  I know people who look forward to it, and have already planned what they will do with a refund they may be expecting.  I don't hate it, and I don't usually plan out how to spend money I do not know for sure I'm getting (not that I don't have an ongoing "wish list" for when I might have a few bucks come my way, but I"m not going to be Clark Griswold and find out I am the newest member of the jelly of the month club, when I've already ordered my swimming pool... or (let's be more realistic here...) Manolos).  I kind of look at doing our taxes like a game.  Like any game, you might lose a turn, or maybe you hit the jackpot.  (Though, that jackpot isn't like a million dollars when you've not even earned anywhere near a million... but you get the idea).  Sometimes you just get to pass Go, but you do NOT collect $200, but you don't owe it either so it's a wash.  I always go in with my lucky "PICK ME BOB!" shirt, and my pep rally cry of "Big bucks, no whammies!"  Now, of course, getting money back usually just means you did a shit job of accounting for how much you'd owe and planning for it by having the proper amount taken out of your paycheck each week or so.  I mean, wouldn't it be better to keep what you will be getting and make interest on it, than let someone else hold onto it for you for the entire year, then get it back in one lump sum?  So, I guess getting a return means you did bad math to begin with, but I think most people like the surprise extra money that they did not have all year to blow on Angry Birds upgrades and snuggies. 

We are preparing to see our accountant, and he always sends us this little "preparation guide" thing-a-ma-jig that reminds me of why we are paying him (because there's always a handful of important things I always forget about until he points them out).  I'm not good at tax law, so I have "a guy".  But, have you had one of my cakes, because I'm really good at making those.  Cake skills are much more fun, and decidedly more yummy than tax skills. 

My husband was filling out the little check list, and one question was "Have you made any changes in your home to improve energy efficiency?"  He took it upon himself to go into detail about this one...

Husband Yes.  I told my wife to stop dressing like a floozy and put some clothes on during the winter.  Now our heating bill is way lower, therefore we are being much more efficient.

Me Wait, what?  Does the definition of "dressing like a floozy" change as you get older?  Because, seriously, it just does not seem to take much to enter into floozy territory anymore.  I mean, my lounge pants, two tank tops, plus a long sleeve shirt = floozy?  I wish when I was young and single someone would have told me "Wait until you pass 30... you won't have to try so hard.  A roomy pair of lounge pants will do it."  I mean, that may have changed my life, having that kind of information.  Is there any question on this paper that says something like "Does your husband make you wear a parka and ushanka because he's too cheap to turn up the heat?" or "Is your house so cold that you start to hallucinate that your wife is "showing too much skin" because she's only wearing 3 layers of clothes?"  Oy.  You know, maybe this is just some convoluted idea the tax man had to ask what your wife is wearing.  Now how do you like your answer?

Husband Don't bring him into this.

Me He's the one asking dirty questions.

Husband No, I'm pretty sure that's just you being... well you.

We get to go meet with this pervert tax-guy accountant next week.  At that time, he will probably reveal that he does not care what I was or am wearing, and my husband and I will both look at each other like "HA!  You were WRONG!".  Then he will tell us that we pay a higher tax rate than Mitt Romney and then he will look at us like "HA!  Suckers!"  Oh that tax guy, he has this one in the bag.  We can't compete.  There is nothing more ridiculous than that.  Not even implying that the tax man's accountant job is part of some complicated plan to find out what women are wearing. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When pre-schoolers collide, they will eat their vegetables.

Today my 4 year old was injured at school.  It was the first time he has gotten hurt at school, and I think he was traumatized.  The teacher brought him out to the car with ice on his face, and he burst into tears while she told me what happened.  He and his best little buddy had a collision that resulted in his friend headbutting him in the nose.  It was a complete accident, but my son was worried that it meant they were no longer friends.  It took me longer to heal his emotional wound than to treat his bruised nose. 

My son inherited my complete lack of grace and balance.  He combines these deficits with a total disregard for the location of his body in space.  What does that all mean?  He is constantly trying to kill himself.  Well, I'm sure that is not his desired outcome, but to any onlooker it would look that way.  He is a daredevil.  I'm actually more shocked that he did not get hurt at school before this!  Maybe he just saves all the calamity for me here at home.

It must have been some blow to the head he received, because the kid who will only eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets (no matter how hard I try to get him to try and eat other food short of sending him to bed hungry), actually tried something different at dinner tonight.  My husband came home early, so I had to change my plans for dinner.  When he came home and asked what was for dinner, I explained "I don't know.  It's just some shit in a pan."  He gave me a funny look, went upstairs to change, and when he came back downstairs... the boys were eating what they were served... spinach and all!  My oldest told him "Daddy, sprinkle a little cheese on it, it's super good with that cheese!"

Me I cannot believe they are eating this.  I thought for sure they'd turn their nose up at it.  Of course they'd eat the one thing I think they won't touch.  

Husband It's really good.  You should probably change the name, though.  "Shit in a pan" does not sound very appetizing.  

Me Good point.  It's "assorted food stuffs I threw together in a pan and cooked until it was hot."

Husband Much better.

I'll have to remember that happy moment at the table, everyone eating what I spent my precious time cooking up for them.  I'll try to think of it later in the week when I slave over the stove, cooking up homemade chicken pot pie... which is delicious, mind you.  My oldest will act like I'm feeding him poison and razor blades, after I have spent 2 hours cooking that pot pie.  I'll have to remember to laugh at the vision of him eating what I referred to as "shit in a pan", as he refuses to eat the down home cookin' version of the frozen thing he normally adores.  There is nothing more confusing than a kid's gastronomic preferences.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Say What?

I still can't really figure out these two conversations, though I was an active participant....

Husband She has a lot of teeth.

Me Um... what?

Husband She has a lot of teeth.  They are small, and fill up her mouth.

Me As opposed to...

I am still waiting for an explanation for that... at least one that doesn't make my brain explode.  I mean, aren't all teeth small and fill up our mouths?  I mean, it's not like we're living in Alabama here...

Sorry, Alabama.

And, in his defense, this one took place while he was half asleep...

