Do you ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of stuff that needs doing and you literally cannot make yourself get with it?  It's all your fault, probably, that there is so much to do because you procrastinated in the first place but that doesn't really matter.  What matters is that everywhere you look in your house there is stuff that needs to be done.  There are new toys and clothes everywhere - as in, cannot walk across your kids' bedrooms, everywhere.  All your Christmas decorations are still up.  The laundry has just brought you three and a half seconds away from an actual divorce.  There is a laundry basket full of paperwork and overdue bills that need to be sorted in your room that's been there since the week before Thanksgiving.  Santa brought a new dog and now your whole house smells atrocious.  And that's all you really want to do is take a day off and pin stuff on Pinterest.  I mean, don't you get a Christmas vacation too?

    Mind you, I'm talking about you, not me, being in this situation.  I would never get myself in such a dilemma.  So what would you do?  Avoid all that stuff that needs to be done.  And complain probably.  About stuff that doesn't even matter.  Yeah, definitely you would complain about all the stuff that is wrong with your life.  Like the fact that the front of your house is so flat and there are no flower beds and the curb appeal is at an overwhelming zero and apparently you are the only one concerned with that so you absolutely have to spend all your time today worrying about it rather than putting the glitter Christmas trees back in their boxes.  You would complain about the fact that your bathroom with it's almond toilet has been disgusting for too long and you would avoid laundry by going to the local tile store and looking for over an hour today at tile you cannot afford to buy even though you love it because it is $14 per square foot.  You would probably even storm around in anger when you find that your sick two-year-old daughter wiped her actual tongue with a clorox wipe that had just seconds previous been used to removed puppy feces off of your living room floor.  Yeah, that one would probably really tear you up for a good while.  So you would complain about it all, I'm sure, and avoid anything that resembled housework - including but not limited to cooking for your family. 

    The next thing you would do, probably, if it were you in this situation - not me for sure - is get insanely and inexplicably angry at your husband for folding the laundry.  The stupid way his stupid self is rubbing it in your stupid face that he is a better stupid person than you that can actually do the stupid laundry without feeling like he is stupidly going to die of stupid torture.  Stupid.  Then you would probably say something terribly mean just because you wanted to make him mad - all because he was being a big jerk and folding that laundry so stupidly.  And it would probably work.  And things might become slightly confrontational.

    Then you would feel bad.  Because really, if the worst thing your poor husband does all week is fold 5 loads of laundry, can he really be all that stupidly bad?  Probably notsomuch.

    And that's pretty much what you would do if you were a crazy lady that was feeling overwhelmedish because you procrastinate.  And hate laundry with a fiery passion that burns. 

    Wow.  It's a good thing I'm not like you.

 
    Because it is the week of Christmas, and because all of us are busy decking halls and spreading cheer, and because I am supposed to be at my mother-in-law's for family Christmas in an hour yet we are all still in pajamas with 3 gifts left to wrap, I am going to share with you all the recipe that I just whipped out to take today.  At my m-i-l's it is just a given that she does all the "for real food" cooking.  I'm not sure why the rest of us don't help her, but it's just how it is.  The sun rises in the east, Sandra makes the ham.  Fact.  But we daughters do all bring the desserts and snacky stuff that we eat all day while opening presents and playing cards and doing crafts and whatever.  And of course I hadn't done anything as of 30 minutes ago.  So I quickly just made up a batch of this popcorn/m&m treat stuff that I actually learned about from Sandra (or maybe one of Aaron's sisters - I can't remember) because it is so fast and easy (but a tad bit messy).  Many of you may already know this recipe, but for the few of you that don't - you are welcome.

