Exile the Elf in 8 Simple Steps

 

elf

When it comes to The Elf on the Shelf, we parents are divided into four separate camps. There are those of us who adore the ‘lil fella, those who despise him and his creepy face, those who are sort of “whatever” about it all, and those who live peacefully, in a bubble, oblivious to the elf-world.

For a long while I was contently a member of the latter camp. Then we moved from the UK to Canada and my peaceful bubble was popped. The elf was everywhere, the kids loved it, and before I could put my UGG-clad foot down, we’d added a new little buddy to our holiday traditions: Summer the Elf.

And so began the nightly moves from one not-so-crazy spot to the next while a barrage of Facebook updates, showing the wild antics of other people’s elves, highlighted the dullness of our elf’s life.

Other people’s elves were pooping rainbow coloured chocolate while our elf lounged next to the toaster. Other people’s elves made snow angels in fluffy piles of flour and had a jolly-old-time messing up the kitchen while our elf sat alone in a window sill (wishing she lived in a home where fun happened). Other people’s elves “came in like a wrecking ball” while ours hung upside-down from a dusty chandelier for three nights in a row.

We didn’t hate the elf. She didn’t hate us. But, I admit, enthusiasm was low on the parental front.

Yet, as uninspired as we were, the kids liked the elf and seemed happy to find her in her ever-so-basic locations each morning. So, my husband and I settled into a sort of “whatever” approach to life with our elf.

Boxing Day marked the end of our first elf-filled holiday and Summer went back into her box. We’d had a semi-successful first round of elf-antics together but I wasn’t sad to see her go. Nobody was.

The next year, it was time to get the half-assed elf party started, so I took Summer out of her box and began to set up a simple scene to greet the kids with in the morning. The series of events that followed wound up being an unintentional 8-step program ending with the exile of the elf from our home. That’s right, the kids wanted her to leave and to never come back.

Although unplanned, I knew that we’d stumbled upon a practical (and only mildly traumatic) set of steps that other parents (especially the elf haters) could easily replicate if they wanted to have an elf-free Christmas season.

So, here they are! If you want to end the elf-capades, this 8-Step (2 part) process should do the trick:

PART ONE (at night):

  1. Sit elf on small doll’s chair.
  2. Place sitting elf alone in dimly-lit hallway, outside kids’ rooms.
  3. Ensure something wakes kids up in the night. (We lucked out with some random night-walking but you may have to get creative and steal blankets or something.)
  4. When child walks out of room to discover a small, creepy thing in her doll’s chair, be there to hold child as she screams in horror.
  5. Upon child’s request, hide elf so elf isn’t “wooking” at child.

PART TWO (the next morning):

  1. Just as the prior night’s trauma is forgotten, husband must chase kids, elf in hand, while making haunting ghost sounds. (Tip: Craning elf’s neck from side to side greatly enhances creepiness.)
  2. Capitalize on terrifying and ridiculous situation by asking kids if they’d like elf to go live with another family.
  3. Kids say YES.

BAM! Just. Like. That. You get to go back to an elf-free holiday season, like it used to be. You’re welcome.

 

Did you know that Shannon Day and 36 other fab writers have created a book? Well, it’s actually a martini guide too. If you like funny, ridiculous, and heartstring-tugging stories of motherhood (+ easy-to-make martini & mocktini recipes) then you’ll love Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! Available now on Amazon.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

 

Sh*t, We’ve Killed the Tooth Fairy

Never trust a caffeine-free mom with envy-inducing frontal-fro

Never trust an uncaffeinated mom with enviable frontal-fro

We’re sitting at the kitchen table. The kids are eating cereal and I’m sipping coffee. My littlest daughter is sticking her tongue into the gap where her two front teeth used to be.  She went from sporting a double Nanny Mc Fee to a toothless wonder in a matter of hours, and was so excited to wake up to two dollars and a tiny, little note from the fairy.

Keep smiling. Xoxo, said the note.

Nailed that one, I think (giving myself a mental pat on the back). Simple yet effective tooth-fairying. BAM! That’s how it’s done. I think it’s safe to assume I’ve redeemed myself the fairy since the almost-fairy-casualty, a few months ago.

“Remember when you squashed the tooth fairy?” my little one asks her older sister. (Ok, so I assumed too quickly.)

 

The rest of this piece can be found over at Momstown.ca.

