Holiday Card 2014! The Big Reveal

After last year’s epic holiday card, I was under a lot of pressure to come up with something of equal, or better value. It was put up, or shut up time.

However, due to several first-world problems I was unable to get the Wescott family holiday card created and mailed in a timely manner. Instead, I’m sending it to everyone on the interwebs, not to mention saving eleventy-hundred dollars on postage.

From everyone here at Loripalooza (aka me and my dog, Baxter who is currently just lying on the sofa and licking the spot where his balls used to be) want to wish you and your loved ones a happy EVERYTHING this holiday season.


Holiday Card 2014


Holiday Card 2014


Things That Suck

I hate to brag (just nod and pretend to agree) but I got a new vacuum cleaner over the weekend. My old vacuum was already on its last leg when our fully decorated Christmas tree fell over leaving shards of glass ornaments all over the floor.
Luke, who actually had nothing to do with it, ran downstairs to see what was the matter. He looked at the carnage and cried, “Christmas is ruined!”
“Don’t be silly,” I told him. “Christmas is most certainly NOT ruined.”
The Christmas Tree Catastrophe of 2013 would be the last battle old girl ever fought. Shortly after sucking up all of the pine needles and debris, she made her way to the living room where she exploded all of it back onto the floor.
“Christmas IS ruined,” I cried.
It was. It really was.

Flash forward to yesterday when I was zipping around the house with my new “light-weight” vacuum cleaner. Did I end up overexerting myself? Yes, but in the moment I couldn’t be stopped. I was high on adrenaline. The fact that the iPhone in my pocket had somehow put Mmmbop on repeat didn’t help.
“Man that’s a good song,” I thought to myself. “What ever happened to those three ugly, blonde-headed girls, anyway? Oh, who cares? I have a new light-weight vacuum and a new lease on life!”
Today my floors are clean, but my body is sore- very sore. Like my new vacuum cleaner, it really sucks. 

How I Mastered Parenting Forever Until I Didn’t

So when I left off last week, my five-year-old son had been in trouble for using naughty words. His excuse for using those words was that he didn’t know enough Spanish and therefore HAD to use them. 

This morning a perfect opportunity opened up for us to rehash this discussion, which was a good thing. I hadn’t felt that I had really gotten through to him in our previous discussion and had been hoping for a chance to broach the subject again in an organic way, so as not to alert his brain that he was being lectured. He’s a smart kid and if he gets the impression that he’s in trouble, then he will shut down and just say what he thinks I want to hear.

Side note: Is it even possible to “get through” to a five-year-old boy? Probably not, but I tried anyway and this is how it went.

Luke: Mom, I just feel like I’m going to be on the naughty list forever.

Me: What makes you think you’re on the naughty list?

Luke: Because I use bad words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Me: Why do you think you need to use bad words when you know all sorts of big, smart words?

Luke: Because they help me talk like I feel when I say them.

Me: Hmmm, I have an idea. Let’s make a list of your bad words and come up with other things you can say that mean the same thing, but sound nicer?

Luke: Oh Mom, you’re talking like an old man.

Me: Okay, instead of saying “stupid” what could you say instead?

Luke: Oooh, I know. I could say, “You’re fired!”

Me: Great! Okay, what about the word “hate?” That’s a really bad one. What could we say instead of that?

Luke: I’m done talking about this. Can I have a snack?

Me: No. Not until we finish. Instead of saying, “I hate this,” what could you say?

Luke: I guess I could just say somefing like, “I don’t want to be here!”

Me: Okay, great. Now let’s do one more. Instead of saying “shut up” what is something else you could say. 

Luke: You never got me a snack.

Me: That’s because we aren’t finished. Now, this is the last one. Instead of saying “shut up” you could say…

Luke: Okay. Okay. I could just say, “Hey, I don’t want to talk about this.”

Me: That’s perfect! So next time you get angry instead of using those bad words you can use the nicer words and I will still know how you feel. I’m so proud of you. 

I get up and leave the room to get him the snack I had promised when I hear him mumble, “I don’t want to be here. She is SO fired.”

Wait. Was that progress? 

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  • Saturday night we roasted marshmallows in the fireplace and made s’mores. Luke was very excited. “Mom, these marshmallows are so sexy!” Everyone got quiet. “Did I say a bad word?”  “Well, it isn’t a bad word,” I told him. “It’s a grown-up word that kids don’t need to use.”   Now, everywhere we go he feels it necessary to educate the public on the word “sexy” and how it should only be used by grown-ups. During this awkward process he generally says “sexy” another five or six times. I’m onto his game. 
  • Brantley whispered to Luke this morning, “What do you want to get Mom for Christmas?” Luke whispered-shouted back, “A fruit roll up.” I can hardly wait. 

Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Video)

(To the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”)
It’s the most horrible time of the year.
Politicians are yelling, then about-face telling you, “Be of good cheer!”
It’s the most horrible time of the year.
It’s the crap crappiest season of all
With black Friday seething,
then stomping and beating on people who fall.
It’s the crap crappiest season of all.
There’ll be family you’re hosting
And black eyes from boasting
And people thrown out in the snow.
There’ll be mean sober Lori,
Then sloppy drunk Lori
From holidays long, long ago.
It’s the most dreadful time of the year.
There’ll be much mistletoe-ing
And fear will be growing when uncles come near
It’s the most dreadful time.
(I think I might drink myself blind.)
It’s the most god-awful time of the year.  

