I am so excited because I have so much to tell you! Fist of all I ate dinner with a doctor who said children named "Ellen"are more likely to have health problems. Fascinating, I mused. But I didn't believe it because I would expect a correlation between names favored by certain socio-economic classes and health problems, but Ellen isn't one of those names. In other words, poor people's kids probably get sick more, but they don't name their kids Ellen, if you catch my non-politically correct drift.
But then later after laughing over being a hypochondriac, admitting that it's sort of fun when my kids get sick because I like to give them medicine, and describing a doctor's appointment as "going to the spa" (and revealing that my baby's name is Ellen) the doctor clarified that usually the Ellen's are brought in for Münchhausen by proxy-type stuff. Boy, did that give me pause to think. Does this soup look like it has poison in it? Har! Har!
Also, I read a great organization book and got all jazzed about housework. Sister Beck's talk gave me a real kick in the pants too. (Note: I'm one of those people who was NOT offended by her talk, which kind of surprises me. If it bothered you than you probably just hate your family. Just kidding! But seriously, my feminism was great for me when it encouraged me to get my Masters degree but it kind of does me a disservice when it's time to do the dishes.) You know what they say: Cheerful servitude--it's the new feminism.
So I've been trying to have a routine and keep things like laundry and dishes done up and you all know that I have a cleaner (a house cleaner, that is. Not a hitman like in my favorite movie, The Professional--I wish!) So I'm not even talking about cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming. Just making breakfast, cleaning up breakfast (with kids' help), feeding baby, washing baby, reading scriptures, showering, paying bills, making lunch and dinner, doing laundry, driving kids to school and preschool, picking up from school and preschool, homework, etc. is too much work. Seriously. I haven't even been reading or watching TV or blogging and I could work all day and all night and it is really tiring. I'm not looking for sympathy. I have just decided that there's no point in trying so hard to keep up on everything because it is impossible. I'm glad I know that for sure now and so I won't feel guilty spending the day on blogs. Do you feel me? Do you understand what I'm saying? Being good and efficient and disciplined really doesn't make a difference on the home front so why bother? That's what I'm saying. It's liberating. It feels EXACTLY like it feels whenever I hear that someone "went off of" Diet Coke and experienced no benefits. That's what I'm talkin' about. Crack. Foam. Sizzle. Gulp. Ahhhh.
The one "indulgent" thing I have been doing is a little bit of Christmas shopping. But that's not even for me so how indulgent is it really? It's basically another chore that I just happen to enjoy. Here's what I'm doing for the kids this year. I got the idea last year on Gabby's blog and also from reading The Intentional Family, which is life-changing. I love Christmas and I love going all-out. I grew up with Christmas being huge and was privately sad when my mom stopped giving me my Santa Claus presents--somewhere in my mid-twenties--even though I protested the practice publicly. But Christmas has gotten too huge for my little ingrates. In true mean-old-mom fashion, I think it would mean more if they got less. So I'm getting them less. Know also that I am cheap.
Each child is getting a stocking and something to read, wear, and play with. This gives me a lot of freedom. Ben wants a suit for church. This request was such a surprise since he is the antichrist but I want to honor it even though I think little boys in suits at church always look yucky. I think I can find him a decent one. And that will be a sizeable gift. So for his "play with" I'm getting him a tool belt and real tools, which is not that pricey; he will love it and I will probably regret it (it comes with a saw). And "to read" I got him a custom book--also pricey. But Maggie's "to read" was so cheap I was excited to splurge on Ben's. She shares Edward Gorey's birthday so I got her two hardback Gorey books from salebooks.com for like six dollars. It was a triumph, I tell you. You'll die when you see what I'm getting her to wear. Another splurge! My daughter Maggie can pull that off as day-wear. She's basically awesome.
Ellen and Sam's "to wear" came from Gymboree this year. They have good sales online. If you want to play a fun game you can look at the clearance stuff and try to guess what I got for Sam and Ellen. It might seem like a waste of time but it's the kind of thing I would like to do instead of housework. I better not say what I'm getting Sam "to play with" because he might read this and I want him to believe--as I believed well into 5th grade--that Santa is real. I also got some sock monkeys from Etsy.com. You should look at all the cute sock monkeys available in the world but--with all due respect to Etsy--man, there's some ugly shiz on that site. Not that I don't love ugly shiz!