The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

The Passion of the Little Baby Jesus

There he is in all his plaster glory.  Our strange Little Baby Jesus from our Nativity set.  Try to overlook the fact that his “blankie” doesn’t really cover up his anatomically incorrect body and that he has blonde hair and blue eyes.  Every year I say I’m going to get a brown marker and color his hair and eyes the correct shade of middle eastern Jewish.  And every year I haul off and do nothing.
Over the years, not one thing about Christmas has stirred more screaming fits of passion in my kids than our Little Baby Jesus (LBJ for short).  Let’s break it down, shall we?
First we have the screaming over just who gets to put LBJ in the manger fresh out of the styrofoam box.  And the absolute worst thing I could ever say was, “Just take turns.”  Because I obviously forgot that if you’re the second one putting LBJ in the manger, it has lost all meaning and will result in tears, red faces and generally bad attitudes.  For some reason, the kids have thought it was my responsibility to remember who placed LBJ in the manger first the year before.  Yeah, the woman who has to have a huge calendar displayed on the refrigerator so I can remind myself what I have coming up that day is going to remember who got firsties last year.
Second we have the “oh no you di’int” when one child decided the manger is in the wrong part of the Nativity.  I get chills just thinking about the yelling and crying that has caused over the years.  Of course my reasoning of, “Does it really matter where the manger is on top of the end table” never put my kids into the logical state of mind I hoped it would.
I saved the worst for last.  The horror of one child purposely hiding LBJ and proclaiming that he will not make his appearance until Christmas morning.  Oh, the smugness.  The self-satisfied eye glilmmer.  The triumphant spirit of “ain’t no one gonna tell me I can’t move/touch LBJ.”  Resulting in gasps from the other child.  The inevitable, “Moooooooooooooooooooooooom!!”  The threats of what the sucker would do to the hider of LBJ if he wasn’t returned now.  And this would be where I used to go postal.  Let’s just say about 30 seconds into my postal breakdown, LBJ would be returned by the offending child.
I was in my small group this week and someone remarked that sometimes our simplest Christmas traditions will be the ones our kids will remember the best.  All I could think was, “Will my kids ever look back at the Passion of the Little Baby Jesus with fondness?”  I’ll admit, I dont think I’m there yet.  Thankfully the kids are 14 and almost 12 this year and there has been no fighting this year over LBJ.  He just lays there in his manger undisturbed.
But I am thankful.  Thankful that the kids were fighting over Jesus.  Thankful that even though their little kid passions got in the way, they know the real meaning of Christmas.  It isn’t having a Christmas list 75 items long.  It isn’t shopping every day for six weeks.  It isn’t even our Christmas tree.  The focus of Christmas for us is Jesus. 
This year Austin didn’t want to help Amber set up the Nativity set.  She set it up all by herself and made sure every shepherd, goat, wiseman was looking straight at Jesus.  That’s something I’ll remember forever.

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Apparently the beagle has a weight problem

The dog who moves so fast that not even my super cool Canon Rebel Xsi can make her appear unblurry, is fat.  Not obese, the vet assured me, but just overweight.  Wow.  Who would have thought that a dog who shows absolutely no self control in any area of her life would restrain herself and not eat as much as a lumberjack?  Me, that’s who.  I’m a regular genius.

I have never owned a dog that you have to keep on a feeding schedule.  The most Belle has ever weighed is 6 pounds 8 ounces.  And the least she has weighed as an adult is 6 pounds, 6 ounces.  We have always just loaded up the dog food dish when it’s empty.  Apparently this backfired with the beagle.

I didn’t think she was fat.  I just thought she was filling in nicely.  She’s only 16 months old and I thought she was still roly-poly from baby fat.  Don’t I sound like some delusional mother who thinks their 10 year old still has baby fat?  But in my defense, in the grand scheme of things my dogs aren’t exactly top on my priority list.

Our vet is wonderful and didn’t suggest putting her on diet food.  He said it’s mostly fiber and doesn’t really solve the problem.  He told me sometimes food allergies will trigger overeating (huh?) and to eliminate certain things from her diet.  I told her I had already eliminated processed beef, wheat and corn.  He was impressed.  I was not because knowing that these three ingredients are tough on dogs means only one thing.  I have high maintenence dogs.  Not the digestive system of iron types who can eat Ol’ Roy or Dog Chow.

He said the best thing to do is regulate her food intake. Great. So that means I have to remember to feed them in the morning and the evening.  And I only give them a certain amount of time to eat.  What’s the certain amount of time?  It’s the exact amount of time it takes me to remember to shove the beagle away from the bowl of food she’s stationed herself at like a linebacker protecting the quarterback.  I swear she squats to lower her center of gravity.

She seems to be losing weight – she actually has some definition now and doesn’t look like a walking tree stump.  So while she’s looking better, she is now spending more and more time at my feet in the kitchen.  Which again, is a total BLAST for me.  I get a real kick out of constantly tripping over her.  And heaven forbid I drop anything on the floor . . . . it’s a death cage smackdown between her and the chihuahua.  Which is really, really fun.

Tyler said when these two move on, we’re not replacing them.  And by “these two” I’m assuming he means the kids and not the dogs.  Because I think we’d lose touch with reality if we lived a dog free life.  You’ve got to have something to ground you.

And if cleaning dead varmint remains off the beagle after she’s rolled in them doesn’t keep you grounded, nothing will.

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Worst Winco Experience EVER

I have a love/hate relationship with our local bargain grocery store, Winco.  If I really do some soul searching, I must admit that most of my problems with the place really have nothing to do with the store.  It’s the area of town its located in and, well, it just attracts a certain clientele.  {ahem}

So much has happened in the almost six years I’ve been shopping there.  Another car was backing out when I was and we hit each other (I hate the parking lot!), I’ve been approached for money (good thing I had on my chunky heeled, ninja-approved sandals), and just today I had a girl that was as high as a kite ask me how to use one of the hair accessories. OH!  And I want to start a People of Winco website like People of Walmart because, baby, I saw a doozy there today!

I was walking to my car after shopping and had the dubious distinction of following an arguing couple. They had been arguing in the check out lane behind me.  Arguing as they bagged their groceries.  And arguing as they plodded across the parking lot.  They stopped and I eventually passed them and felt kind of sorry for the obviously mental and miserable people they were.

As I was unloading the groceries it happened.  The worst Winco event ever.  In honesty, Winco had nothing to do with it, but since it happened in their parking lot I think they bear some of the responsibility.  A fat black bird about the size of a robin with yellow eyes landed on my cart.  It’s little reptilian like black feet and horrid claws were where I was just touching.

And it would NOT move.  It just turned its head and stared me down with its yellow eye.  This would be the point I almost simultaneously threw up, screamed, fainted and wet my pants.

Have I mentioned I have an irrational fear of birds?

I spent the rest of the terrifying few seconds unloading my cart with the eye closest to the bird, closed.  Kind of like this:

Tyler asked me why I didn’t just throw something at it.  I was momentarily frozen upon seeing the bird.  I tried ignoring it, but the open eye just kept turning my head to look at the stupid bird.  If I shooed it away, it might get mad and fly right at me.  I did shoo it, but it came right back.  Finally I swung a grocery bag at it and it got the hint.  But my body didn’t and involuntarily did sort of dry heaves all the way home.

Obviously there were three mental and miserable people in the parking lot.  But my hair was better.

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