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.
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