For Real.  There really is going to be a touch of adult content on this one.  No nudity or foul language or anything - just some subject matter that is more mature.  So if you are under the age of 18 or my grandmother, please do not click on the link below.  The rest of you, I believe we are all adults and you are safe.

1. Santa brought a puppy for Christmas.  Sunnie.  Or Sunny.  Or Sunni.  I'm still not sure.  She is adorable and fluffy and we love her.  However, I do not do animals in the house except in the kennel because Turnanator has some fairly serious allergy issues and I have some fairly serious mental health issues that should be addressed by a mental health professional, including but not limited to my selective germaphobia.  I am fine with not bathing for 3 days but let one dog hair be on my couch and I'm putting on the curb for sale.  I'm a weirdo.  That's why you read my blog.  Anyway, Sunnie has to live outside during the day but it has been raining for what feels like seven weeks straight, so the poor thing has chewed up everything at my back door and she reeks of wet dog.  Mostly because she is one.  But it is almost more than I can handle.  Currently my whole house, my garage,  and my oldest son also reek.  I promise you, I can smell it when I pull into my driveway and it makes me gag a little.  (more of my mental health issues I'm afraid)

2.  We have been dieting.  I have been hungry.  I have been mean.  I have yelled at my children for things that are not important.  I have punched Aaron in the arm because he judged me for eating one small slice of cheese on what was otherwise an entirely boring and awful wheat bread sandwich.  I hate dieting.  I love things made with crisco.  I have in one week lost 6 and 1/2 pounds.  Don't get excited.  I was bloatie last week.  Plus, when you have no less than 75 pounds to lose so your body fat percentage will be under 97%, 6 and 1/2 pounds is merely a drop in the proverbial bucket. 

3.  I miss poptarts.  You know you're hungry when you're older than ten and you miss pop tarts.

4.  This year for New Years, Aaron made a resolution that proves just how wonderful he is, just how awful I am, and just how he's a big jerk for rubbing his "better than me-ness" in my face.  Well, he's not really a jerk - just a guy who wishes he always had clean work clothes, but Aaron has decided that he will be the person that does the laundry.  At first this made me angry and annoyed (please see the two times previous post for reasons) but then I decided it was awesome.  So I'm just going to ride this train as long as it lasts and see how it plays out.  He still requires me to help put away clothes (which is still entirely dreadful), but at least I'm not doing the folding any more.  He only works 12 to 14 hours per day at an incredibly stressful job and then is the college minister at our church on the side.  I figure he has plenty of free time and energy to do the laundry for a family of five.  (I feel a healthy mix of happiness and shame people)

5.  In case we are not friends on facebook and you missed this important announcement - the silica gel packets that come in things such as shoe boxes and new purses are NOT, in fact, poisonous.  Even if you are a 28 pound, two-year-old girl who ate two of them out of your  mother's new messenger bag.  Even if they say on the outside of the packet in bold words "DO NOT EAT".  Still.  They aren't poisonous.  Yay.  Yay for things that aren't toxic.

6.  The following is the thing I was talking about earlier.  The mature, adult type thing.  Like most everything else in my life - I am probably way behind and most of you have already seen this, but for the few that haven't......  My brother and sister-in-law introduced me to Flight of the Conchords (well I had heard of them but never actually heard them) over the holidays.  They are a comedy, singing duo from New Zealand and they had a show on HBO for a while.  Not sure I would recommend you watch all of their stuff, but this one song is hilarious (at least to us) and is so fitting for married couples.  If this is not funny to you, then you have not been married long enough and don't have enough kids yet.  Give it time.  (p.s. - it's about sex if you haven't figured it out.  I don't want to offend anyone so please don't watch it if that's the kind of thing that stresses you out or if your seven-year-old is standing over your shoulder. Thanks)
 
    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. .......and I like to make lists.  Even ones that make no sense and have no theme.

2. So I had to call poison control today.  For the fourth time.  I'm just saying, this is no indication of my parenting, just my children's level of curiosity and apparent hunger.

3. Destruct-o-girl painted her feet, her hands, her arms, her clothes, my bathroom, my closet carpet, and her tongue with Sally Hanson Clear Hard-As-Nails Topcoat Polish today.  (please see status above)

4. Super G once ate deoderant.  And wallpaper stripper.  And roach spray.

5. Bless his precious little heart, Turnanator has never eaten any poison.  He is currently, at this second, my favorite child.

6. Over the past seven days there has been quite a large amount of fever and snot pass through this house.  I'm not sure why you need to know that but you do.

7. I decided tonight while fixing my kids' dinner plates, that peaches are one of the most revolting smells on this planet.  Seriously, I would rather smell the inside of Aaron's work shoes than smell a peach.  Gag-a-maggot.

8.  Do you remember the whole, "I bought a composter" phase of my life I went through?  Speaking of gag-a-maggot, apparently I am doing lots of stuff wrong.

9. Why will my hair not do all the cute, messy-bun things that are so popular right now?  Why am I hair inept?  Why won't it poof on top?  Why can't my bangs look like Carrie Underwoods?  Why do I seem to be the only person on earth who can't even properly install a bumpit to my crown?  Why do I own a bumpit?  And where exactly is my crown?

10.  Do any of you other stay-at-home mothers notice that on the rare occasions you get out without your kids, you cannot shut up?  It's like you need every word to make it to your next conversation with adults.  Let me just apologize in advance to any of you poor suckers that run into me on a Saturday in the Wal-mart.

11. Can I just say that I love my husband more than anything, but I find it amazing that he can run whole departments of a major vehicle manufacturing facility, dealing with budgets of millions and millions of dollars, and yet he cannot pick out matching clothes for our children.  It blows my mind every time.  However, I must confess that secretely down-deep, I kind-of like it that it's one more thing that only I can do. 

12.  When redoing your children's rooms, turns out, the best type of bunk bed is almost always a free one.  Shout out to D.K. for being awesome and paying it forward.  The budget nazi thanks you.  Big time.

13. If you are not watching The Sing-Off, there is something fundamentally wrong with you ability to judge what is awesome.  

14. Take two graham cracker crusts.  Put a shallow layer of caramel in both of them (dip, topping, whatever).  Mix a tub of whipped cream cheese and a can of sweetend condensed milk until blended.  Stir in a tub of cool whip.  Pour the mix evenly into the two crusts.  Drizzle with more caramel.  Freeze.  Eat.  The whole pie.  In one sitting out of the pan with a fork with your husband.  Moan about how your pants don't fit.  Eat more pie tomorrow.  Thank me.