After Christmas Delirium Video

What happens when your child, who got everything he could possibly want for Christmas, finds a wrapped Christmas gift intended for someone else? He and his best friend do a little scheming and open it.
Before you go thinking that I’m a horrible Mom for recording this, you should know that I only turned on the camera after the crying had become way beyond ridiculous.

(If you have trouble viewing the video, here is the link-

Luke’s friend, Evan, is crying because he’s afraid he’s in trouble. Luke is crying because he just found out that he can’t keep the gift.

Christmas Fantasy Land (with photos)

Picture if you will, a magical holiday world full of excitement and wonder, of beautiful twinkling lights and amazing Christmas spirit. Now, stop imagining that because that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
In the deep, dark woods of a rural Alabama trailer park lies a place known as Christmas Fantasy Land. The trailer park is aptly named “Shady Acres,”and therein lies a home occupied by a family named Blackmon.
Every year this family hosts a redneck feast for the eyes in the way of Christmas decorations. There you can find Santa’s sleigh atop the Nativity, and a ferris wheel next to an homage to Bonnie and Clyde.  My girlfriends and I have a tradition of going to this place every year, and 2011 was no exception. It’s hard to put this experience into words, but I will briefly try before showing the photos.
This year they had Snoopy and the Grinch alongside an oddly placed patriotic setup. There was an ice skating rink next to a multi-cultural display. There was a native American display near a country-line dancing scenario. (I never realized how much that group like to mingle.) To top it all off there was a stray cat that followed us around, that of all things, my son named, “Shame.” Ironic considering that’s what all of the adults felt for being there.
Enjoy the photos, but don’t try to make sense of them. You’ll get a migraine. There is also a poem at the end inspired by Twas the Night Before Christmas. It’s a must read.

In all sincerity, our kids thought this place was amazing. 

Sign that displayed, “Only OR days ’till Christmas.”

Not sure what this is. Possible moon landing. Possible 9-11 tribute. All I know is that they’re wearing rain coats and football helmets.

Santa’s Ho-Down

Because nothing says, “thank you,” to the troops like free-hand acrylic paint on plywood.

My friend Mary Beth with a semi-inflated Grinch

No idea what’s going on here. Pretty sure that’s an igloo in the background.  Possible Middle Eastern theme going on…

My son with Shame admiring the wonderment of CFL. (You can interpret that a couple different ways.)

My friend Loren Leigh (LL) posing with the CFL newly upgraded sign. It used to be written in Sharpie on a piece of cardboard.

This was on the front porch. There are no words for this, but we were ALL photographed with it.

All aboard the Christmas Fantasy Land Express. Traveling non-stop to the WIC line. 

There was some Disney action happening here. Walt would be proud.

We also did a little Tebowing. Little did she know, MB was kneeling in dog poo. 
Ode to Christmas Fantasy Land
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Shady Acres trailer park
Some creatures were stirring out there in the dark.
Colored lights were hung from the clothesline with care
In hopes that spectators soon would be there. 
The Blackmons were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of meth-labs danced in their heads.
And Lori in her sweater, and LL in glitter shoes
laughed in the van while Mary Beth “tebowed” in poo.
Then out of the van there arose such a clatter
So they sprang to the window to see what was the matter.
Like a flash from the van to the front porch they flew,
and posed with our sign, “In memory of Ma-Ma. We love you.”
From the steps of the porch they had quite a ball,
Then dashed away, dashed away, dashed away all.
They spoke not a word when a sign did display
In tensil and Sharpie, “God Bless the USA.”
And placing their hands across their laughing mouths
They emitted chuckles heard all over the south.
They sprang back to the van and sped off in the dark
And threw up gravel all through the trailer park.
And I heard them exclaim as they drove out of sight,
“Lock the doors so we all don’t get murdered tonight.”

Opryland Hotel Adventure

Our holiday cheer got a kick start over the last few days as we immersed ourselves in the grandeur that is the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. We visited the Dreamworks Madagascar Ice exhibit which was amazing in its own right. The giant ice slides at the end were a favorite of Brantley and Luke. I stayed far, far away from that slide. I was NOT going to break my by nose crashing into a block of ice.

Brantley enjoying the slide

Inside the ice exhibit it was a frigid eight degrees.  Some people wanted to take their time and see everything, but a quick walk through would’ve been good enough for me.  To my dismay, Luke was being defiant and Brantley decided to place him in timeout right then and there.  Considering the temperature I wondered who was REALLY being punished.

Time out

After the ice exhibit, we went back over to the hotel where Luke got to meet Po from Kung Fu Panda, Alex the lion, and King Julian from Madagascar, Shrek, Princess Fiona, and Puss in Boots. It was very magical, indeed. Luke also sat in Santa’s lap and told him what he wanted for Christmas.

Puss in Boots with Luke
Santa was inquiring about those fancy shoes. 

MY favorite part of the trip would’ve been the beautiful hotel itself. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the drive. Waterfalls, rivers, and tropical plants combined with streets of shopping, and restaurants, all under the same roof. We ate at the Jack Daniels restaurant after hearing very good things about it.  Two of the items I ordered off the menu plainly stated that they contained lard, to which I replied, “Yes, and yes. Thankyouverymuch!” A couple of hours later I was haunted by the ghost of my gallbladder, but it was totally worth it. Totally. Worth. It.

Out of everything he encountered on our stay, Luke’s most favorite thing was the phone in out hotel room.  “Wook, Mom! It gots a cord.”

Hope you’re all making wonderful holiday memories with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!!