Just Heather

My posts have been few and far between these last few weeks. I didn’t think you needed a series of long whiny posts about the amount of snot and phlegm being expelled from my body. The good news is that after an entire month of hacking pieces of lung, my cough seems to be waning. The bad news is Spencer is now joining me in my suffering.

On the upside, we should empty at least one more tissue box before my Brownie meeting on Tuesday. We’re making guitars!

In all the madness of my Christmas drama, I completely forgot to relay fun bits from the holiday season. Today, I was putting on my new favorite sweater. The story surrounding it is nice and I am here to share.

My family and I get up the morning after Christmas, load into the car, and drive the 3 hours to my parents’ house. We were supposed to be there just long enough to drop off the dog and unload their presents before heading to my grandparents’ house. My little sister asks if we are opening our presents before we leave for lunch. Um, no. We have like 5 minutes.

“Oh. I really wanted to give you your present before we leave.”

Five minutes later, Hayley looks me up and down. “I really want to give your present now.”

“Ooh, new clothes!”

“I didn’t say that; I just can’t wait.” Right.

Enter my other sister. Hayley turns to her and says “Don’t you think I should give Heather her present now?”

Lexie looks me up and down.

“Fine. Just give me my present so I can change clothes for the fashion police.”

They insist I looked fine, but gave me my present anyway. It was a beautiful, soft off-white sweater. Which I was promptly instructed to put on even though I looked “fine.” Then we left for lunch with the family—chili.

You’re thinking this story ends badly, but—a true Christmas miracle—I did not spill anything! I was looking gorgeous when my grandfather announced we were each doing family pictures. That was when it was pointed out that we were all wearing the same sweater. Not the same sweater—because that would be difficult—but 3 different colors of a similar style.

Mom used to dress us alike when we were little. When did it become cool again?

Me (looking at a very tired little girl): Are you sleepy, baby?
Brenia: No, Brenia.
Me: Is Brenia sleepy?
Brenia: No. (long pause) Yeah.

I have a thing about eating at restaurants attached to gas stations. I don’t know why; I just think it’s weird. Tonight I broke my rule and stopped at the Shell station McDonald’s because I wanted more time to eat before I picked up my movies.  The other MdD’s is basically next door to Blockbuster. Nothing good ever happens when I stop at this gas station McDonald’s.

Tonight was no exception. I paid for my meal at the 1st window with a credit card (I love that I don’t have to carry cash anymore!) As the guy is handing me my card, he drops it. It falls out the window and slides right into the Ronald McDonald House collection box. Which is locked, obviously. So the awkward teenager runs to get a key and runs (literally) outside to my window. Tight squeeze, so I pull ahead to get my food.

It turns out that the giant ring of keys he brought out has a key to every lock on the planet, except the collection box. He jets back in and comes out with a big, important manager guy. The special uniform tipped me off to his importance. He stands around looking important on his cell phone while Awkward Teenager tries every key on another key ring. Meanwhile, I’m eating my super salty fries that were just handed to me by the super smiley teenager girl and laughing my warm butt off at these guys standing out in the snow.

They are soon joined by Super Smiley Teenager with yet another keyring. This one has only a lone key, which—thankfully—opens the collection box. Awkward Teenager brings my card, apologizes for like the 47th time, and runs back inside. Important Manger Guy is still on his cell phone so that was apparently unrelated. Do I get my meal for free for my ordeal? Nope, the credit card incident happened after it was swiped. Am I offered a gift certificate for my trouble? Nope. Important Manager Guy simply shoos me because I am obviously pulling out of the drive-thru too slowly for his tastes.

Halfway to Blockbuster, I bite into my burger only to discover that at this McDonald’s “ketchup only” is code for “loaded.” Maybe later I’ll tell you how it was the perfect cap-off to my Soccer Mom Drama meeting. I’ll also tell you all about the 15 squealing adorable girls who spent 2 noise fun-filled hours in my home on Saturday. Right now, I just want to sleep.

And I’ll let you decide which is which:

  1. I got some “no” RSVPs today.
  2. We still have around 15 girls coming tomorrow night.

This year for her birthday, Stacia wanted to have a slumber party. And, since I sometimes smoke crack with Mir, I (stupidly) agreed. Since then, common sense has prevailed and I have manged to convince the birthday girl that a Fake Slumber Party would be just as cool without the issue of me staying up all night.

What is a Fake Slumber Party, you ask? Well, I have no idea but eleventy-hundred* little girls are coming to our house on Saturday for one so I guess I better figure it out. I’m making this up as I go along. Sort of like last year’s birthday. The child wanted a tea party. Oh, but then she wanted a Care Bear party. No. Wait. A tea party. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So what do I decide to do? Host a Care Bear Tea Party for 20 kids. Yes, that’s right. 20. This year I was so proud of my genius. We’re having a slumber party, right? That means no boys. So we’ve cut the guest list in half. To 20. You do the math.

The girls are all coming in their favorite jammies, with teddy in tow. We’re starting the evening with pizza because what is a slumber party without pizza? Then we’ll do our nails and other girly things you do at slumber parties. I want to find a mad lib birthday story to finish the night. I thought it would be fun for the girls to write their own “bedtime” story, but what do I know? I’m not 7.

Then comes bedtime—when they all go home! In between? Yeah, I’m still working on that because it so does not sound like 2 hours worth of activities. The key to large gatherings is over-planning. The kids really do not get wild until there is lag time. I learned this the hard way when I hosted 15 kindergartners in my kitchen for Holiday Baking. (Yes, as a matter of fact, I am insane!)

Any other slumber party-y suggestions?

*Shamelessly stolen from The Mommy Blog.

Last week was triple coupon week. If you came to my house today, you would know that. My kitchen table is still filled with bags of groceries I can’t seem to fit in my pantry. I donate loads to the food pantry, but sometimes I just feel strange carting in 37 tubes of toothpaste.

I sent 6 bags of groceries home with my sister, for the grand total of $15. What is left are things I use regularly, but I have more than I’ll use in 2 months. This made sense—at the time—because they were free (or close to it) and I likely wouldn’t have seen that great of a deal again before I need it. Still, where am I going to put 6 bottles of vegetable oil?

Alternate Title: Things I would not have done if it had not been my daughter’s birthday.

  • Woken up early to dry her new favorite sweater and finish start birthday treats for school.
  • Left the house. For. Any. Reason.
  • Eaten half a tub of Rainbow Chip Frosting.
  • Almost hit a UPS truck because I couldn’t see clearly through the giant chunk of ice formally known as my window.
  • Climbed over the backseat to kick open the door so I could get my little one into her carseat.
  • Played “Heads Up 7UP” for the first time in 17 years.
  • Climbed into the backseat to kick open the other door so my birthday princess would not have to stumble across the car.
  • Cooked dinner—especially fried chicken.
  • Cried when I noticed how grown up she looks is.
  • Taken half a dozen pictures of my newly-7-year-old perfecting her “super cool grown up” look.