They Coulda’ Been Great: December 2015-January 2016

Running a little late with the TCBG…like a month late! At any rate, here is December/January! (What is this? All answers are HERE.)

 

December 1

6:17 p.m.

George: Mom – did you know that you can eat cardboard?

Me: What? No you can’t. Never eat cardboard.

George: No – Mom – it’s edible.

Me: Who told you that?

George: Mom! It really is – you can eat it. It’s made of fat.

Me: First of all – you can eat anything if you put it in your mouth and swallow it. But eating cardboard would probably make you very sick. Second – it’s not made of fat (which is totally gross as far as eating goes anyway). Cardboard is made of the same stuff as paper.

George: So you can eat it – but it will make you sick. BUT you CAN’T eat a raccoon.

Me: Well – technically, I guess you can if you cook it…

George: But you DEFINITELY can’t eat a live raccoon.

So glad we cleared this up.

 

December 2

9:16 p.m.

“So I believe in Santa and all that…but I don’t believe thw part about kids having to be good to get presents. I think that’s something parents made up.”

-George Hood – as cynical as it suits him

 

December 3

8:57 a.m.

Invention idea! Locks for coat zippers. Parents would pay big money for this…

4:31 p.m.

5 year old neighbor to other kids outside: Santa’s not real!

Me: [5yo’s name]! Don’t say that!

5yo: But he’s NOT real.

Me: Well – I’ll tell you something [5yo’s name]…when you stop believing in Santa? That’s when he stops bringing you presents.

5yo: Okay – I believe in Santa.

#‎StayGoldPonyboy‬

 

December 4

7:27 a.m.

George: Mom – do I have the brownest eyes in our family?

Me: Yes – actually, you do.

George: Yeah – because they’re REALLY dark brown. Maybe I could win the world record for dark eyes. Or MAYBE there isn’t one and I can start it!

All roads lead to the Guinness Book of World Records. If the brown eyes thing doesn’t work out, he’s told me about one involving putting 70 post it notes on his face. ‪#‎It‬‘sOn

 

December 6

4:23 p.m.

Weekend trip to see family with a day trip to NYC to check out the holiday sparkle. For the most part it was a lot of getting crushed in crowds – but I still loved being in my favorite city…

You can’t see the ice skaters in Rockefeller Center (and two of us are rocking the double chin look big time) but we’re ALL in the picture! #miracle

First actual train ride (NJ to NYC).

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Rock Center tree.

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You can’t see the ice skaters in Rockefeller Center – but we’re ALL in the picture.

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Rock climbing in Central Park.

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Q: Kids – what was your favorite thing about NYC today?

A: The rocks!

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Naked Cowboy siting in Times Square.

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Photo op on the walk back to Penn Station.

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December 9

8:00 p.m.

I’ve decided that 85% of parenting involves explaining things that I barely understand myself.

 

December 10

6:15 p.m.

Some families treat a power outage as an opportunity to disconnect from electronics and social media and do fun group activities like playing board games by candlelight. My family panics and considers eating each other. So I guess we’re somewhat prepared for the zombie apocalypse…

 

December 12

10:13 a.m.

Power is out again – so obviously it’s time to play with the lantern. #‎HeIsET

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December 14

8:24 p.m.

Epic #‎vantler fail. The twins and I bought them while Oliver was at his swim lesson and had them all set up for the ride home. While in the car, I noticed a whistling noise (they attach to the car windows) and pressed the button to make sure our front windows were as “up” as they could get. But I DIDN’T make them go up. I somehow made them GO DOWN [because I am a giant dork with no sense of direction, even when it comes to automatic windows]. At this moment our vantlers are lying in the road somewhere on Fairfax County Parkway. So of course I had to promise to buy a new set tomorrow. If you are at the Sterling Party City and see a white car with a big red Rudolf nose and no antlers, make sure to say hello.

No idea what vantlers are? Watch this.

 

December 15

4:13 p.m.

Back in business. #‎vantlers‬

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December 16

10:54 a.m.

“I don’t want to jinx us, but this is the easiest tree we’ve ever had…no branch sawing…no hours of trying to make it look straight in the stand…” Then Chris said, “SHUT UP!”