Husband *whispering* I think people can enter and exit this room through these three doors.  I think they can gain access to where we are currently located.

Me You think people can enter or exit through these three doors, right here?  Like they might just open them and walk through?

Husband Yes.  I think they could gain access to this area by going through those doors.

Me Well, I believe you are correct.  That is, after all, how doors work.  Usually you are able to open them and enter or leave a room through the doors.

Husband Oh, okay.

Thank goodness he accepted that.  I was afraid I was going to have to find paper and pen, at 2 AM, to draw a diagram.  I asked... he does not remember what he was dreaming about.  I'm guessing it had something to do with doors.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

And I wore that shoe like nobody's business...

What a weekend!  I'll get to an update about my crime spree at the end of this post, but for now... let's start with more pressing matters... Manolo Blahniks.

My husband and I had our annual "Mommy and Daddy get to go out on the town like grown-ups" yesterday.  It was his new(er) company's holiday party.  I had gotten myself a new party dress (and a super cute sweater, which, as it turns out, will not play nice with a sticky name tag), and *the most important part* some Spanx that go all the way up to your cheek bones.  I was set!  A few days before the party, I did my research on the venue and found it was being held at a galleria that housed nothing but luxury shops with anchor stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.  They had me at Saks, but when I saw Louis Vuitton, I knew I had to start making a wish list... also know as "This woman is delusional, and has created a list things she will not be purchasing with her imaginary millions of dollars to take back to her pretend castle to live out her princess fantasy even though she is a grown adult."  It was exciting for me to think about going somewhere that would remind me of some of my favorite places in New York, so, for maybe a hot minute, I could pretend I was back in the city I love.  Also, it was beyond exciting to go somewhere other than our local "mall" which is smaller than my old elementary school, and consists of, pretty much, a Sears, a Belk, and broken dreams.

We intended to head out early, mostly because of the ice and snow that threatened to spoil our day yesterday.  We didn't leave as early as we wanted, but we still got there 40 minutes early, which meant I had to prioritize.  We cut my itinerary down to Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Louis Vuitton.  I found the next purse I just have to have at Louis Vuitton.  It looks like a "Stewart's Strawberry Soda label", as my husband says.  It's also available for the low low price of $1,080.00  I bet, if I had asked, they would have just given it to me for free, simply because I deserve it.  We will just have to assume that is the case, because, thanks to our time restraint, I did not have time to discuss these matters with the salesfolk.  I had to move along to shoes.

Neiman Marcus had what almost every girl dreams of... designer shoe sale racks.  It was 65% off, last call, and it was Heaven.  I immediately found these pink and black, super cute Manolos.  Of course, they only have out the right shoe, so I could only try on one.  Once I had it on, though, I spent the next half an hour walking around the shoe department with that shoe on one foot, and the sad, ordinary shoe I had come in with, on the other foot.  At one point, my husband was standing there holding my shoe and my purse, as I made my way through the racks... fondling any shoe that caught my eye.  The salesman would come up to me, ask "Is there anything I can get for you, like the other shoe?"  and I would answer "No, nope.  I'm good with this one.  I'm still looking."  He'd back away, slowly, and come back about every five minutes.  My husband pointed out that maybe I should take the shoe off.  I told him that the salesman would probably ask him to take me out of the store before that happened, and then he'd have to drag me out.  Or maybe I'd just act all cool and natural and walk out with half a pair of shoes on my feet.  No one would notice, right?  One bright pink shoe would not catch anyone's eye next to a plain black shoe and black stockings, right?  *le sigh*

Husband *who suddenly has the Joker's grin on his face* Oh I will.  I will DRAG you out of here.  I don't have a problem doing that.

Me But, the shoes, they need me!

Husband I will drag you out of here.  You can go put your new car on your foot.

Me I can't put a car on my foot!  I can put my foot on a car, but that is totally different.  I can't wear my car in to a party, and, besides, it doesn't really match my outfit.

Husband You are missing the point.  I can explain it to you while I'm dragging you out of here.  Oh, look at the time, the party is starting.

Me *whispering to the shoe I am reluctantly taking off, and putting back on the rack for someone who, I'm sure, will not care about it the same way I do* Wait for me!

So, we headed over to the party.  I had not previously met any of my husband's coworkers, and I was so happy to find out they were all so very nice... but, more importantly, funny.  I counted zero sticks in the mud, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.  I believe these two things are related.  The food was great, and the drinks looked wonderful, too, but I did avoid any alcohol, lest I become a swollen, purple/red tomato (thanks to an alcohol allergy).  Instead, I had soda.  Now, I'll remind you all that we had a long drive to get there, I had already been there shopping for 40 minutes before the party, I now had 3 drinks between my soda and water, and I'm wearing Spanx.  I made the decision to wait it out.  I knew, in order to use the bathroom, there would be a wrestling match with those "underlies", as I prefer to call them.  I was not looking forward to that.  We all know, that since the increase in the usage of Spanx, they have not appropriately increased the size of the bathroom stalls to accommodate the struggles of women wearing them who have the unfortunate circumstance of having to pee.  Spanx are wonderful, and I cannot possibly gush about how effective they are, but they are a nightmare in this department.  Putting them on in the first place, is difficult, and once you're in .... you're in.  Between the laughing, grunting, jumping up and down, rolling on the bed... it might seem like I'm wrestling with a terrifyingly large, stuffed bunny to anyone inside our house who can hear the commotion.  However, 20 minutes later *as long as you haven't poked a hole through them with your finger nails* you emerge a thinner, smoother version of yourself.  That's priceless, and well worth the fight to get them on.  Hooray for Spanx!

Someone did point out to me that the point probably is to NOT admit to wearing them, but I have nothing to hide... except for what I'm hiding with my Spanx... that I DO want to hide.  And you probably should thank me for doing so, as you're the ones who have to look at me.

I did, eventually *after waiting it out 'til the last second to make it count* throw in the towel and enter the ladies room for the "Saturday Night rumble".  I emerged victorious.  The Spanx never stood a chance.  Also, it helped that the handicapped accessible stall was available.

