Quick 7 Friday Takes Saturday


What? I’m so confused. I was up till 1 making cupcakes for Sienna’s party today (and if I don’t also tell you that the Ogre was up till 2:30 decorating said cupcakes, I’ll be in trouble) and then up at 6 to bathe the kids (because no kidding, I literally couldn’t remember the last time they’d been bathed. When I realized that I made the same appalled, disgusted face you’re making right now) and get them ready for Sienna’s birthday party this morning.

And then I spent 2 hours at the park in the cold (literally, COLD!!!!!!! Gloria, Alleluia!) wind with Linc strapped to me and seventeen 6 and 7 year olds running around, hitting pinatas, eating cupcakes, and accidentally drinking each other’s sodas. (Dear other parents, I apologize if all these kids all come down with the same illness just in time for Christmas. I forgot the Sharpie, and the baby was crying. For the record, my own kids are healthy but children are basically walking petri dishes so you never know.)

Then I came home and collapsed in front of the computer, because I’m a blogger, not a normal person who collapses in front of the TV.


We skipped the blindfolding part, because I assumed they wanted the candy inside this year, not next

The kids hit the pinata. They each got three turns. We didn’t do it the smart way, like, “hey kid who’s name I’m redacting to protect your privacy, take three whacks”. No, we did it the stupid way, like, “hey everyone line up, girls before boys, and then take one turn each, but first spend an excruciatingly long time planning your angle of attack and then make sure you examine the pinata for at least 90 seconds afterward to see if you made even a hairline fracture in it.” After 20 minutes I handed the stick to the Ogre, told all the kids to back up, and then laughed kind of maniacally when he hit it so hard that it flew off the rope and landed on the ground, still mostly intact, with the candy trapped safely inside.

Then I stopped laughing because holy sh*t, if you ever want to see a bunch of kids LARPing The Walking Dead, just throw a pinata full of candy on the ground. Our neighbor actually waded into the hoard and picked it up to try and open it, and honest to God, I thought he was going to go down hard like the poor horse dumb Rick rode into Atlanta.

The first clue that this would end badly was when Rick told the horse he was going to take him to a nice place with lots of other horses. Really, Officer Rick? All those horses running around in metropolitan Atlanta?


My teeth hurt. I’ve been doing all this dental stuff to fix my pregnancy-induced gingivitis, but still, they hurt. I think it’s just my new reality. I’m Calah, I love martinis and wine, I watch too much TV, I have an angry baby and my teeth hurt.

Ibuprofen and I have become pals, though. I think I’ll buy him a friendship necklace for Christmas. You know, the kind where I have half the heart and he gets the other half? Because I’m not complete without you, oh prescription strength ibuprofen.


There’s this thing happening in our house that is totally destroying the “winter wonderland” aesthetic that I haven’t even a little bit tried to create. I’ll show you:

We don’t have fireplaces in Florida because are you kidding, it’s Florida. The only thing we need a fire for is to roast a bear, and we have spits in our front yards for that. So the stockings get hung from the built-in recessed bookshelves with care.

WTF? Right? Who makes a stocking that points left? And please be advised that this particular stocking is single sided (honestly, who does that either?) and that I’d just turn them all around to match the dyslexic one but the Ogre’s stripey stocking is also single-sided. So I just did this. And it bothers me.

It bothers me even when I’m in the other room and I can’t see them, because I know that stocking is hanging there, backward, ruining the freaking harmonious Christmas motif I have going on in the sitting room.


Don’t believe I have a harmonious Christmas motif going? Here, I’ll show you:

Behold our Christmas tree. It has ornaments on it. And lights, but I didn’t turn them on for this picture because the plug was ten steps away plus on the floor, and that sounded like a lot of work for a photo op of a tree. Note that the top is bare. That is because I wanted to put this on top:

but the Ogre said something about Christmas spirit and how we’ll have to change it on Christmas day or whatever. Personally I don’t see what’s more Christmasey than an angel eating people and the Doctor saving us (there’s a Christ metaphor in there somewhere, I know it…Dr. Curtsinger could have found it, God rest his soul). But even that wouldn’t have deterred me, until the Ogre said, “hey, I found a tutorial! Tell you what, if you make it, we’ll put it on the tree.”

