Thursday, December 19, 2013

Life is Not Like an Episode of Family Ties

Hieeee! Guru here. I decided to write and say hi because, in case you missed it, Lydia has been super duper sick for the past two weeks. Kate finally kicked her in the taco and made her go the doctor and, sure enough, she has bronchitis and an ear infection. Her husband has had an insane work schedule and it snowed a lot where she lives (in VA anything above an inch is A LOT), and she hasn't done her Christmas shopping so she has just had a shitty few weeks. If I lived near her this is the part where I would make her some noodle soup and tea and pat her. But since I live 400 miles away I thought I'd instead make her go to bed early tonight and entertain you with some stories from my holiday season.

1. A few of you may have noticed that I quit writing for Babble a few weeks ago. I needed to step back from all that. It was such a great job but when I imagined writing that much with my new baby I guess I thought I'd be doing it during his naps? HAHAHAHA. Um, no. He does nap but that's when I do important things like feed myself and match socks and maaaybe shut my eyes for 20 blessed minutes. So I was having to stay up late each night to work on Babble stuff and it just got to be too much. I was exhausted and cranky and snapping at my whole family. It turns out the baby doesn't like sitting on my lap while I blog. WTF. Be a team player, baby. So I decided I would rather re-work my household budget than continue to try to do a full-time job and a part-time job simultaneously.

2. My house got the stomach bug. Actually, to be accurate, I got the stomach bug twice. Once the night before Thanksgiving and again last week. I will go on record as a woman who loves food (and really loves holiday food) and state that being nauseous on Thanksgiving blows goats. I had my maternity pants all ready to go for the big day and instead I sipped gatorade and nibbled on toast while my extended family feasted. SAD FACE.

3. We went to get a Christmas tree! When I was growing up my dad always just went out and got a tree from somewhere. I'm honestly not sure where they came from. The gas station? The neighbor's yard? Who knows. But in my husband's family getting the tree was a big family outing to a farm where they carefully select and then chop down The Tree. His way sounded more fun so we've been making that our family's tradition, too. I think it's important that I emphasize that my husband has this vision each year of us all merrily hiking through a gorgeous tree farm, leisurely picking a glorious tree among a forest of gorgeous choices and then sipping hot cocoa by a wood fire before piling back in the car to sing Christmas carols.

Last year we piled the 4 year-old and 2 year-old in the car and when we went to a tree farm we discovered we had somehow missed all the trees. It was hilarious. We were at this huge farm and somehow there were no trees left to cut down. They had all been chopped by the owner so we had no choice but to pick a pre-cut one, much to my husband's chagrin. There was no hot cocoa and there was one greasy looking fire that I'm pretty sure I saw someone peeing in when we got there. Anyway, we found two nice trees and my husband decided to hold them up so I could pick one and I thought--oh! What a great moment for a photo. And then my son decided that would be a great moment to tackle his sister into a mud puddle for the sport of it.

That backstory should explain why I had very low expectations for this year's outing. We went to a different farm this year and it was beautiful. There were hundreds of trees, a huge wood fire, free hot chocolate, the works! Yes, it was a chilly day, but we didn't care! We were there and we were going to get a tree!!! Oh, but you know who did care that it was cold? The 5 month-old baby. I had him wrapped up and fleeced out and he didn't care. Five minutes in to the walk he was positively howling. I had no choice but to go back to my minivan to nurse him. Have you guys done this? The nursing in the passenger side of your van? So not comfortable. I had to peel off all our many layers of clothing just to get him close enough to actually latch on and then a car full of frat boys pulled in to the space next to me and I was all, "HI. THESE ARE MY BREASTS." while Maude-facing them through the window.

The whole time baby was nursing I was thinking, letsgoletsgoletsgo! I don't want to miss picking out the tree! So I tried to rush him by only giving him one boob. No dice. He started howling all over again so I got out the other boob. He finally, finally finished and as I was burping him my husband sent me a text message, "Where are you? Are you coming? You have the camera!" Then a second one "Hope you like this tree, I'm about to cut it down!" But there was NO picture attached. I quickly leaped out of the car, cramming the layers back on baby so we could go meet them and see the tree before he chopped it when, yes, you guessed it: explosive diaper blow-out. That fleece bunting will never be the same again, you guys.

When I finally finished changing him and all his clothes and got him all wrapped up again I found my husband at the edge of the parking area holding a tree so skinny I could see right through the damn thing. Both big kids were crying and one had spilled hot chocolate down his entire front; the other had snot snail trails so thick I would need a paper towel to wipe them, not a tissue.