Despite the physical labor involved with dressing up, I had a fantastic time.  We had some fun and interesting conversations, learned new things, and had time out without the kids!  The best take home lesson of the day was some very creative parenting advice.  Consider having older children clean large household appliances, and detail the family cars, as consequences for inappropriate behavior.  At some point, though, it seems you reach the point of just hoping they smartmouth you, cause the fridge could stand to be cleaned.   Chances are, though, they will.

Alright, quick update on my thievery.... I did return to Walgreen's first thing the next morning, and paid for my vaporub and toothbrushes.  The conversation started with:

Hey, I shoplifted, accidentally, these things, yesterday.  Well, really my stroller did, but I was an accomplice.  I did give these things to the stroller to hold, and then it completely hid them from view, so I forgot about them once I got to the register and paid for the rest of my stuff.  Sorry about that.  I'm pretty sure the stroller is sorry, too.  In the very least, it should be ashamed of itself.

The cashiers actually hugged me, had a good laugh, and told me what a wonderful person I was.  I told them they just didn't have the full picture of me, so their judgement was overly generous, but I'd take the compliment while I could get it. 

In summation, I'm no longer a petty thief.  Although, I have been told, I wasn't really a criminal to begin with, as there was no intent to steal.  So, now it's even less edgy and "dangerous", and even more pitiful.  So, I guess it was just an unintentional, unaware-of-the-thrill, non-criminal, crime.  *again, le sigh*

I hope everyone else had such an action-packed weekend.  Now, back to my "normal" life...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Livin on the edge...

Today I became an accidental criminal. I  totally shoplifted a Vick's vaporub and 2 sesame street toothbrushes from Walgreens.  Now, before I get any further, since I am aware that I have thieved... I will be returning to the store tomorrow, after dropping my kiddo off for school, to pay for the items.

I can't knowingly steal chest rub and kiddie cavity prevention devices... that would be humiliating.  It's not like I pulled off some big, dangerous, gutsy, cool heist.  I mean, one of my two accomplices still poops his pants.  Cool & dangerous... sadly, not.  It was a case of putting these things in a "safe spot" in the stroller, where they wouldn't fall out, while I finished shopping and made my way to the front of the store.  Then, my oldest was trying to con me into candy (um, no), and I was busy keeping him from helping himself to the M&M's.  It wasn't until I arrived home, went through the bag and said "Where's the vaporub?"  Then, dammit!  I ran out to the car, pulled out the stroller, popped it open, and there was the Vicks and the Bert & Ernie and Cookie Monster toothbrushes... still in that "safe spot".  Indeed, they did not fall out.  The baby was napping, so I just kept the boxes, and I'll go back with them tomorrow so they can ring them up. 

When I posted on Facebook that I was on the lam, several of my friends mentioned incidents where they were undercharged for items, and went back to have the bill fixed.  It was so refreshing to hear about honest people in the world!  That STILL happens!  People STILL do the right thing, believe it or not!  So, all in all, I'm glad I shoplifted.  I got to see a honest, and quite nerdy, side to people that I thought was becoming extinct.

My son is sleeping so much more peacefully tonight, thanks to the stolen vaporub, by the way.  I think the fact that it's criminal really increased it's effectiveness.  I can't be sure, but it's possible.

I also have to mention, I almost went to Safeway for these items. One of my very first thoughts, when I realized what I'd done, was "Thank goodness I didn't go to Safeway!"  All I could think about was that pregnant woman who ate a sandwich while shopping, then paid for all her groceries but absentmindedly forgot to pay for the sandwich, so they had her arrested.  Could you imagine what they would have done for a vaporub and two whole toothbrushes?  Surely a public flogging would have been a best case scenario. 

Now that you've read this, are you an accessory to my crime? At least until tomorrow morning when I go turn myself in to the cashier?  You should probably be ashamed of yourself.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My top five child birthday parties I will never throw...

Today my son had a birthday party to attend.  It was at one of those bounce places with the inflatable castles and obstacle courses.  We were excited for him, because he loves those things.  He had such a great time at a bounce-theme birthday party a couple years ago.  We assumed that was representative of all bounce parties.  Upon arriving to today's party, however, we soon realized we had embarked on a journey to the innermost circles of Hell for the following 2 and 1/2 hours. 

I don't enjoy party games that are pretty much "which two kids are going to bang heads, and demonstrate to everyone why there is an enormous advertisement for "urgent care" on the wall of the bounce room".  And, although I like cake just as much as the next person, I don't enjoy mine served with a side of snot.  I also never think "I hope everyone who just rolled on the floor, picked their boogers, and made snow angels in inflatable birthday cakes that, let's be honest, someone probably puked in within the last 24 hours... touches all the food sitting on the table, seasoning it with the latest super bug."  Never, I never think that. 

We showed up at the party, all ready to go, and the first thing we see is this poor, sick baby, who cannot keep his eyes open.  He constantly had snot covering at least 50% of his face, looked miserably ill, and was struggling to stay awake... however, he was at the party.  Not only was he there, but assorted relatives kept carrying him into the bouncy contraptions and bouncing him around, as he looked at everyone with the saddest "please help me" eyes.  All he wanted to do was sleep.  The Dad even said "He's getting better, he's just exhausted because he hasn't slept for 2 days."  Yes, I wanted to hose my kids down with lysol at that point, every 5 minutes after that, and strip them for one last coat of it when we got home... but I was more upset that this poor baby was being subjected to this when he should have been home, resting (if possible).  I still want to scoop him up and take care of him, wipe his poor little face, and rock him to sleep.

About 15 minutes into the party, they spiced it up a bit by throwing in 2 children between the ages of 10-12, who were about MY size, and were mean and super aggressive.  Why these things were released into a crowd of pre-schoolers, I do not know.  Kids were getting plowed down, my kiddo got hit in the face, and they were pushing kids down the back of the inflatable slide and not letting them go down the slide.  Fun times. 