 

 

Did you know that Shannon Day and 36 other fab writers have created a book? Well, it’s actually a martini guide too. If you like funny, ridiculous, and heartstring-tugging stories of motherhood (+ easy-to-make martini & mocktini recipes) then you’ll love Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! Available now on Amazon.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

Today, I’m Turning Forty

Today, I’m turning forty!

And it’s kind of a big deal

Yet at the same time, it’s not really

Though it feels a bit surreal

Because forty year-olds are middle-aged

So that means I am, too

No longer am I young

But… neither are my crew!

My pals, they age along with me

Like our friendships, our love, and our wine

And with girlfriends, as fabulous as they are

Turning forty feels almost sublime

Plus, with age comes newfound wisdom

An acceptance that feels divine

So what if my thighs are flabby?

Some other parts are doin’ just fine

Yes, my body is aging

And cool shoes hurt my feet

And a “Big Night” leaves me couch-bound

All day, unable to eat

And my kids, they try my patience

But they also do things that amaze

I wouldn’t go back to my twenties

Not back to the freedom days

In those days I was restless

And questioning what will be

And now, I have more answers

And with that, I feel quite free

Besides, I’ve learned some things

On that journey from my youth

Like, when making a dirty martini

You really don’t need vermouth

And when it comes to taking pictures

Anyone can look twenty-two

It’s all about the lighting, really

Plus the angle, and the hue

But the fact is, there’s more important things

Than how cool we look in pics

Like, are we surrounded by good people?

Or are we spending our time with dicks?

It’s these and other probing questions

That turning forty makes us ponder

It’s when the midlife crisis hits

And people choose to wander

But, I’m not going anywhere

My ass is firmly planted

I’m right where I want to be

Celebrating the forty years I’ve been granted

pic w martini

The impression of youthful skin is brought to you by Haas Filter in Pic Collage. Do I look twenty-two?

Cheers to health, family, and friendship. And, of course, to the big 4-0!

And, hey, why not buy our book while you’re here! It is my birthday, after all, and nothing would make me happier than knowing you’ve ordered your very own copy!

37 tales from 37 moms/writers plus 37 easy-to-make martinis! You can’t go wrong.

We promise you’ll laugh, cry, and feel connected to other moms who are a lot like you.

Click here. Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

The “Solo Date” Promise

The Promise

Promise to partake in a simple pleasure at least once a week. Like a solo date, with yourself! Promise to do this with the intention of enjoying quality time in your own company and, of course, to take a break from it all. Think of it as your time to reconnect with yourself.

Choosing your Pleasure

When it comes to deciding what to do, choose something that makes you feel peaceful or energized or happy or indulged- whatever you’re in the mood for. It can be different each time or it can be the same, like a little tradition that you share with yourself. Maybe it’s a bit of time with a cup of tea and a magazine. Or perhaps it’s a bubble bath and glass of wine. Maybe it’s a movie night or a therapeutic browse at your favourite store. You could always curl up with a cozy blanket and a crossword puzzle. Or maybe you’d like to try your hand at story writing. You could go for a nice walk or take a trip to a coffee shop- just you and your book. You could give yourself a manicure or do a hot oil treatment on your hair. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do as long as it’s something that’s just for you and yourself to enjoy –preferably uninterrupted.  (Easier said than done, I know).

Living the Dream

Choose your simple pleasure and make it happen. No excuses! Think of it as a very important appointment with yourself. Remember there’ll never be the perfect time when you’ve got everything done. You’ll just have to seize the moment. Or schedule it in, if that works for you. If things get really chaotic, and you can feel your solo date plans slipping away, adjust. Commit to a shorter, less indulgent, (better than nothing) date like a 5 minute chill, whereby you take a blanket, light a candle, and just lay there, for 5 minutes of quiet. (It’s the solo date version of spooning). Just sneak away and do this.You may end up with a 1 minute personal spooning session and you may hit the jackpot and get 10 whole minutes, alone.

Another way to create some date time (in a pinch) is to take something that you already do, like shower, and treat it differently. As you step into the shower, pretend you’re at the spa. Use some nice products, stay in a bit longer, and if a little person turns up at the shower door-simply pretend you can’t see or hear them …

Keep aiming for genuine date time for yourself, though, and do so as often as possible. We all deserve to spend some time in our own company, to reconnect and rejuvenate. Who knows, we may even get to know ourselves better; one solo date at a time.

Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness

With a downward facing dog, and a fart, we were off! Destination: Crazy Town.