The tutorial called for terrifying things like glue guns and modeling clay and a bowl of water, all of which are manifestly outside my crafting comfort zone. So I gave up on the idea and now we have no tree topper.

But you can do the tutorial for me if you want to make a tree topper today, overnight it to Florida, and make me the happiest Whovian in Whoville!

Or I guess you could keep it. Anyway, here’s the link.


In case you’re wondering, and even if you aren’t, my crafting comfort zone is composed entirely of things you can stick together with icing. I’m happy there.

To highlight this point, I’ll show you what the Ogre did to make our sitting room more Christmasey. We got the tree and he trimmed it and then said, “want these trimmings to decorate with?” I looked at him blankly and said, “I don’t understand.”

He rolled his eyes and said, “never mind, I’ll do it.”

And he did.


For the record, my contribution was finding and putting out the Nativity set. Yeah, maybe we lost Mary and baby Jesus in the move, and maybe the figures are so similar that I can’t remember which is Joseph and which is the shepherd, and maybe Sienna’s paper Advent wreath is one more Advent wreath than we’ve ever had ever, but hey. You can’t win them all. Or I guess any of them. Or what is them? What am I even talking about?

I know lots of people, my husband included, like decorating with greenery. I know it’s a thing. I personally don’t like it. I like flowers and holly berries and all kinds of other things, but when people put holly (real or fake, or in our case, Christmas tree clippings) all over the house, mostly I think it looks like someone brought the yard in and dumped it all over perfectly good furniture. Like someone (not my husband, obviously, but a mythical, hypothetical person) said, “hey, honey, I’m not sure what to do with these weeds I just pulled, but I’m going to put them on the bookshelf you just dusted and arranged because it’s festive.” Um, thanks?


Here’s the rest of my contribution to the festive sitting room:

I know you can’t tell, but that laundry basket has tape and ribbons in it. The tool box has stuff to make Christmasey stuff in it (actually I have no idea why it’s on the table). And there’s a tube of wrapping paper sticking out from behind the laundry basket. See, that’s how you do festive. Christmas-themed chaos is the way to go.

Liam apparently takes after me on the Christmas decorating front. Here’s his contribution:

An angel ornament whose skull and back he bashed in in a fit of toddler rage.

Actually I think he was just playing with it and dropped it.

But still. It looks like someone took a bite out of it:

I hereby dub thee Zombie Angel


Am I repeating numbers? What is happening? I feel like I’ve been typing forever. I’m gonna go take a nap.

Go see Jen for more quick takes!

  • Lena

    I don’t even have a paper Advent wreath, so you’re ahead of me.
    I thought you just hosted a birthday party. Sounds like fun though.
    Where did you get that black candle holder? It looks like one my parents once had and gave away. That would be funny if it were the same one.
    Merry Christmas, Calah!

    • calahalexander

      We have 2 December birthdays. It’s an exhausting month. I’m pretty sure we bought the candle holder at Wal-Mart, so no, probably not the same. Merry Christmas!

  • http://geeklady.wordpress.com GeekLady

    My mom embroidered all our stockings when we were kids (this took a while, so we had place holders). But hers is backwards too. Doesn’t bother her, but it drives me crazy.

    But I gotta fess completely up – a pink stocking would also drive me crazy. :-)

    • calahalexander

      The pink stocking drives me nuts too. The Ogre, Sienna and I have nice ones but we didn’t have the money to get Chars, Liam and Lincoln nice ones, so we let them pick out their own $2 ones at Target. Charlotte picked pink, of course. It’s horrible.

      • http://Geeklady.wordpress.com GeekLady


  • Kristin

    You sure it wasn’t one of those string pinatas? We spent 30 minutes beating the h-e-double hockey sticks one birthday before someone said, “I think it’s one of those where you pull the strings and one of them is the one that opens it.” BINGO.