After the anxiety filled 2 hours of hoping my child, or any other kiddo, didn't break a limb, we went to the party room.  I know I'm a germ-phobe who overreacts to dirt and germs, but there is just something about watching people dig in bare handed to food who are sick or were just playing with a bunch of sick kids on dirty equipment that turns my stomach.  Great for the diet, though!  I did whip out the hand sanitizer like any well prepared crazy person would in this situation.  I did not, however, eat anything.  My kids did, though.  It's hard to explain to them, in a middle of a party, that they are sitting in a giant petri dish with a sample taken from none other than Typhoid Mary.  People tend to look at you strange for mentioning her at a kid's party.

Anyway, after all of this, I decided to fill my husband in on the types of kid's parties I won't be throwing.  I know the title says top five, but really there are only 2 on that list right now....

1. Bounce party... after the above, it really goes without saying
2. Chuck E. Cheese

I'm not a big fan of Chuck E. Cheese.  This post is getting long, so I'll cut to the chase, and sum it up with a quote from my husband

"What do you mean, you don't like Chuck E. Cheese?  Pizza, a giant rat, and knife fights... what's not to like?"

So, there you have it.  The kids had a ton of fun, but my anxiety was through the bouncy castle roof.

Since I included a quote from my husband in here, I'll throw in an extra one from this evening... it's pretty much classic-him...

Husband What?!  Cat beatings?!

Me Yeah, I just said "I was way over doing it with the cat beatings." Now when I ask the baby what a kitty says, he says "No, Mommy, no!"

I will give him some credit, though.  Caffeine, cat beatings... they are almost the same thing some mornings.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hell On Heels

And, just like that, Nissan realizes it can, in fact, fix it's own mistake. 

As promised, I showed up to the local Nissan showroom, baby in tow.  I had dropped my oldest off at pre-school, and we had a few hours to take care of business.  They didn't open until 9, so I did my hair, put on my favorite bootie heels, (no need to look both angry and sloppy), grabbed some animal crackers for the baby, and we were off.

Our salesman, Steve, was the first to see me walk in the door.  After I explained why I was there, he thanked me (which he had done several times during my explanation), and sat down with me while we waited for the manager, who was in, to speak to me.  The guy I do not care for at all was not there.  Lucky him.  I did, however, make it known to the entire showroom, that I did not appreciate his attitude toward his employees, and how he did not take into account his customers as he argued with each and every one of them while we were buying the car.  Then came the part where I admonished them for leaving the guilt trip on my voice mail... which gets translated to text and saved as an mp3, mind you, so we will have that little nugget forever if we wish.  Anywho... after explaining how ignorant and juvenile it was to throw an innocent coworker under the bus, and then to try to make me feel guilty about the abuse they were about to inflict upon him and his family by withholding his paycheck for someone else's mistake unless I were to go out of my way and fix their mistake for them, I started accepting apologies.  One weenie hid from me the entire time.  He was the dude that called my house, actually.. and the guy I was asking about when I walked into the building and very loudly asked "Which one of you is Allan?!"  He did not make eye contact with me once.  I guess he was feeling Ke$hamed.  (Little inside joke for my friends, there...)  Anyway, I was promised that it would never happen again, and they admitted that was so wrong and oh so childish for him to do.  They also let me know they were no longer holding the salesman's paycheck, and he, himself, confirmed that. 

I had them call the bank in front of me, and gave them all the contact information they needed for the gentleman we had spoken with the night before.  Of course, they confirmed what my husband emailed to the dealer and what I so loudly informed them of in the middle of the joint.  They just need to follow the instructions, and do their damn job, and it will be fine.  There is no reason to send us to the DMV to fix their mistake without them having to be accountable in any way for our lost time, wages, face herpes contraction from the utter filth that covers every surface in the DMV, a babysitter or our sanity (which would be lost if we had to take our kids with us).

Now, tomorrow I will find time to call corporate to explain to them what this dealership is up to.  I doubt they want that kind of representation.  After my long lecture on what good customer service is, and the many ways in which they failed to meet even mediocre standards of such, and my follow up call tomorrow, their customer service makeover shall be complete.  (As long as they follow through with amending their ridiculous behavior towards each other and their customers).  Really, they should be thanking me.  I am doing them a huge favor, and I did it for free.  I should have left them with a "Now, don't fuck this up."  Instead I went with "Maybe Allan can stop being a weenie and blaming his coworkers and calling his customers to guilt them into fixing his mistakes.  Man up and fix your own mistakes."

As I left, I realized the size difference between me and these men.  My husband was worried that I would end up biting off more than I could chew (he was already aware of the size difference, and how mean they were to each other out in the open, in front of customers).  I wagered there is nothing a big ol' man wants to avoid like a little ol' angry and very loud woman in the middle of a public place.  Guess which one of us was right?  They kept calling him and trying to get him to fix the problem.  Now they're apologizing up and down, and the problem is miraculously fixed.  Also, the salesman thanked me so much for standing up for him, and taking the time to make this right for him.  (Not fix Allan McWeenie's mistake, but make sure he stopped trying to shift the problem onto Steve).  He thanked me, and gave me the number for the main office of the dealer.  Then we made out.  Okay, so I made that last part about making out up, but his appreciation was clear.  I shouldn't have had to do it, but I'm certainly not going to stand back and watch someone take the fall for someone else without saying something.  Because I am not a weenie.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If you want to try your hand at guilt, I'd practice on someone who didn't invent it

I come from a long line of guilt.  We are talking guilt of historical proportions.  Being half Jewish and half Catholic... well, long story short, guilt is genetic.  I can sense someone merely contemplating using a guilt trip, and then make them feel guilty for even thinking about trying to make me feel guilty... it's kinda like how cars sense when you have extra money in your pocket, and then instantly break down. 

Speaking of cars, remember that car I just got?  Well, the night my husband brought it home, after 5 and 1/2 hours total with that dealership (and we didn't test drive or anything, we knew what we wanted, already had one, and they had to get ours from somewhere else, so we couldn't even test it until it got there)... that was 5 and 1/2 hours after walking in and saying "We want a new Rogue.  Here, take our old Rogue."... Anyway, that night my husband explained to me that it was like dealing with the three stooges when it came time for paperwork.  No one seemed to know what they were doing, and it took HOURS!  It was awful.  I already wasn't thrilled with the place, as the manager was nasty to every single employee at least once while we were there, and my eyes were tired from giving him so much stink-eye.  I had a babysitter, though, and my husband was on vacation, so, since our salesman and they finance guy were friendly and helpful, we just ignored the asshat manager.  Perhaps we shouldn't have let that slide. 