At some point last night, our king-sized mattress exceeded its capacity of one additional guest. I ended up in my middle daughter’s bed and she in mine. Some might say we need to insist on better boundaries or that we should lay down the rules of sleep etiquette. Personally, I don’t view any of it as a problem. It’s not every night that we have company in our beds.

Sometimes, we get a full night of peace. Other times, we have sleep talkers and sleep walkers and bad dreams. Often, we luck out and get a little snuggler first thing in the morning.

The fact is, sleep gets interrupted. It’s part of parenthood. And, my husband and I have come to accept it.

But one thing we can’t seem to accept is that a night, in a hotel room, as a family of five, just doesn’t work. We don’t seem to learn. And every time we give it a shot, without fail; it all goes to hell.

At home, we have space and doors. If silliness happens, we can utilize those doors and the space. We can even play musical beds if need be. At home we can go to sleep when we are ready to…

But, in a hotel room, we become our youngest daughter’s captives…

I wrote about one of those nights, in Crazy Town. It happened at an airport hotel last year.

“It was our final night, after a busy few weeks visiting friends and family in the UK. Hubby had booked a hotel room at the Manchester airport. The idea was that not only would it make our early morning departure a bit less early but it would also be a nice way for the five of us to wind down after a very sociable few weeks.

The kids would have a bubble bath. We’d order room service and watch a movie. Best of all, we’d get a good night’s sleep and be rested and ready for our early start in the morning and the long day ahead.

This was the plan anyway. And this is likely how it would’ve gone down had Mini (age 4) not fallen asleep in the car on the way to the hotel…”

Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness

You can read about my tale of survival (which began with a downward facing dog and a fart) in the 2nd Edition of Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness. Available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk and at Amazon.com.

Behind Every Ugly Sun #OnlyTrollops

Mom and daughter with false mustaches

I’ve got my fingers, my toes, and even my legs crossed right now. Reason being, I’m hopeful that someday my kids will think as highly of me, as I do of my own mom.

Yup. I’m all twisted up into a yoga-like tree pose. Everything is crossed as I send out my requests into the universe. I am willing the presence of some positive energy to head my way. I, a mother of three girls, appreciate all the energy that I can get! I’ll also need a blast of hope, a splash of luck, and a sploosh of peace.

They’re are all on the wish list, here, while I twist and cross with all my might. Bring it on, universe. Send your strength my way!

Yes, positive energy certainly can’t hurt but I know that I need to do more than cross everything and hope for the best to get my girls and I where we want to be. I know what it takes to get where my mom and I are today. It takes patience. It takes a shitload of patience. And knowing what I need to do and doing what I need to do are two very different things. The battle is very real, right moms!? Tell me I’m not alone, here.

I wrote about my efforts (and my slips) as I aim to master the art of patience, as taught and modelled by my mom. You can read my story, entitled: Behind Every Ugly Sun. It’s part of Crystal Ponti’s latest anthology!

Only Trollops

Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee The Crazy, Brilliant, and Unforgettable Lessons that We’ve Learned from our Mothers is available, on Kindle and in print, over at Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.ca. Just in time for Mother’s Day!

I’ve gotta say, I am feeling pretty confident that my mom will like her gift this year…

Inside the Mind of a Mom, who has PMS

Crazy housewife with kitchen tools

I’m alone in the kitchen, making lunch.

My face is sporting the expression commonly referred to as: Resting Bitch Face. Although, mine isn’t really resting; my forehead is in on the action, too. I am all scrunched up, like a pug. A confrontational (or perhaps constipated) pug.

In the distance I can hear them. They’re calling my names:

“BABE!”

“MOMMY!”

“MOOOOOOOOM!”

My face is speaking what my mouth isn’t saying although, I’m not sure what my problem is. What the hell is up my ass, anyway? And, what’s wrong with my face?

Ahhhhhhh. It dawns on me. And with a quick feel, I’m relieved to discover that, yes, my boobs are in fact sore. I exhale with relief as my sneer turns into a half-assed smirk. I’m very pleased to know that my irritability is due to hormones which means my desire to flee, will soon pass.

This is good news. Very good news, indeed.

I’ll just ride out the next few days. I’ll aim not to ruffle or to get ruffled. And before I know it, I’ll get my joy back!

In the meantime, I’m confident that the agitated beast, within, can be kept at bay. As long as I remember she’s in there and I don’t get caught off guard. (This is the challenge.)

