Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fa La La La La, La La La La...

Christmas Eve is in 3 days- it's crunch time- and some of the items that "Santa" got the kids (online), have been showing up at the door. The girls notice almost every package that is delivered, so I have to try to be pretty careful about it, but I apparently can't hide everything. They saw a few big toys come in the mail that "Santa" got for the babies, and they had a few questions. I explained that sometimes Santa mails gifts ahead for mommy to wrap, because he's so busy, and they're short on elves this year (you know, the economy and all...). It seemed like they were processing this in their heads, but couldn't quite pinpoint the inaccuracies in my story. Kind of like when Santa came down the street last week, and Ariel asked why there was a truck pulling his sled, and why the police were following him... and how she asked why Santa was sitting in a chair at the mall all day... "why isn't he at the North Pole?"

Uhhhh... who wants icecream??

Speaking of the mall, this past Saturday, Monte had work stuff, so I decided to go to the mall with the kids. The Saturday before Christmas, alone... with all four kids. Yay. Parking was a bitch, but I eventually got a good spot up close. The main reason for my trip was not for Christmas gifts, actually (otherwise, I would have waited for a weekday), it was for baby clothes for Atticus. I realized he had no "normal" boy clothes, only onesies and footie PJ's. We had a baby shower to attend the next day, and I wanted him to look snazzy. I have plenty of girl clothes, oodles of it, actually. I know people say that girl clothes is so much more fun to shop for, but let me tell you, after having 3 girls and then finally getting that little boy- I LOVE shopping for boy clothes! The cute little collared shirts, cargo pants, loafers, baseball caps and ties- SO adorable! I was having way too much fun at The Gap, I had to hold myself way back from getting too much loot. The kids were being pretty good, but I ended up having to bribe the girls with toys to get them to last the hour that we were there. The babies got fussy, and I had to switch them out from Ergo to stroller, and back again a few times for them to nurse so they'd calm down. I finally got a few fabulous things for my little man, and got his Christmas outfit covered as well.

The parking lot was a madhouse, so when I arrived back to my parked car, another car quickly noticed, stopped, and threw on their blinker. I had opened the sliding doors and back hatch of the spaceship before I had even reached it, so I was able to start loading immediately. Now, if you're waiting for a lady to load 4 kids into a minivan in a parking lot, so that you can get the spot, you want to be waiting for me. I'm as quick as they come, but I'm no magician. I tell the girls to jump in and get seated. Meanwhile, I remove an infant seat (with child) from the stroller, and snap it into one of the car adaptors. I then remove the second infant seat from the stroller (sans child), and snap that into the car adaptor. Then, I remove whoever is strapped to me and place and buckle them into the infant seat. Then, I remove shopping bags and purse from stroller, which are now very wet, and throw them in the front seat. Then, I quickly fold the stroller and throw it in the back, then close the hatch. The person in the waiting car throws up a hand as if to say "Any day now", and gives me an impatient look. I mouth "sorry" to them while giving an apologetic smile. Why am I being so nice to this wanker? Not even 7 years ago, I'd have rolled my eyes, and given them a dirty look, but now I'm apologizing to them because they chose to wait for the spot of a mom with four kids to load in? I then reach into the back from one side-door to help Ariel get fully buckled, then I switch to the other side, and buckle in Aurora. I look back at the asshole in the still-waiting car, and give a little half-wave. Happy now, shithead?

I think I made a decision in my subconscious, years ago, that I'd just let things go when on the road. Road rage is a serious thing, especially in LA, and it just wasn't worth it to me, anymore. I used to drive aggressively, like I was playing Tetris. I'd speed through traffic in my Mustang convertible, zipping in and out of cars, honking and flipping people off. Ya know, like a normal L.A. driver. Now, I let people cut me off, I let people steal my parking spots from right in front of me, and I drive the speed limit. I try not to let it bother me, and I just grit my teeth, and curse them out in my head. Or, I write it down, and post it on my blog.


  1. Santa mails the packages ahead of time for you to wrap? I have to tell that one to my daughter-in-law! Can't wait to see the Christmas outfits on those cute kids! :-)

  2. Nice save on the Santa thing :)

    Hope you and your fam have an awesome Christmas xx

  3. It's a sign of maturity when you learn to prioritize your rage. :) Really, though, when you can't control your environment or people's actions, you can control your reactions. You sound like a great mom! Thanks for sharing!

  4. +1 to what HannaBec said... learning to let go is a sign of complete emotional superiority. Besides, those A-holes will get theirs when karma sees fit.