2 weeks later, we get phone calls (today).  One is from the guy who screwed up the paperwork, having my husband sign the title in one wrong spot.  So he now wants us to go to the DMV/MVA and ask for a duplicate title, and BTW "We are holding Steve's paycheck until you do that."  The other one is from Steve, frantically trying to get ahold of us, so we can fix this (and he can get his money, I presume).

WTF?! Excuse me?!  So, the guy who did not make the mistake at all is not taking home his pay that he earned because YOU screwed something up?  And, you are telling me it's all in my hands?  That I must go, stand in the never ending line, contract who knows what communicable diseases, and do this with 2 small children with me, or this guy can't feed his family?!  OR my husband, who works around 70 hours a week, has to take off work to fix your mistake?  Hell no.  Hell.... no....  Nice try. 

1st of all, I don't do the DMV for other people.  I hate doing it for myself.  This was their mistake.  2nd of all, nice try with the guilt.  However, I do sense that he is an amateur when it comes to guilt.  He had no idea what kind of professional he was dealing with.  To make it even better, I always do my homework.  I called the company involved with the title, and called my sister who deals with car titles (it's her job!), and got all the information I needed to know for sure it's their problem, and they can fix it without us. 

Now I have to get up early, make myself presentable, drop my son off at pre-school, and then go teach the gentlemen at Nissan how it's done.  I believe my spontaneous lecture will take place in the showroom.  I have found, in the past, that dealers do not like people walking into their showrooms and loudly announcing their problems with the place in front of the other customers.  This approach has produced rather pleasing results (well for me, anyway), every time.

Steve can rest assured that he won't be missing his paycheck due to our lack of DMV attendance.  If he doesn't get a paycheck it's because he works for a bunch of rude asshats who wanted someone to take the fall.  Someone whom, we clearly know, is not at fault.  I will not have people calling here, trying to make me feel like I did something wrong and I'm keeping a family from eating this week (and during a tough economy).  I will also not allow people to try to bully me into fixing their mistake at whatever cost to my family between missed time at work, babysitter fees (or the resulting insanity of being at the DMV with 2 kids under 5 years old), and sick time from contracting the grip at the dirtiest place on Earth.

If you make a mistake, just own up to it.  Don't be calling your customers, harassing them, guilting them into fixing your mistake for you.  Just fix it.  Guess where we won't be buying a car from in the future?  Oh, and, I'm sure Nissan corporate is going to love this story when I call them, too.  I need to change a few answers on the first survey they called us with.  Things have changed... oh things have changed.

Also, I am not sure how this blog has turned into "consumer affairs" this week, but what the hell is going on with businesses?  Is it "Do whatever you can to piss off your customers week?"  It's like one massive memo went out "Okay, guys, whatever you do... make sure you screw up something big... then do whatever you can to cause this biggest inconvenience possible for your customers... you know... the people who give you money... so they never want to give you money again.  Got it?  Great!"

In an effort to gain some sort of balance here... here is a quick list of places with superb (honestly) customer service:

* Pottery Barn
* Crabtree & Evelyn
* Things Remembered (at our local mall, anyway)
* The Children's Place

That's just off the top of my head.  Because of their exceptional concern over their customers' satisfaction (and, therefore, repeat business) I will always be their patron.  Take a hint, Nissan... and WHIRLPOOL GOLD.  :P

Monday, January 9, 2012

Searching for WHAT?! lands you here?

This conversation just happened, right after I was checking my blog stats for the evening (BTW thank ya'll for hanging around and reading these things.  It's so nice and  the kind of thing where I want to squeeze a bunch of super fluffy, super cute bunnies.... not until their dead - sickos- just a little friendly little squeeze.  But we noticed one more thing about the stats for our blog.... the word searches people are using on google to find us.  Apparently, you can search for a penis knock knock joke and it comes straight to my blog.  Also, looking for "Shamy" "The Big Bang Theory" and "weirdos" brings you here.  Thinking about it, I"m not the least bit shocked.

 But my husband suggested renaming my blog to the Penis Knock Knock Joke Shack.   

He Says C'mon down to the greatest Penis Knock Knock Joke discount shop at Hippiechic's Penis knock knock joke emporium.  

What's next?  People searching for clown fetishes and finding my blog?  Well at least they'll walk away with some idea of what kind of oven NOT to buy.  Even clown fetishists need to eat.

So now that i've said it, we'll get clown fetish traffic along with our penis knock knock joke traffic, and our zombie traffic.  Nothing less than great can come from this combination!

The zombies will starve, Glenn Beck has already eaten their brains...

First, I'd like to thank my husband for tonight's title.  (He has come such a long way since that time he tried to help me write a blog post *unsolicited help, I might add* Re-live that little bit of literary genius here... )

Second, I must say that sending me an email to explain how the emergency "store" in your house is not complete yet, you are planning to store 6 months worth of supplies, does not make the situation any less bizarre or less brain-exploding.  Trust me, it was better for me to come up with any judgements I had based on only 3+ months of supplies.  It was nice for them to point out they are actually not planning for a zombie apocalypse, but I cannot help but postulate that whatever disaster keeps them from leaving their house for 6 months is probably something unsurvivable, anyway.  And if they did survive, I'm not sure what would be left around them.  Probably just zombies.  So, I did email them back and suggest they stock up on flame throwers... just in case.  I added "AAAAHHHH ZOMBIES!!!" in case they weren't sure why I'd suggest flame throwers.  And that was the extent of my response.  When I only have 2 sentences to say to you, you know something is seriously wrong (right? you've read my blog... or spoken to me in person... I'm never short on words.)

Now, if in a few weeks I'm totally eating my words and wishing I had some enormous stock pile of tuna in a baggie, feel free to rub these posts in my face.  I can take it.  I am wearing my big girl panties.