But no – I could not be quiet in my own head. I marveled over how letting the kids help this year was far less painful than I expected (yes – they are 9-10 years old and I have never let them help before). I mean – it was a little panic inducing to see them putting the nicest, most breakable ornaments at the bottom and placing the heaviest ornaments at the veeeeery tippy tip of a branch. But I was able to stay on top of damage control and was so focused on maintaining some semblance of order that it seemed to take a lot less time than it usually does.

And it’s really a PERFECT tree. I was about to post about it earlier this morning, but then I heard, “um mom – look at the tree…” Of course, half the lights had blown out. Of course. Because of my Christmas tree hubris. Luckily, the kids had to leave for school shortly after that, so I only had to do deep breathing exercises for 15-20 minutes while they whirled around me in the usual morning frenzy. I found the problem strand and replaced it (after removing all of the ornaments in that section of the tree because I wrap the shit out of those branches!)

The world can now un-pause since our tree is back to it’s original glory. In fact – it’s even better! Here is a picture. Expect me to post about 500 more over the next week. Also – if you are into anthologies, I have an essay about my Christmas tree travails in Mom for the Holidays. Check it out if you like humorous stories about grinchy tree-hoarding mothers who are paid back big time with pretty much anything that could possibly go wrong with a Christmas tree…except fire. We’ve never experienced fire. Of course, now that I’ve said it…

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December 18

2:20 p.m.

Two things people in Safeway heard me say to my three kids plus two friends:

“No wrestling in the wine aisle!”

“Why does everything have to be a penis?”

Then in response to the cashier who asked if they are all mine:

“Just this one and the two on the floor.”

We’re like a walking birth control ad.

 

December 21

9:38 a.m.

“Wait! So you don’t have to kiss ABOVE the mistletoe…”

-George Hood, always looking for loopholes

3:37 p.m.

I may actually be DONE with any and all holiday shopping. This is unprecedented. It’s also probably a cruel illusion that will be shattered December 24th when I realize I forgot something… In the meantime – happy holidays everyone!

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December 24

1:17 p.m.

If being controlling about about how presents are placed under the tree and hiding the messy looking ones in the back is wrong…I don’t want to be right.

 

December 25

8:05 a.m.

Aging perk: Christmas is no longer about wanting things and looking for MY presents under the tree. It’s about making magic for my family. And eating my feelings.

Merry Christmas!

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8:14 a.m.

George: Mom – what if you got a baby for Christmas?

Me: I don’t think it works that way, George. You have to be pregnant for a while first.

George: Okay – what if you were, but then during the night, Santa gave you surgery?

#‎AlienAbductionChristmas‬

 

December 26

10:40 a.m.

I had two errands to run this morning: bring a silk blouse to the dry cleaner and exchange a defective talking Yoda head at Target. Ran into the dry cleaner first, but when when I tried to put my silk blouse on the counter, I found I was holding a talking Yoda head. #‎ChristmasHangover‬

12:57 p.m.

Just figured out how to get the ringer to work on this dinosaur for my Dad. Am genius.

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December 30

10:04 p.m.

If the tree wasn’t a complete fire hazard by January 1…HELLSYEAH!

Mary

 

December 31

10:26 a.m.

For dogs, every day is Sunday.

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10:20 p.m.

“Stop running!”
“Stop bumping into each other!”
“Stop pretending to be ‘fancy waiters’!”

-Things I yell at my sons when they carry plates of cookies to a neighborhood New Year’s party.

 

January 2

11:23 a.m.

Bye holiday season. Sniff sniff.

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January 3

3:51 p.m.

Happy birthday to my amazing Mom! If there were a pageant for “Prettiest Pilgrim,” the 1972 crown surely would have been hers…

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January 5

7:12 p.m.

“Mom! I made up a constellation. It’s a horse – but the feet are missing. I also made up a little face.”

-George Hood, stargazing

 

January 10

8:27 a.m.

“Hey! Let’s do human dominoes!”

-Things I overhear five minutes before bus pick up on Monday mornings…

 

January 11

8:53 p.m.