    First you will need the following - Popcorn (plain or low fat.  you don't want it flavored or too buttery),  White almond bark (this is a Christmas recipe.  of course you need almond bark), M&M's (because they're nummy), and Crisco (because no matter what Dr. Oz says, crisco is your friend.  it can love you when no one else does)
    First thing you need to do is pop the popcorn.  I forgot to take a picture of this, but honestly if you need a picture of that happening, then this recipe is probably too advanced for you anyway.  So is grilled cheese and boiling eggs.  The next thing you need to do is locate the largest bowl you have access to.  Mostly because it makes stirring the mix easier.  But also because the bigger the bowl - the more you can make.  The more you can make - the more you can eat.  It's simple math my friends.  Knowledge is power.  Pop the corn and put it in the bowl, making sure to not get all the kernels in it.  Kernels a bummer.
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It helps the flavor of the snack if you are listening to Christmas music on your iPad in the background. I don't know how. It just does.
Next melt a package of while almond bark according to package directions, but add a tablespoon-ish of crisco because it makes life better.  Amen.
When it's all melty and fabulous, pour it over two, two and a half-ish bags of popcorn and then pour M&Ms in and listen to the heavens sing.  Stir is all up and thank yourself for going to all this trouble.
When it's all mixed up and well coated, spread it on cookie sheets lined with waxed paper to harden.  Make sure (and this is critical) that there is a child nearby looking weird and eating popcorn for breakfast because you are an awesome mother.
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oooooo, aaaaaahh. mmmmmm.
Finally, once it's hardened, break it in to pieces, put it in one of your many Christmas tins that you own because you're a hoarder in training, forget to take a picture of it, wipe all the almond bark off your camera, blog about it, make your husband mad because you're not hurrying and are going to be late for Christmas, and run around like a nut because it's the holidays and that's what you do.  Hope you enjoy this simple, last minute treat as much as we do.  Merry Christmas!!
 
    I'm sorry friends, but I've been suffering from a severe case of writer's block lately.  Well, writer's block and the stomach virus, but there are so few details of that situation you would want to know about that I'm am choosing to leave it to the imagination.  Let's just say that it was me and the three kids here because poor husband is doing some fairly serious, can't miss, type audits at work right now, and since that's what pays the bills and all - my girl basically had free range of the house for a whole day.  And I had to call poison control.  Again.  We are literally on file.  Literally.  They can now pull her up using my phone number.  For serious.  This time it was a fairly large quantity of children's ibuprofin that I swear to you was closed.  With the child proof cap.  Honestly she is a Houdini.   

    So in a week I have only written once, and I was so disappointed in it's content that I didn't even link it to facebook because I thought it was lame-o.  If you haven't read it, don't waste your time.  Here are the cliff notes.  I stay up too late at night and see a lot of commercials for completely ridiculous things. Destruct-o-girl was sick all weekend, I don't give medicine for fever because I am evil, I took her to the movies while sick with no medicine because I thought she would actually be still, she vomitted all over creation.  Do you see how that could make for a lame story?

    But tonight my friends, I am actually kind of excited about this post.  "Why Cassie?"  you might ask.  Well, it is because I feel as if it is my duty in life to make you feel better about all of your "fails".  Those times you plan with the best intentions but they go all haywire.  Take Christmas card photos for example.  Everyone wants a fabulous picture of their cute little family to show how happy and lovely you are.  Problem is - we all know the truth.  Christmas card pics are awful no matter how you slice it.  Usually everyone is dressed "matchy" and in something that makes at least on person itch, the sun is always in someone's eyes, and heaven knows there is no way you are getting everyone to look forward at the same time.  Our family, in fact, attempted to take a card worthy photo, not once, not twice, but on three different occasions.  And while you are about to see three different and adorable sets of coordinating outfits on my weirdo, fantastic offspring, please know that my facebook status after round two read a little something like this -