Another odd update, for those of you who are aware that the glass on our oven door spontaneously exploded after the handle fell off (in the middle of using the oven, too!!)... let me fill you in on the results of the "service" call today.

First of all, big shout out to WHIRLPOOL GOLD for:

A. Creating exploding ovens in the first place... ovens that people keep in their kitchens, along with their children sometimes.  That was brilliant.
B. Not putting a huge sticker on this that says "This shit's gonna explode and rain glass on whoever is standing in front of it.  Stock up on band aids, and while you're at it pick up a shop vac."
C. After getting our call that our lower oven door exploded and rained shattered glass everywhere (as that warning they never put on the oven should have predicted), for not telling the service guy anything but to come out and look out our cooktop from 2007.  Try our oven door from 2011, asshats. 
D. For doing such a bang up job of creating a safety hazard, and then sending someone totally unprepared to fix it, making me wait another week with a screaming hot oven door that I really can't use to cook food without risking burning off the skin on my legs or my cats or my kids should any of those things touch the door.  If you don't touch the outside, when it slams back on you when you go to check the food (because it can't stay open anymore, either) the inside of the door is sure to burn you.

Bravo, WHIRLPOOL.  Bravo.

That being said, the repair man is as baffled by all of this as I am.  He said he cannot believe the door did not explode sooner, and we are not the only ones this has happened too.  He had to order me new glass, and put it in as an emergency order, so he can fix it next week.  He also told me to make sure they send the right color and it's not broken.  I bet he said that because both of those things have happened to him already.  It's like the warnings on hair dryers to not use in the shower.  You know some idiot thought they'd do a simultaneous wash and dry at the same time to earn that warning sticker.  He also fixed the date of our purchase so it's under warranty.  Nice try, WHIRLPOOL.  2007, 2011... who would notice? 

It's totally okay that we don't have an oven to cook with right now, because I know where I can get my hands on some food to "sit in the sun" in case they drag out this repair for, say, oh, about 3 months.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fighting zombies, one can of beeferoni at a time...

You know that awkward moment when your friend takes you into their spare bedroom, and you see it's filled with metal shelving units, piled high with canned and boxed dinners, juice, water, radios, guns, batteries, blankets... and you yell "Look out!  Zombies!  Thank God we're prepared!!"  No?  *nervous laugh*

Today we were visiting friends, and my husband called me back to the spare room, where the man was proudly showing off his new "emergency preparedness room". 

Husband "Hey, honey!  Come look at their zombie apocalypse preparedness room!!"

I, thinking he was just being a goofball, went back to see what they were fussing about, and there it was... in all it's super crazy glory... what used to be a spare bedroom was now stacked, wall to wall, with canned, boxed, vacuum sealed baggie dinners, lunches, breakfasts, snacks, waters, juices, a cabinet of guns and ammunition, blankets, radios, flashlights, camping lanterns... you name it.  Since I was having one of those days where the filter between my brain and mouth was completely missing, I instantly blurted out "Oh my God, this is insane!  What is all this?!"  It was insane, but part of me was a little giddy... like they had suddenly turned into extreme couponers and were collecting freebies for a church or something.  Then the man said "It's for an emergency!"  So, then came the "Look out!  Zombies!  Thank God we're prepared!!!".  He didn't look nearly as amused as my husband and I did.  I asked "No, really, what is all this?"

Friend "It's over three months worth of food, drink, safety/emergency supplies, batteries, generators... etc.  In case we can't get food and don't have electricity and stuff."

Me "Like what kind of emergency are we talking about here?  What 3 month emergency are you expecting?"

Friend "Well, like an ice storm..."

Me "Holy crap.  That is some epic ice storm.  I mean, in 3 months it's going to be another season.  How long is this ice storm going to last?!  Seriously, it's for zombies, isn't it?"

Friend "Well what if you can't get groceries..."

Me "For 3 months?!  Is this about 2012?  You know that food doesn't last forever.  Shouldn't you heat that stuff up before eating it?!  You won't have a microwave or oven... You're going to be throwing out and wasting so much food, and then money really because you have to restock in then..."

Friend "That's what the numbers are for... see this means it's best if eaten by May.  And, you can sit them in the sun to warm them."

Me "That is the biggest shit ton of beeferoni... Oh wait, are the boys calling for me?"

I promptly walked out of the room.  My mouth was not going to stop, and it was going to march me down a road lined with zombies and brainwashing that would only lead to a gory end, so I got outta there.  I directed my attention towards my children as an excuse... because that's why everyone has children... they are the best excuse for all your excuse needs.

Anywho... we made it through our brunch, and some visiting.  Then, the woman pulls out a book. 

Her This book is by a Jewish Rabbi!  Do you know him? *Have I mentioned that these are folks who obsess over my Jew-ness, and are constantly giving me more and more "authentic" Bibles, and mentioning anything Jewish they hear about, and send me Jewish website links through email ?

Me Yes.  All of us Jews know each other.  *crazy eyes*  I mean, no, of course not.

Her *Totally missing or ignoring my sarcasm... * Well, in this book he talks about all these prophecies about America from the Old Testament.  

Me Holy Hell!  America is in the Old Testament!?  I thought Columbus only got here in like 1492, and until then only the folk born here knew about here!!  It's in the BIBLE!?  9/11 is in the Bible?!  The OLD TESTAMENT none-the-less?!  I need to re-read that section.  Seriously?  

Her Yes, I saw it on a Christian program on daytime TV.

So of course, she saw it on tv, it must be true!  She's like 4 pages into the book, so I'm sure she's right.  Wait, give me a second... my eyes just rolled out of my head...

Now that I can see again, let's continue... Then we went to leave, and they noticed my new car.  The woman asked me what kind of gas mileage it got, and then proceeded to tell me her SUV "gets 34 miles per hour!" 

Me Miles per gallon?  We're talking fuel economy here, right?  Not speed.  

Her Oh yeah, miles per, whatever you said.

Me Gallon.  Your SUV?!  Is that a hybrid?  That is great for an SUV.  I mean a lot of cars don't get that.

Her No!  I would NEVER buy a hybrid.