Being on social media means that you might be late for a doctor’s appointment because your friend tagged you in a post involving Liam Neeson and you had to google him to double check how old he was in Rob Roy so you could reply…or something.

 

January 13

7:20 p.m.

I’m not completely sure, but I think my laptop battery just died. OR my laptop just died. Either way – it’s my only home computer, so I guess work won’t be possible this evening [opens bottle of wine…]

 

January 14

6:10 p.m.

Leaving in three minutes for the Twins’ third grade strings concert. Oliver keeps calling it “the violin contest.” I keep picturing The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

If only…

 

January 21

3:49 p.m.

Some people get excited about big snow storms with school cancellations and fun filled days of sledding and baking cookies with their kids. I am not one of those people.

7:49 p.m.

Okay – I am coming to terms with this whole being buried under snow thing – but now I’m hearing about expected power outages. Seriously considering packing up the kids and checking into a hotel. I am not cut out for apocalyptic conditions…forget about zombies – once the power is gone, I’m out.

 

January 22

2:44 p.m.

Experiencing nostalgia for last weekend when not only were we not expecting to be trapped in our house for days, we actually skipped up to NJ to spend the long weekend with Aunt Jan. Liberty Science Center on Sunday and then NYC on Monday (American Museum of Natural History and then Central Park rocks – of course). Helps me not feel guilty for the last two days of depressive sloth. I’m now resigned to the idea of a snow storm – but for the next 48 hours I will be somewhat preoccupied, bending the universe to my will that we NOT LOSE POWER. As I have mentioned a time or 20, I’m not made for apocalyptic living. But back to my fond memories of last weekend…

Liberty Science Center

Wow! Fish! So exciting – almost like we’re at Petco or something!

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This turtle was 100 times better at posing for photos than my children.

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Rock walls are hard. For me. Not so much for Eleanor.

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“Oliver – take off your hood!” “George – put on your coat!” “Eleanor – stop acting so grumpy!” No one ever listens to me…but this one was pretty cute. (In Eleanor’s defense – she claimed to have a cracker in her mouth and couldn’t smile. I’ll take it.)

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Museum of Natural History

Night at the Museum star sighting. You can’t walk 10 feet in NYC without bumping into a celebrity…. — at American Museum of Natural History.

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Dinosaurs!

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MORE dinosaurs! Travel tip: when you go to a museum, specifically to see dinosaur bones, make sure to see everything else first so that by the time you get to the bones, everyone is over it and wants to leave.

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No really, Mom – can we leave now?
Also – I think George is giving me the finger.

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Central Park

We found the bridge where the pigeon lady lived in Home Alone 2! It doesn’t get any more glamorous than this. #NYCBaby

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Pigeon lady bridge take 2.

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Race to the rocks! George got there first (top of the world, Ma!)

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There is no such thing as too many rocks to climb…

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She NEVER poses for me anymore (willingly)! Central Park bring out the best in us I guess. Also – where the f*#k are we? #intothewoods

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Right before we realized we were on the wrong side of Central Park. #NoInternalGPS .

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It’s getting darker (and colder) and it’s really time to leave the park. It will probably be a 20 minute walk across…so obviously time to wrestle and give piggy back rides.

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January 23

10:57 a.m.

Thigh high snow and it’s not stopping until tonight…

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11:19 a.m.

First thing you do when you go outside to play in the snow right? Epilogue: two seconds later, the snow plow arrived and sent them scrambling for the sidewalk (or where the sidewalk usually is).

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11:24 a.m.

Alice waded out, but decided this was a bit beyond her frolicking abilities. #‎NoIditarodDreamsForThisMutt‬

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4:44 p.m.

“Before you walk one step further, shake the snow off of your coat, pants and head!” #‎AbominableSnowOliver‬

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January 29

10:51 a.m.

Oliver: Mom – I need some explosive materials.

Me: No more YouTube

Also – I really need them to go back to school…

 

January 30

8:08 p.m.

George: Eleanor – give me a scale of how many times you’ve coughed. 1:1 [one to one].

#‎statistics‬ ‪#‎somehowthismakessensetohim‬

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