Friday, December 23, 2011


So, I tell people this isn't a blog that can really fit into any type of genre.  I will not show you a craft you want to make with your kids.  I will not give you a recipe you want to make with your family.  The only take away?   I will make you feel sane.  Saner than me.  

I compare it to "Wife Swap" without the swapping, you will feel better about yourself after reading this blog.

For example, here's a little gem for you.  After writing my post about feeling the Christmas spirit because of the family party, I went f-ing crazy.  For a multitude of stupid reasons, I started crying, swearing and ripping down Christmas decorations in  dramatic fashion.  It was a real crazy-lady moment.  They happen quarterly if I am being honest.

But this was a real, life sucks, Christmas joy is stupid moment.  And I am not going to lie, ripping down the decorations felt great.  It felt dramatic and like I was living the soap opera lives I so covet.  But then I laughed.  I laughed that I covet soap opera lives, a dying genre. What does that say about me?  I laughed because I actually used the word covet in my head.  I laughed because it was so f-ing stupid.  I was the one that had to clean up.  A tantrum is so much more fun when you aren't the one cleaning up.  Duh.

I laughed because life doesn't suck.  Christmas joy isn't stupid, well not all of it is stupid.

If you are feeling this, leave a comment and tell me something crazy, stupid you have done in the heat of the holiday moment.  Seriously. Have you ripped down decorations?  Did you tell off an in-law?  Spill it.  Help me and countless others feel sane, well saner.

And while we're talkin' crazy, here's a look back at last year's Christmas letter.  It's totally cattywampus!  If you are on twitter, get it trending #cattywampusChristmas. (And follow me @angelaYBlood)

Christmas Letter 2010

“How’s that?,” I ask Tim as we put the finishing touches on our Christmas tree.
“A little cattywampus,” he says.  “But good.”

Two hours later the tree was wrestled to the ground by our one-year-old Wade.  I stepped out of the room for two minutes and of course that is all it took for our cattywampus Christmas tree to come crashing down.  This is not the first Christmas letter I have written that involved our tree falling down.  Nor do I think it will be the last.  

Cattywampus is a word that Tim and I love.  It is how we describe many things in our life.  The definition says it is slang meaning askew or awry, but both those words seem too proper for us.  

I would describe the entire last year as cattywampus.  It was a blur...jampacked with so much.  Sometimes it feels like too much. I feel like the pig character in the children’s book “A Pig and a Pancake,” randomly bouncing around from one thing to another.  Or Amelia Bedlia, not quite getting it but making the best of it.

Having a fourth child was a real game-changer.  Sure, I now have a funny, abnormally large family to blame all of my un-organization on, but all of you who have known me for a while know the truth.  I have always been scattered and flighty.  Now I just have more people looking to me for plans, answers, directions and hugs.  Tim recently likened parenting this many children to the Whac –A-Mole game—you have every problem fixed for about a second and then a child pops up with a problem.  It seriously only lasts about a second that a child isn’t popping up.

Wade, who turned one in October, is a funny little guy who is all over the place.  He is tough (just ask our Christmas tree) and already loves to wrestle with his big brothers.  I call Lucy little mama because she always wants to “help.”  She started first grade and after a bumpy start is very happy.  Lucy is still fiercely independent and has a fabulous imagination.  Peyton turned 9 in November.  He is a very serious, sweet soul; a voracious reader and is almost as tall as me.  

JT is an absolutely adorable boy.  He was diagnosed with Celiac disease this past year.  Our little buddy was wasting away in front of our was horrible.  But luckily we got a diagnosis and the whole family has been gluten free since May.  JT has gained four pounds, grown three inches and is so much happier.  It was an entire life change for the whole family--food wise and financially.  Tim has lost 17 pounds which is great, it is mostly because we can’t afford to eat as much.

Some really wonderful things happened to us this year, I ran a marathon, Tim started a new job as principal at an alternative high school which is closer and in a safer neighborhood, we built a baseball field in our backyard, Wade started to walk and so many more good things for which I am so grateful.

Of course there were many parenting moments that left me speechless or wondering if I was doing the right thing.   For example, the playground incident:
Lucy, now 6, and I are playing on a playground and she quickly climbs to the top of a pretty high structure.  She looks like she’s going to jump.  My heart starts racing and I say “Don’t jump from there.”
Me- “You might get hurt.” Lucy-”I might not.”
Me-”I wouldn’t do it.”
Lucy then shrugs, crosses her fingers, closes her eyes and jumps.  
After sticking her landing, she turns to me and says “See? Told ya.”

A couple of Sundays ago, I was teaching JT’s Sunday school class and was supposed to teach the story of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem to find a room.  Admittedly, I wasn’t excited about teaching the same old story to the kids that morning.   We played the “No Rooms Available Game” where the kids role played as the inn keepers in Bethlehem that were at full capacity.  Little Ian and Ava played the roles of Joseph and Mary and knocked on everyone’s doors.  The children repeated “no room for you” with great emphasis and anger much like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld.  It was a blast.  But then one child said “no room for you, but hey come on back in our barn, how’s that?”   Suddenly I imagined the holy family looking out at the barn and saying “cattywampus, but good.”

So, as we tape up the tree and sweep up the broken ornaments we get that life is messy—plans go awry (if you are one of those proper families).  All we can do is cross our fingers, close our eyes and jump.  Oh yeah, and laugh, a lot.

Wishing you a merry cattywampus Christmas!

Classic TV clip:
"Can't a guy be happy on Christmas?" Love Alex P. Keaton.  Love the whole Keaton family.

Merry Christmas to you...

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