Me *thinking Oh God, here we go...*  I would love a hybrid.  If this came in a hybrid, I'd totally get the hybrid version.  

Her I will never get one.  People are always being stranded in hybrids.  They run out of electricity, and they are always stuck at stop signs and traffic lights, and I have to get around them.

Me No, I'm pretty sure you're just supposed to stop at stop signs and traffic lights when they are red.  I haven't seen hybrids just stranded on the road like that... ever.  

Her You have to find a place to plug them in, and park at those plug thingies.

Me That's not exactly how hybrids work.

Her And gas just got more expensive!  It's only going to get worse!  They predict it will be over $4 soon!

Me Yeah, which is a great reason to get a hybrid.  You use less gas.  And, that's what happens when we are so dependent on things that come from volatile areas of the world.  It's not a shocking surprise that it goes up.  It's power to them.

Her It's Obama!!  I hate that man.  He is ruining this country and the world with his trickery.  This country is so much worse than it has ever been, and I cannot wait for the day he is gone!

Me See, we have very different opinions on things.  We're liberals.

Her What?  Why?  Don't you have morals and family values?

*Now it's this part right here where that missing filter would have come in real handy, and I had to literally stop the sarcasm from flying out of my mouth and hitting her in the face.  A solid "Of course not, all us liberals are souless, criminal human beings with no moral compass who want to destroy everyone and everything with our support for those less fortunate, wishes for everyone to get the health care that they need to live healthy lives, and our tendencies to be tolerant of each others' cultural, racial, sexual, or economical differences.  We are severely dangerous, total heathens.  Thank goodness they rounded us all up and stuck us in a group together with a name like "liberals".  Instead I went with:

Me Of course I have morals and family values.... just obviously not the same ones as you.  

She asked me what that meant and to give her reasons why I'd be liberal (because,  you know, everyone should have to explain themselves in these matters...) and, after I mentioned gay marriage her face scrunched up so badly that it nearly fell off.  That's when I abruptly ended the conversation, and said "We gotta go!", and my husband pulled the car out.  He had been talking to the man, but he had heard bits and pieces, and knew I had good reason to get the Hell out of Dodge.  

On our way home, we were discussing what the reasons could be for such sudden paranoia, and extremist activity.  We also realized our sons were given mint, uncirculated gold coins for college.  I came home, hit up Google.  What should appear?  Glenn Beck.  Everything they were saying, he has preached about on his show.  How does he do it?  Turn normal folk into crazy folk?  Like crazy, hill witch believing, folk... Ugh.

Then it hit me...

Me Oh my God, honey.  We're the crazy ones.

Him What?!

Me To them, we are the crazy ones.  We are the gay people lovin', charity givin, only 1 week emergency preparedness supply kit havin', souless-liberal crazy people!!!

That realization was equal parts awkward and awesome.  I mean, no one really wants to be thought of as the crazy people, but in all actuality, it's much more fun to be thought of as the crazy people.  I need a fun life, and not a paranoid life... so I guess it's true... You don't always get what you want, but most times you do get what you need. 

In the meantime, if you ever have a hankerin' for a lifetime supply of beeferoni, I know where you can find it. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Then you realize, you can never die...

If you're a mom with small kids who has ever had to make the extremely difficult decision to leave her children with their father, or to cancel whatever she had to do and stay home with her kids, you will know exactly what I'm talking about in this post.  If you do not have small kids, or you are one of those freakishly amazing single Dad's who could out-Mom the Super Nanny... let me explain to you why the above decision can be so difficult for us everyday, run of the mill Mommas. 

Lots of Moms have that feeling in the pit of their stomach that tells them the moment they leave their children in the hands of their husband that all Hell will break loose.  (Moms have great instincts, and you should probably trust that gut feeling!)  I don't know WHY any woman would ever feel this way, oh except for the millions of examples you dudes give us to go on. 

I became suspicious of my husband's ability to care for our children while simply cleaning the house.  I'd clean the first floor, and go upstairs to clean the 2nd floor.  By the time I'd get back downstairs it would look so much worse than before I started cleaning.  Total chaos, toy shrapnel, assorted bits of food, unidentifiable spills everywhere, screaming and/or crying children.  More times than not, the hour he was alone with the kids would end up in everyone's favorite game "Is it poop or chocolate?"  That's when you realize, as a mom, you can never die.  Let's not forget, this was just after an hour of cleaning in the same house

I was apprehensive about leaving the kids with my husband while I ran some errands.  Alas, eventually one must leave their home and venture into the real world.  Often, when I return home from an outing, I am immediately greeted with a scene from "Lord of the Flies".  Naked, dirty kids, running around, poking each other with sticks, screaming with evil laughter, and a house that resembles a jungle more than my house.  Again, then you realize you can never die.

Over the holidays I was really reminded of why I can never die, as my husband was on vacation, and helping with the kids more.  One morning I was cleaning, and then I had to get ready and go out to a well deserved spa day with my sister.  My husband served the kids breakfast and lunch while I was cleaning and getting ready.  At dinner, I arrived home and sat with the family.  The kids were eating their favorite, hot dogs, and telling me about their day.  I asked what they had for lunch, and my oldest said "hot dogs!"  So, naturally, I asked "Did you seriously give them hotdogs for two meals in a row?!".  My husband's response?  "No," which was accompanied by his lying face.  Immediately I knew.  "What did Daddy give you guys for breakfast?"  "HOT DOGS!", my son cheered.  Yes, indeed he gave them hot dogs for all three meals, not just two.  Then he sang a little jingle about "This is what happens when Daddy takes care of the kids."  They were also still both in their pajamas.  They only changed out of their pj's to take a bath and put on fresh pj's. 