  • Joanne K McPortland

    Oh dear. The left-facing stocking is the only one that looks correct to me. (And I’m not left-handed.) I would have had to turn all the others around. I just googled Christmas stocking images and I see that out of the countless depictions only a couple are facing left. I’m SO disoriented! (Maybe you did that so you’d have company?) :)

    • Josh

      Right-facing stockings is pretty much a part of the deposit of faith. The stocking toe needs to point to the east on a compass rose. Irenaeus wrote a scathing epistle against the deniers of this revealed truth–and there were many–titled Adversus Sinistra Sinistrae. It’s a bore, but it lays bare the need for this doctrine.

      • Cordelia

        HA! Go do a guest post at the NRReg, Josh!

        • Cordelia

          Dang…too many distractions while typing. That was supposed to be the illustrious NCReg, of course.

  • http://www.thewinedarksea.com MelanieB

    Couldn’t you turn half the stockings around to face the other way? Then at least you’d have symmetry. Or do they absolutely have to go in age order? Even then you could make yours and the Ogre’s stocking face right and the kids’ face left. That would at least look somewhat intentional.

    The pink stocking would drive me mad. But then so does the New England Patriots stocking my sister-in-law gave my husband. And the Eeyore stocking someone gave one of the kids. One of these years I’m just going to buy new, matching stockings for the family and get rid of the motley mess we have. Oh and having your stockings hung makes you a step ahead of us. Ours are just strewn around the living room because we moved bookcases in front of the nice hooks that Dom hung last year and I haven’t yet figured out where to move the stockings to now.

    Oh and I grabbed a bunch of greenery to decorate with but it’s still sitting outside my front door because it’s been raining and I didn’t want to bring wet pine branches in the house. I actually am not sure where to put it anyway. Another half-baked idea.

    I love the numbering on your quick takes. It just makes me happy.

    • http://Geeklady.wordpress.com GeekLady

      I love the idea of rotating the other kids stockings to match Sienna’s!

      One of my grandiose plans are crewel embroidered stockings. I have a copy of the pattern for the one my mom made us kids and plan on making those for mine, but for Mike I want to do a really fantastic sort of old English Father Christmas, and for me a las posadas scene with poinsettias.

      What holds me back from starting this is that it’s so hard to find decent fabric to do crewel on. The linen twill I bought for the baptismal gown was expensive and doesn’t drape nearly as nicely as the Irish handkerchief linen from which I made my godsons’s gown.

    • Cordelia

      I agree with Melanie about the numbering… Gorgeous.

      That’s my day, today. I’m sick, my husband’s sick, the five-year-old is sick, Christmas is day after tomorrow — and I still have, like, ninety-six more presents to get wrapped before the two big back-to-back Christmas gatherings of extended family. Oy. Would grocery bags with bows stuck on them be kinda tacky?

  • Aileen

    Your nativity set looks like mine. Olive wood from Bethlehem. Same style, same size. I love mine! I do still have all the pieces, though. ;)

  • Rebecca

    HA! I laughed at your shout-out to Dr. Curtsinger… good stuff. And at least your stockings are hung! We can’t hang ours until Christmas Eve – the boys will use them to swing from one side of the fireplace to the other, Tarzan style until they either crack their skulls or demolish the stockings. Just you wait till your boys get a little older and see what they come up with. :)

  • kharking

    I confess that I love having greens around because it makes the house smell festive to me. Even during those years that we haven’t been able to afford a real tree, we can always get scrap branches from the tree farm for free.
    My husband just noticed that the kids’ stockings face different directions. I actually did that intentionally when I made them so that the boy’s would face the same direction as his and the girl’s would be the same as mine–since when I made my husband’s stocking when we got married, I accidentally faced it opposite from mine. This is the first year that we’ve had a mantel to hang them from though and it didn’t look as odd when I was hanging them from the backs of the dining chairs or from the floor lamps. We’ll join you in embracing the random stocking directions.