“MOOOOOOOOOOM!”

It’s only for a few days… But, I have to say, this inner bitch really is relentless. She’s completely kicked my sense of humour to the curb and morphed me into a crone-like version of myself. She does this at the same time. Every month.

So, as to not hinder the happiness of my family members, I will do my best to avoid lashing out.

Just. Lay. Low. This will be my goal.

“MOOOOOOOOOOM!”

Why do they insist on shouting from across the house?!

If I can just keep my moods bubbling here under the surface, that would be best. My family shouldn’t have to suffer, right? As long as they don’t leave excessive messes around for me to clean, we’ll be good!

Lunches are made and now … off to shift the laundry. Grrrrrrrrrr. Who left a Kleenex in their pocket?!

Yes, my irritation will linger and poke and prod (unbeknownst to the rest of them) if everyone could just….. I really fucking hate Kleenex!

But, as I was saying: it’s only for a few days so I’m going to do my best to tame this inner….

“MOOOOOOOOOOOM!”

“MOM!”

“I said MOM, first!”

Little feet are stampeding their way down the stairs. They’re coming for me! And they’re bickering. I’ve got Kleenex mixed into all my darks and CLINK I just heard my husband leave his dirty bowl on the counter….

“MOOOOOOOOM! She hit me!”

Maybe we should leave town, my inner bitch and I.

Just for a few days…

*Fills a bag with tampons, chocolate, and sweatpants. Sneaks out side door*

Call for Submissions: Martinis and Motherhood- Tales of Wonder, Woe and WTF?!

This is what’s happening. I’m not gonna lie, I am seriously excited!

Tipsy Squirrel Press

 cropped-photo1.jpg

Tipsy Squirrel Press

Call for Submissions

Book Title: Martinis and Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe, and WTF?!

General Vibe: One of sisterhood and humour.

Unique Quality: Each story is paired with a customized martini.

Deadline for Submissions: Feb 5th, 2015

Shannon Day, of Martinis and Motherhood, and Tara Wilson, of Don’t Lick the Deck, have teamed up to combine their talents of…drinking and chasing squirrels. Wait that can’t be right…oh yeah, I know what our talents are: celebrating and toasting to our roles as moms! We know that an appreciation for humour, friendship and cocktails, has gotten us to where we are today and we’ve decided that this is the perfect premise for a book…

So, we are currently accepting submissions for our upcoming anthology. This unique collection of stories will make moms howl with laughter, smile with understanding and be…

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A Silly Song, an Old Story and a Birthday Cake Martini…

It’s sort of like a party here today at Martinis and Motherhood.  Reason being, we are officially one year old! And to honour our birthday, I thought it would be kinda cool to celebrate together by taking a scoot back to where it all began – with a re-print of my first post: Cocktails and Canvases.

Then, I’ll be shaking up a very tasty martini. And I think you should make yourself one too.

But, before we can proceed, Mindy Miller (of Mindy’s World fame) wanted to dedicate her Birthday video to us. She’s insisting that it be shown right away. Continue reading

Who do you Choose? Your Girlfriend or your Husband?

friendship meme

The following post was written for BLUNTmoms.  I would like to add, that my husband surprises me every once in a while when he hits the nail on the head and says just the right thing. But then there’s the rest of the time and that is where I got my idea for this piece. The rest of the time…

Dear Mrs. Shue,

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I saw you…

Ok, ok- it was actually an Italian restaurant. The year was 1996 and I was a server there for the summer.
Anyway, you came in to meet some girlfriends for lunch and were the first to arrive. I knew you. You were an English teacher at the high school I’d attended, a married mom with 4 kids.  My young and single self was baffled by and in awe of your reality.
Four kids (WTF?)
Husband.
Career.
Looking all happy and put together… How did you do it all?  Not that I wanted to do it, myself.
Hell no! Marriage and all those kids? No thank you!  That seemed a crazy venture, to me.
I must have broached the topic of marriage with you that day because somewhere between you ordering a glass of chardonnay and me telling you the soup of the day, you spoke these words:

“As soon as I realized that it was my girlfriends, not my husband, that would meet my emotional needs, everything became much better…”

Well, my 21 year old heart broke for you. You had obviously given up on your relationship with your husband who clearly needed some pointers on communication from my ex, the aspiring poet.  He knew how to be there for a girl…

But, you’d settled for somebody who clearly wasn’t a poet…

To read the rest, head over to BLUNTmoms…