I mean, the kids probably would survive if he had to take care of them alone if something happened to me, but still... I should try not to die.  Tonight, at dinner, the baby kept looking over to the counter.  He was reaching for it and fussing... 
My husband looked at him and said "Oh, no, sorry.  We don't have any more donuts.  We ate them all."  
I asked "What, you both ate all the donuts?"
Husband "Yeah, he wouldn't eat his chicken for lunch, so I gave him a donut."
Me No wonder the boys turn everything down.  You'll always give them a hot dog or a donut if they don't want what they have!  They can name their diabetes "Daddy".  Like... "Oops, gotta go take my insulin because I have Daddy.
Husband *singing* This is what happens when Daddy takes care of the kids!  You can eat hot dogs and donuts at every meal, stay in your pj's until 7pm, and watch 5 hours of tv....

Then you realize, you can never die.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First post of the year!

Happy New Year!  I cannot believe the holidays are now over.  Each year, the holidays seem to fly by even faster than the year before.  My bet is they are not going to slow down! 

So, let's catch up!

Last I wrote, I had been handed a magazine after everyone received their super thoughtful, touching gifts from my MIL.  Not long after I wrote that post, it was suggested I try to kill with kindness... like sickening kindness.  (Although, most people said to just totally cut her off and no gifts, no cards, no calls, no nothing...) Like drop a kindness bomb in the middle of our Christmas Eve party.  So, I ran out and bought a silver and crystal heart ornament for an exorbitant amount of money (to make it better the proceeds went to Make-A-Wish), and had it engraved with "To the best Grandma in the whole world.  All our love...".  I had arranged for our Santa, who hands out gifts to the kids at our party, to give her the gift.  There was no way for her to tell if I had it planned all along, or if I did it after the almanac.  Also, no way to tell if it really was super sweet, or sarcastic.  No one dare question the sincerity of a gift and look bad in front of everyone, as if they are accusing otherwise.  So, now she can just sit there and wonder.  I would hope she'd just feel bad and start treating me better, seeing how sweet I treated her, but I doubt it.  I might complain about the things she does to me, but I've always been nothing but good to her, and yet, well you know the stories.  Oh, and my SIL pointed out the birthday issue, and tried to blame it on the printer she ordered it from (just to see if she should get the benefit of the doubt), and her response was "Nope, I did that."  So, there you have it.  That was on Christmas day, and I haven't gotten a "OMG, I'm sorry I messed up with the birthday thing" email or call or anything. 

So, that's how I ended up dealing with it.  No confrontation, just super sweetness.  I told her how much awesome info was in the almanac... "Did you know it teaches you how to measure windspeed?!"  "It defines winter storm classifications!!"  and "Did you see that it has several adds for chainsaws?!"  My grandmother is to thank for that idea.  She said to thank her for it and gush about it so much that she gets sick of hearing it.  She'll either never give me one again, or she'll get me one every year.... she had already said "Did you look through the almanac?  If you want, that can be the thing I get you every year."  So, we can see where this is going.... haha

In case anyone felt bad that I was gonna be sweeter than sugar itself,  and maybe that was unfair... rest assured that she made sure to squash any guilty or cringe-worthy feelings by immediately yelling at me when she arrived on Christmas Eve.  I had not said boo past "Hello!" when she thrust a bag of Christmas stockings for my son and his cousin at me, and said "I forgot these because I was being rushed at my house!  It was rush rush rush!  Do this, do that, move move move!" (side note... we were there for 5 hours, and we had dinner and they unwrapped one gift each and the kids unwrapped a couple gifts... I know, way too much for 5 hours).  So, I pointed out that my Mom and sister had about an hour to do their gift exchange with us, and that was all the private time they were getting... so they were rushed too... she said "I GET RUSHED EVERY YEAR, THOUGH!!"  I nearly pointed out that my SIL doesn't get to see here parents at all, ever, on the holiday, so she does not win the rushed contest by a long shot, but then I remembered my sickeningly sweet attitude I had to keep up.  So I slapped a sympathetic smile on, and offered for her to give them to the kids right then.  I also checked to make sure she had everything and was comfortable.  As many times as she came up to me to take a jab at me, complain, or try to exclaim "I wish you lived across the country, so at least when you'd all visit you would HAVE to sleep over!!!"  Oh yes, that sounds like a wonderful, totally sane idea.  Then, she pulled me aside to tell me about the lovely gifts she gave her boyfriend's daughters... just in case I wasn't totally positive that she gave me junk and gave everyone else something thoughtful and personal.  Then, she was taking pictures of everyone with Santa and had to announce to everyone *that in the picture she had taken* "Oh my God, your legs look huge!!!"  (I assure you, they are not, but we know how she likes to make me feel fat.)  When Santa said he had a gift for Grandma (and she is the only one who is called that in the entire family), she at first acted like that could be anybody.  She didn't even want to take the gift.  Then, she opened it, and then all the ladies who knew what was up gushed over how beautiful and special it was.  Then, she did say thank you.  It couldn't have been more perfect that she had spent the whole time cutting me down and picking fights, to have me lay that on her.  Talk about rising above (maybe for the wrong reasons... but it's better to do good for the wrong reason, than to do bad for any reason.)

Aside from the magazine drama, the only other semi-drama was the turkey cooking super fast on Christmas day... it was delicious, and we managed to keep it warm and yummy until dinner anyway.  Everything was lovely, everyone had fun, and, most importantly, the kids had a blast.  The kiddos have been enjoying all the traditions, seeing everyone and getting tons of extra attention, and, of course, their new toys.  The baby has picked up so many new words and phrases, thanks to all the visiting family he's seen.

Oh, and let's throw in another fun story, just for balance...

My family has this little inside joke.  We re-use boxes all the time to wrap gifts.  Some boxes, especially newer ones, can seem to be really what the gift is, so we always say "Don't trust the box!", and make a big deal out of that not being the right box... even if it is the right box.  It wouldn't be funny, maybe, except we've been saying it every Christmas, for years, and always with such dramatic tone.  Well, my husband won the "You can't trust the box" contest this year...

Our GPS needed updated, and we missed the registration cut off.  We had 2 choices, pay to update it, or buy a new one.  Well, for Christmas, my husband got me a new GPS.  I almost couldn't tell what it was because he wrapped it in a shiny new car.  :)  It's really great, and the car's not bad either. 

I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday season, as well, and avoided too much family drama!  Although, if there is no drama, it's not a real holiday.  Of this I am convinced.  :)