  5. my mom use to tell us that thr reason we saw so many Santa's around was because they were santa's helpers they weren't the real santa as he had more important thing to do to like over see toy making and checking his list. so he has to send out helpers to do the little things like get christmas lists and talk to the children. worked like a charm on me but not so much on my son he still not sure he buys into this whole santa helper gig thing. who knew kids were so smart. BTW loved how calm you remained when impatient driver got huffy. you totally get two thumbs up for that.hugs

  6. Thank you! Yes, I've come a long way. I look back on my former self and think, "What a silly girl!" My children are the best things that have ever happened to me :)

    What a great idea, to tell them that it's actually Santa's helpers... I'm going to use that for sure next time!

  7. Lisa, I laugh out loud when I read your posts! My husband wonders if I have lost it and the dog is staring at me again. You bring back funny and sweet memories for me (tho at the time they weren't so funny!). I am the wife of a retired Coast Guard officer; married for 33 years. My husband was at sea for a good part of his career (including Antartica once and the Artic twice). We have 5 children (my husband kept saying we needed to do more research to find out the cause!:), each born in a different state of the country. I stayed home to raise them while he traveled. (our crew includes 3 girls 2 boys; now 31,28,25,23,and 21). I had a ten year gap in my employment history. However, rest assured the kids do grow up and life changes. I have now been a middle school history teacher for the past 12 years. I love my grown children; they are wonderful people, but sometimes I miss those hectic days (the mad dash to Toys R Us at midnight on Christmas Eve - and then the wonder of Christmas morning). I am now blessed with 4 grandchildren and I get to rock them, buy cool stuff for them, and love them with all my heart. I have been so blessed. Our lives have not been without tragedy but I have so much to be thankful for and I guarantee you are making great memories every day. I thank you so much for sharing them with all of us! (By the way, say hi to Monte for me; my middle daughter and I met him and the band just by chance in a bagel shop the morning after the Amsterdam concert. Tell him I appreciate the time he took to talk with us. To you and all your lovely family - have a most wonderful and memorable Christmas!

  8. Just wait till the little ones start asking and then you have to remember everything in detail you have told the girls, cause they will remember in detail. OH the web we weave to protect our childrens' childhood beliefs. My children knew when they made 10 it would be there last year for Santa. It was a few years later before I fessed up, only because my youngest cornered me and I couldn't lie to her. She was 13 and my youngest son was 15 and present as well. I shed a tear or two over this. My oldest at the time was 17 and he was upset when he found out because I never told him. He said he is always the last to know. I truly weaved a good tale, but so worth their childhood memories.

    Yes LA traffic is crazy. I come from a state that is very laid back and it is always a shock to my system when I come their and do all the driving, my sister refuses. People there are horn happy and love giving you the finger if you don't turn into on coming traffic when you have a red light and there are people trying to cross the street like snails. I realized when I get back home how quite our streets are.

    Merry Christmas to You, Monty and your children
    and here's hoping to an even better New Year!!!

  9. Oh, I have posted one or two parking lot/driving rants on my blog :-) Grocery store parking lot adventures are the WORST I swear!

    And yes, Santa's helpers. They are awesome! I somehow kept my youngest believing until he was 12 - it's such a special time! He's 14 and jaded now of course. Now the challenge is just in surprising him one way or the other!

    I only have 2 boys and I have always loved their clothes! Girls are so pretty of course, but boys' with the ties & hats & vests? Adorable!

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  10. I sooo luv ur blog, always make me smile ;) thx keep up this excellent work Lisa xoxo

  11. The DC area is fun to drive in, especially trying to park a 15 passenger van. Lets say I rarely drive my 15 passenger van to work, unless my hubby and oldest daughter have taken the other 2 vehicles. My van is Victory (bright) red and I always have the ehadlights on when I drive, yet people still cut me off like they can't see me.

  12. Hi Lisa -

    Hi, this is Stephanie from MysticArt Pictures - we are a casting and production company in Burbank. I'm writing because I'm casting a new family show, and I you might be a great resource. We are casting a docu-series called "Timeout" for a very major network and was hoping to tell you more about it. We are looking for couples who have at least 2 kids between the ages of 7-17, and where one parent feels they might be a workaholic. This show promises to be transformative and uplifting, giving parents the tools to maintain a healthy life/work balance.

    I would be so appreciative if you could let subscribers of your website know about the opportunity, or if you can think of anybody you know personally who might fit the profile. I have attached our flyer with more information. Any email blasts or word of mouth would be so helpful. I'm happy to discuss the show in more detail if you have any questions or concerns.

    Thanks again!

    Stephanie Lewis


    Award Winning Company, Mystic Art Pictures is seeking Families who desperately need to reconnect for a New Ground Breaking Series! This is an opportunity to have your life changed and your family transformed!


    If you answer, “YES” to any of the following questions, we would love to consider your family for our amazing new life-changing series.
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  14. Cute pictures, from a children author in Concord, Ca.