Every year my husband wants a Christmas card showing our lovely, happy family in festive attire. He stands on ceremony. I try to find clever ways around it. See, this year, I wanted the photo on the left to be our Christmas photo. Lovely needlepoint stockings hung by the chimney with care, labeled with our names, very cooperative subjects and even subtly symbolic (notice the tiny stocking on the end representing for our third child debuting in late April).
Obviously, my husband and I approach life quite differently. He has a healthy dose of optimism and self-confidence. I, on the other hand, have a healthy dose of realism and a sometimes unhealthy dose of cynicism. I appreciate the optimism, really, I do. It has saved us thousands in home repair costs as he fearlessly takes on projects such as re-siding the exterior of our house and taking down walls to remodel our kitchen.
But sometimes his optimism borders on insanity. Like when he declares that of course we can pull off a festive, happy Christmas photo at 4:45 in the afternoon with two small children, a dog and a pregnant wife who hasn't had a shower in four days.
"Now?" I ask. "Really?" It's busiest time of the day, the time of day when it's a race against the clock to get the kids fed, bathed, smoothied and settled down for bed. And, to boot, on Wednesday nights all this must done before 7 p.m. so as to make my weekly date with 12-step sanity on time.
"Sure ... " he declares confidently, lounging in a chair with his leg casually draped over the arm amidst the play/living room that looks like a toy bomb exploded.
By the way, a few minutes before concocting this hopelessly optimistic plan, he opened the water bill and ceremoniously announced to the children (who stared blankly back at him) that they needed to start conserving water.
"I know it's not your mother," he quipped. "She doesn't take showers anymore." (Isn't he funny, folks?)
And with that, Fabio was off to take his daily shower and find an outfit that would incorporate the vest that has appeared in every Christmas photo for the past 15 years. It's a family joke at this point. Meanwhile, I cleaned the playroom, started dinner, wrestled the kids' outfits on them, and threw on a dress that I wasn't even sure would fit over my blossoming belly (thankfully, it did). In the process, I find out that Danny had pooped in the potty without telling anyone and thus had, um, nature's glue stuck to his bum (Yay?). So for those who receive our Christmas card in the mail, thank your lucky stars that it's not a scratch and sniff card.
Here are a few of the outtakes. I'll post the winner after we mail our Christmas cards.