Brrrrr! After a really mild and I daresay *warm* weekend, we awoke to wintery temps and blustery winds. I am SO not ready for this. Every winter I question how the heck I ended up smack in the middle of the Midwest when clearly I am only mentally and physically equipped to live in climates that can support the use of year-round cabanas!
This weekend was fairly low-key. Rob informed me last week that he would be hunting for the next two weekends in a row so a lot of my time was spent watching the Investigation Discovery Channel (specifically “Deadly Women”) and plotting murder/revenge plots. I’m kidding…not. No really I am…not. Seriously, it’s just a joke.
Anyway…I feel it’s always best to kick of a solo-parenting weekend with reinforcements. Mine came in the form of friends and wine. Two of my friends from the gym and I went to a wine tasting on Friday night after our workout. For those of you not familiar with CrossFit, I assure you, this is all a highly encouraged part of the training regimen. Needless to say, ten “tastes” of wine later, we were in hysterics over pretty much anything and everything - and really, that was my favorite part of the whole night. Buddy the Elf might say smiling is his favorite, but I favor laughing. While I was out, the kids were at home with my trusted sitter/right arm/6th child/surrogate spouse doing crazy stuff like this:
Saturday after the younger kids and I finished our CrossFit workouts I got the bright idea to take us to the mall. The nearest mall to us is about 40 minutes away, so I arranged to have my parents meet us there for the afternoon. OH. MALL. GOD!! I had to check the calendar on my iPhone a bajillion times to make sure I hadn’t somehow slept through Thanksgiving and woken up on Black Friday. I don’t know what all that political whining and crying about joblessness and the economy was all about, because from where I was standing people were spending money like it was their job. To add insult to injury, the Santa display was up and running. SANTA.
Of course Eliza, Kellan and Riss wanted to go see Santa, and since the line was fairly short, I relented. Big, BIG mistake. First of all, this year’s Santa display is basically an enormous trade-show display for the DVD release of the movie “Ice Age 4,000″.
Nothing brings tidings of comfort and joy like a prehistoric cartoon ground sloth. NOEL!
I saw that movie when it was in theaters and I do not remember it being so groundbreaking that the DVD release should merit a fully interactive mega-display centered around the holidays. Clearly I’m missing something, but you can bet that when Oscar time rolls around my money will be on this movie to walk away with the “Best Picture” nod. I know everyone scoffs at that whole 2012 “doomsday” prophesy, but I’m pretty sure this is one of the signs of the apocalypse. Santa sitting smack in the middle of a promotional campaign that has nothing to do with anything about Christmas is just about the bottom of the hope barrel.
The allegedly short line was one of those classic theme park bait and switches where it only looks like you are in a short line, but the reality is that people are being shuttled into smaller, hidden holding pens along the way — holding pens that naturally promote “Ice Age” Christmas and the Spirit of the Holidays . Added to the wait was the fact that there are more than a few people who think that getting a mall photo with Santa is somehow equivalent to a scheduled half-hour photo shoot at a portrait studio.
Here’s a real genius idea: Right before your turn to see Santa you are shepherded into a rotunda full of video screens showing repeated scenes of “Ice Age” and filled to the brim with mounds of fake plastic snow.
In case you were wondering, this is what insanity looks like.
This brilliant set-up meant that parents hoping for the “perfect” Santa picture were forced to stand in this mess and threaten their children within an inch of their lives to stand perfectly still and not touch a thing, lest they end up looking like my kids by the time we were released from this torture chamber - and by that I mean, looking as if they had a very severe case of full-body dandruff.
Also? This year you are apparently not allowed to use your own camera to take your own photo of your own children with the Santa because then you are not supporting the economy and are squashing the God-given right of a corporation to make money and not supporting the American workforce and what kind of selfish jerk are you anyway???? Oh, and “Merry Christmas!”
Given the fact that it was about 800 degrees in that place, I’m fairly confident that I know exactly what Hell is like.
On the *bright* side, I did manage to somehow purchase a bunch of new workout shirts. I don’t usually tend towards color, especially neons, but these spoke to me. Something like, “Your heart of darkness needs an electric pink sweatshirt!”
Black heart. Neon shirt.
After Saturday I vowed that I would not venture outside the confines of my house unless we were under threat of evacuation by the National Guard, but after two hours of “family cleaning” (ie: me yelling, kids whining/crying, and me re-doing the children’s half-assed work), I would have walked straight into a tsunami than spend another second inside the confine of those four walls.
We hit the local fresh market to find something for dinner. Since it was so nice out, I decided that we’d grill sausages.
Moments after this photo was taken, it began to rain. No kidding.
We donated money to the Veterans and got poppies….
Then we drove behind one and had a laugh…
I’m guessing that if it’s full of kids, riding in that minivan is way more nerve-wracking than flying any B-52.
After the kids settled down for the night I did a bit of Thanksgiving decorating.
And then I gave my mind a well-deserved vacation….