Whenever the sheer madness of having three kids ages 5 and under hits us my husband does this where he sings, "Sha-Na-Na-Naaa!" like at the end of the Family Ties theme song. Do you know what I'm talking about? So there we were, freezing cold with all three kids crying, a Charlie Brown tree and no photos of our perfect outing and he was right--it was our first Christmas 'Sha-Na-Na-Naaaa!'

Life is not like an episode of Family Ties, yo. It's loud and messy and funny. Here's wishing you and your families lots of joy and plenty of  your own 'Sha-Na-Na-Naaaa!' moments.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013


  1. Everyone I know seems to be having a similar holiday season.. nothing going quite as planned.. then again I think that's just plain life :) glad to see that you can make us smile with it all at least!

  2. Sha-na-na-naaaah! Fo SHO!!! lol Sounds like you're making the most of it, and really, at least there was no projectile vomiting. Merry Christmas!!!

  3. ahhhh....the explosive diaper!!! I think that is one of the things that those of us past the newborn stage have blocked from our memories. Kind of like the pain of childbirth.

  4. Ok, don't forget, the youngest kid in Family Ties is about 8 ... so don't put so much pressure on yourself, I'm pretty sure that there were some horrific moments in the Keyton family when those kids were little. I mean, can you imagine Elyse trying to nurse Alex while he's wearing a blazer? Talk about uncomfortable.

  5. Oh my goodness, I think I'm your husband! Except, you know, I'm a girl. My family always did the "family tree outing" thing, and it's something my husband wants to make our family tradition as well. Except we ALSO have 3 kids ages 4 and under (including 18 month old twins), the 4 year old demands we pick a tree that would not possibly fit in our house and/or is already losing needles, the 18 month olds desperately want DOWN so they can get dirty and/or lost (and they never run in the same direction)... it is a CLUSTER. And yet we still do it. And we'll do it again next year. Because even though it's utter madness for Mom and Dad, the kids will remember it in 20 years and smile. :)

    Rock on, Guru!

  6. Last year I put off allergy food testing for myself until November. I'd only known I was allergic to bacon (NOT pork, still have no idea what I'm allergic to) for two and a half years, but NOW obviously was the best time to figure it out. So I started the whole elimination of what I might be allergic to thing the week before Thanksgiving. Yeah, one of the things I had to eliminate? Soy. Soy, which is in EVERYTHING!!! My mom made me homemade bread (yea, mom!) and that was about the only think I could eat. Totally sucked. I feel your pain.

  7. Prehaps this is why your father just showed up with a tree....they tried it when you were under 5 and all this crap happened to them too. My mother always had fake trees and I have fond memories of 'fluffing' the tree with her, its a tradition I'm sticking with because live trees just seem soooo needy.

  8. Yep. My husband has this glorrrrious image of what Getting The Tree will be like. We have yet to achieve it, but we're definitely getting better. This year (kids are 10 and 12 now, it should be noted), we went to the tree farm on a nice-ish day, went out and chose a lovely tree. We then loaded it onto the car and went to see the REINDEER. No shit, they have reindeer. And an adorable petting zoo thingy with baby goats and baby pigs and such. And of COURSE they have a mule or donkey or some such thing (I don't know farm animals) and that fothermucker BIT ME. I mean, it BIT FREAKING HARD. I was backing up, taking pictures of my kids with the baby goats, and I backed right up against the farking mule's pen/stall/whatever. That damned thing tried to bite my shoulder off.

    So, we DID get the tree and the lovely time at the reindeers. BUT. An ass bit me. So there is that.

    1. Thanks for the morning laugh! Hope your shoulder has recovered. Happy holidays!

  9. My father-in-law is obsessed with cutting down his own Christmas tree as well! And of course, he insisted that we come along with my five-month-old son, the newest member of the family. My baby is way Zen, so he was actually pretty okay with it. He just looked confused the whole time. I actually wrote about it here:
    At least you got a tree! We were home for the weekend after Thanksgiving and are going home tomorrow, so we ended up not doing any decorations beyond a wreath on the front door.

    Also, I have definitely nursed in the back passenger's side of a car - but ours is a Prius, which is more privacy, but also absurdly cramped.

  10. oh that was so awesome! hats off to you and your hubby for even attempting such an outing with the ages of your kiddos. I remember those days fondly. I think sometimes that I'd like to relive them, but then I read a post like this one and think - nah! I'd much rather just read about them and smile! have a great Christmas!

  11. We have our own version of total family chaos and misery at a local, family run, cut-your-own, Christmas tree farm. Home Depot has saved my marriage!

  12. This year's family tree outing was to the parking lot of Costco where the trees were contained in netting. I called it the Costco Lottery. You either won a good tree or a bad one but you wouldn't know until you committed to it and got it in the house. But it beat dealing with The Spouse at a Christmas Tree farm.

  13. I love your family. Why? Because they sound exactly like mine.




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