        So tonight I attempted to take a Christmas card photo of my kids. Epic fail. It ended with me screaming, all three kids crying, and D trying to shove her whole head into a sandwich sized ziplock bag just to prove to me how mad she was - if that tells you anything about how awful it went
ROUND 1
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At this point the kids had already done card photos with Aaron's parents with all 10 grandkids, ages 9 and under (you can only imagine what a trick that is) and then pics with Aaron's grandfather. So by now Turnanator is mad that we won't let him go inside to play video games and take that heinous (to him) sweater vest off, and Destruct-o-girl has, unbeknownst to us at the time, adopted her new go-to monkey face for all photos.
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And now we discover the monkey face. Honestly if Aaron would have been looking up at all, this would have been our Christmas card pic this year because I feel like this is the most accurate depiction of our family I have ever seen. That and because I think I look naturally fabulous for a chunky girl in this shot. I'm just sayin'.
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And now we've reached critical mass. Even though three of us looked good, the two smallest were doneski. Not happening. Ova.
ROUND 2
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Just because someone said it was a great idea on pinterest, does not make it a good idea for you. Especially if you have no idea how to use your camera except on auto.
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"Oh I know kids! Let's go outside at 8 o'clock at night when your daddy is still not home to help and while it is no more than 38 degrees Farenheit and you have no jackets on to take a picture standing in the middle of this giant wreath that you can barely hold up! It will be great"
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"Oh I know kids! I'll change the setting of my camera from auto to something else and see what happens! My my Turnanator, what a large nose you seem to have all of a sudden."
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This is about 59 photos in and 37 seconds before the tears and sandwich bag incident. At this point we were frozen solid.
ROUND 3
This is the final, and most successful round of pictures - mostly because we chose a better time and went back to everyone's favorite, the big swing.  But I do feel that I need to be completely honest about the situation.  Before we ever got started, I was going to give the kids a big push so Aaron could take some fun shots and...................................
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I pulled it back too far in the air and dumped my girl face first on the ground.
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Luckily she took it well.
But finally, FINALLY we got a half decent shot and decided to stop while we were ahead.  No one had tried to suffocate themselves yet that day.  So even though many of you will get this in the mail some time between now and Christmas (probably a whole day or two beforehand) and even though I cropped and edited it and now Super G has a weird shadow on his leg that kind of makes it look like he wet his pants (I promise he did not.  I would have blogged about it.), here it is in all of it's glory. 
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our family to yours!! (and that my friends is the best we could do)
 
1. This was a busy week that finished off with Wish Tree on Thursday and Friday.  Remember when I asked you all to consider adopting an angel from the Wish Tree this year?  Well thanks so much to all of you that did because this year was another great success.  We were able to help right at 260 kids thanks to a lot of work from the coordinator (Emily who did a great job), a lot of hours put in by JA members who shopped organized and sorted, and so very many wonderful donations from some very blessed people who were willing to share their blessings to make Christmas great for a child who may have gone without this year.  Thank you to everyone for such a special work.

2.  I just saw a commercial for a camera that you can watch via your ipad or iphone.  Looks like a great idea when you use it like shown for a baby monitor.  But the guy who is making out with the girl and is checking behind her back to look at his dog on his phone.  Fail.  Really?!  Who would do that?!

3.  The Forever Lazy.  If you haven't seen the commercial for this, please go look it up online now.  Then see the group of grow men wearing it and imagine the special man in your life wearing this tailgating at a game of your favorite SEC team.  I mean please.  Be serious with me.  Who is buying this stuff?

3.  My girl has been sick since Friday.  Like fever and snot and coughing.  Like 103 temperatures.  And send me all the hate mail you want - I'm not much of a medicine giver for fever.  I learned all about it in college with my useless microbiology degree and all, and have since forgotten that information and replaced it with lyrics to Veggie Tales songs and the names of every single Disney character.  But from what I recall, the gyst of fever is to rush blood around your body so a maximum number of white blood cells can get to the disease and kill it faster.  God invented it.  It must be good somehow.  Now I know that super high fever is bad and can cause lots of bad stuff, and I have a nurse practicioner friend that gives her kids meds at 101 to be safe.  But I've also got a doctor friend who didn't do meds for fever on his kids until 104.  So I have decided to fall somewhere in the middle based on how the little nuggets seem to be handling it.  If they are sleeping it off and letting those little white blood cells do their thing, I let it go.  If they are laying there moaning pitifully, drugs it is.  Anyway, this fever has gone on for 3 days now, but last night it seemed way down.  Down enough that she was still being still but eating and drinking and talking a bunch.  So what did we do?  Took her to the movies to see The Muppets and infest all the nice people at the movie theater.  We had promised it earlier and Aaron was going to take the boys, but she seemed better and because I am mother of the year, we took her too.  We were about 30 minutes into the movie when she started the whole crazy loud moaning thing.  I knew what that meant.  So I took off running with her to the bathroom and made it - about 2 seconds too late.  So I had to go find an employee to tell that we had almost made the garbage and offer to clean it up.  And you know what she said, "it's ok.  you wouldn't believe how often I have to clean up vomit."  Ummm........ew.  How many other awful mothers are there?!  And suddenly I'm not interested in going to the movies ever again.
 

