Unprepared and Overwhelmed {Spin Cycle}

As I sit at my desk, I can hear the squirrels digging and rustling around in the leaves outside my dining room window. They are getting downright tubby, those little squirrels, as they prepare for winter.

It has been a very strange week, and I wasn’t prepared for most the of the things that happened. Sometimes it is so overwhelming, the things we are unprepared for. Friends of mine have had their lives change suddenly this week, and it makes my little problem seem trivial. We had something unexpected happen that I was completely unprepared for–little visitors in one of my daughter’s hair. After years of having lice in my classroom and not being affected, one of my children finally brought them home. I’m not going to write too much about that, however, because it makes her feel bad. To be honest, I feel bad about it, too. There’s still a stigma attached to having lice. I can’t help but feel that I’m a bad mother and a terrible housekeeper. In my heart, I know that’s not true and several of my friends’ children have also had lice. I’m happy to report that we are all lice-free as of Tuesday afternoon. (The washing machine has been going non-stop since then!)

Yesterday, however, my co-workers and I were completely prepared. I’m talking about more than lesson plans and project supplies. Our license from the state is due for renewal, and the state rep came to visit our preschool. We had prepared by filling out all our paper work, entering our continuing education hours online, and reviewing our CPR and Epi pen skills.

It was about time for preschool to start, and we noticed something strange. A taxi pulled into the parking lot. We wondered; did someone have car trouble and need to take a taxi to preschool? Was it the state rep?

Nope. It was neither of those things. An unshaven man carrying a paper bag stumbled out of the cab and headed across our parking lot to the woods in the property behind us. He wasn’t walking in a straight line, either. In fact, he was a little wobbly. This was unexpected.

Despite our fears, he went on his merry way and we didn’t see him again. Our license renewal went perfectly and our preparations paid off (mostly due to our director’s hard work)!

And now, at last, the week is almost over. Tomorrow, Lily, Emmy and I will prepare to sing in our church’s Bethlehem Walk, which reenacts Christ’s birth. We’ll dress up in white robes and fluffy collars, and maybe I’ll curl the girls hair. After this overwhelming week, we can begin to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Bethlehem Walk Angels

What are you preparing for?

Link up your Spin Cycle posts here! Next week, we’ll be sharing our favorite holiday recipes on The Spin Cycle!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks. Or just grab the Spin Cycle code from my right sidebar.)

Providing Sisters to Help You Get Through the Holidays

My two-year-old got it first, right before Christmas; a full-blown case of the stomach flu. As a teacher of little kids, I had been exposed to the stomach flu many times before, so I was sure I would be okay and ready to host Christmas dinner at my house. On December 24, I was so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed except to go lie on the bathroom floor next to the toilet. I had never had such horrible, crippling stomach cramps before. To make matters worse, I was newly pregnant with my second child. I called my mom who lived out-of-state. “Will it hurt the baby?” I asked after I had puked my guts out for what seemed the umpteenth time.

“No, of course it won’t hurt the baby,” Mom reassured me.

I was so lucky that my sister had flown in from California to was staying with us that week. She took care of me as I lay moaning in bed. The next day, she also took care of getting the turkey in the oven. It was her first turkey, stuffed with oranges and cloves, and it was delicious!


I tried to help the best I could on Christmas Day, but it was really my sister who pulled dinner together for us. My nephew secretly told his mother, my sister-in-law, that I couldn’t have really been that sick. I looked fine! But then just a couple of days later, he got sick. And so did just about everyone else in the family, including my poor brother who was still recuperating from a motorcycle accident in a nursing facility.

Let me tell you, without my sister, I don’t think I could have survived Christmas that year!

Scary Mommy's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Jill Smoker’s new anthology, Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, provides a whole set of sisters to help with the holidays! From recipes to anecdotes to lists, this book will get you through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. I laughed out loud when Jill wrote about her son being thankful for poop. Let’s face it, any time a kid can get poop into the conversation, he will! I’m sure Crystal Ponti’s “Put-Your-Feet-Up-While-the-Crock-Pot-Cooks Cranberry Sauce” will be much more delicious than the time I tried to make stuffing in my crock pot. It didn’t turn out so well. I could totally relate to Sarah Cottrell’s description of “Ten People in the Grocery Store the Morning of Thanksgiving.” I, myself, have been the desperate spouse, known to run out to buy more wine before my in-laws can get another bottle from their already abundant supply in the basement.

Since my first daughter was born in November, I laughed my way through Alice Gomstyn’s “The Pros and Cons of Having a Baby Right Before Thanksgiving,” because lactating boobs are quite entertaining. Becoming a mother also means that everything changes, and Jennifer Simon’s story “Redefining Thanksgiving” is a beautiful reflection on how a baby can make the holidays even better.

The best part of this book, however, is that part of the profits go to Scary Mommy’s Thanksgiving Project, which raises money for families to be able to buy Thanksgiving dinner. To find out more about this charity, visit Scary Mommy Nation.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!