So I was so busy getting things accomplished today, I haven't had time to blog. I had some mild form of anxiety the last few days, now that Christmas is nigh on here, and thus was generally productive because of it.
I took the traditional holiday pics of the kids. They generally turned out okay, but it was like herding cats to get them all to smile. Two hundred pics later, there are a few keepers. We decided to forgo Santa because last year's was so bad with huge line in the cold at Redmond Town Center, for terribly overpriced, badly framed up, over-exposed, too late to send pics with alcoholic, yellow bearded Santa. So I decided a big no thank you was in order this year.
Yet, after today's brief photo session, now I know why there are very few family pictures of my childhood. It was hard enough with three; I can't imagine getting my family of eight to all look at the camera, much less smile. So holiday pics check!
Now I have a ton of cards which will turn into New Year's cards. I planned to do them today--sans the traditional letter. Gasp! This will be an adjustment for my family considering it's usually four pages long and escalated to eight last year! Maybe I'll tell them to read my blog. Then they would really gasp! So the card turned out to be a no-go. Unfortunately, we are out of photo ink. So not worth the stress.... Nope, I refuse to stress. Cards will get out when they get out.
Also, like wrangling cats, I spent four hours today cleaning the playroom. We whittled it down to one box full of miscellany that still needs to be put away, but at least we can now see that the room is carpeted--in dingy freaking white carpet now marred with magic markers left open under all the piles of toys...um, did I mention, at least we can see it now.
I also managed to go psycho on the "GreatGuys"--these sketchy marketplace guys from Amazon from which I bought the before mentioned crucial Santa gift. When I originally ordered on the 13th of this month this ipod-clock-radio-gadget-whatever-you-call-it, the estimated delivery was the 21st. Upon purchase, that miraculously was confirmed as delivered between 12/23 AND 1/4. Whoa Betsy! I've been freaking out every since. This is a Christmas, hence needed on or before the 25th, gift.
So I waited patiently and finally contacted them yesterday. I threatened to cancel. Well, customer service, in their queer way of communicating without punctuation, word spacing, and only in lower case, said that was impossible because said gadget was ALREADY in transit. Hallelujah, I think. So I request tracking info. So a couple hours later they respond. I get tracking info for UPS and --lo and behold-- the gadget was entered in the UPS system OVER TWO Hours AFTER they sent the email to say it was ALREADY in transit. UPS says delivery is expected, if on time, at the end of the day of the 26th.
So, furious, I email back and straight up call them liars, threaten their ratings on Amazon, and say I will seek remediation through Amazon. Every since, emails flying back and forth are less and less civil. So, I am stuck because UPS says gadget won't arrive until the 26th and I see these "GreatGuys" have a 30 percent restocking fee PLUS shipping if I refuse delivery. So that would cost me approx. $50 to return or half the price of the piece- 'o- electronic- bane- of- my- existence. Otherwise, they have a NO return policy unless defective. Is that insane or what? I could just shoot myself because these guys were $5 less than Best Buy. I would have had it by now and would have been dealing with professionals for that $5. Damn! So buyer beware.
Onward to damage control: Since this present is for my 10 year old who is starting to suspect Santa might be smoke and mirrors, but hasn't fessed up to us, I am thinking this is so not worth the stress again. So, we found a full page ad in CG's Blender mag of this whos-it-whatchmacallit-ipod-gadget-piece-of-you-know-what and we have nicely framed it. Now (finger quote) Santa (end finger quote) needs to write a letter of apology saying said present will be late because the freaking elves stuck it up some GREAT GUYS patooties. Or maybe Santa will blame it on his latest alky bender. Or maybe Rudolph got a shin splint or sciatica which allowed them to deliver PB's heavy as bricks new bike, Li'l Man's DS Lite, but hey, sorry kiddo, your ipod-load-of-shit-clock just broke the camel's..err...raindeer's back. Hopefully, our eldest will understand. Honestly, I just don't want to ruin it for the little ones because they might question the justice of eldest not getting gift on actual day---you know--the 25th! I tried. Hey, it's a nice frame...
Finally, I finalized the numbers for Christmas dinner, then invited more. Without grandparents coming, it would just be our family of five, my sister's family of three, and her in-laws and sister-in-law. So that put us at eleven. So I invited another friend/ neighbor/ co-PTA board member who awesomely invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. Now that put us at fifteen. So, hell, at that point, I'm thinking the more the merrier and invited another great friend's family o' five. She hasn't let me know, but that potentially puts us at twenty, which is respectable considering my Mormon roots. Actually, my dastardly plan is to pack in sooooo many people in our house, they won't notice the dirt, dust, dog hair, and grime. No time to clean yet or grocery shop for dinner yet. Nope, not stressing. Not me! F@#$!