Don't be like me,
Cassie
 
1.  Today my girl found our "Elf on the Shelf" book and I promptly took it away because I like it the way it is - with the pages intact and all.  She really wanted it back and kept asking and asking and asking for it in Destruct-o-girl speak "blablablagobbledygookyaddayadda book"  "goobledygoobledygoobla book" "malamalamawhadda book".  However, I was pretty much just ignoring her and occasionally saying "no"  "no you can't have it"  "why don't you go play with your toys?"  "go get mama a cookie".  So as I sat on the floor working on our Christmas cards she walks over, grabs my face in both of her hands, puts her nose right against mine, and says "isen ew me. aughnt da book!" (that's destruct-o-girl for "listen to me.  I want the book!")  And can I just say that it was about the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life?!  Of course I still didn't give her the book, but I laughed, gave her a million kisses and distracted her with oreos.

2.  Is speech therapy available for just-turned-two year olds?  For reals though.......

3.  Oh special edition oreos, why must thou be dipped in white almond bark ever so perfectly and why must thou also be placed on the end cap of the aisle wherest I shalt see and purchase thee for my consumption every time I see you during this the holiday season?

4.  Have you ever had a blood vessel burst (explode) in your eye before?  I can't say that I have, until this week.  Sunday, there was one.  Monday, the whole top of my eye - disgusting.  I now look like a mummy on one side.  It is ewww. Just by freak coincidence it turns out I have an eye doctor appointment next Tuesday anyway (I'm not kidding about the freakiness of it.  My last vision check up was in college, 13 years ago, and I just happened to decide to make the appointment last week.  Weird.  DODOdodoDODOdodo) so I'm just going to wait to talk to him about it.  At first I freaked about the grodiness of it all, but then after I googled it, it seems that I am not in fact going blind today.  If you have intimate knowledge of the eyeball, however, and believe otherwise, please contact me at your quickest convenience because that's the kind of thing I really would like to know.  Thanks.  I hate to leave my entire life hanging in the balance of google.

5.  Isn't it funny how I have all the right in the world to stop getting on facebook instead of being annoyed with peoples statuses (stati?), and yet I don't stop.  In fact, I don't stop at all - I just stalk more - and complain the whole time about others' statuses.  For instance, I don't need a play by play of your day if you aren't doing anything special or out of the ordinary.  I'm having my own day of errands and work to do thanks.  I don't care that much about your workout unless it is something spectacular and then I only need to know about it once.  And to repeat myself from an earlier post.  You are not the only person in the world getting action so please for the love of all things polite, stop talking about it to your 800 closest friends.  Thankyoueversomuch.  But really, it's your status and your internet page so actually you can post whatever you want.  That's why they make a hide button.  (I would unfriend you but then I couldn't stalk you when I want to)

6. Tonight we babysat for some friends and the little guy will be one this month.  He is adorable and BUSY.  Plus he's the first kid at his quiet, polite house so I'm sure he had no idea what to do here at Casa de Nuttso.  We had a great time with him, but isn't it funny how when you have kids, you always think of the youngest one as a baby?  Then when an actual baby comes over it blows your mind that your kid is so big.  No?  Just me huh?

7.  Have you ever had that moment where you realize that the bottle of body wash you gave your boys weeks ago to take a shower with is actually lotion?  Which means your boys haven't actually bathed with soap in upwards of three weeks?  Me neither.

8.  Have you ever looked down to realize you are typing at 3 a.m. and then stopped on #8 of a list?