The Claremont-Ridge's Modern Holiday Newsletter

The Claremont-Ridge’s Modern Holiday Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends –

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Ramadan, Happy Kwanza, Happy New Year, God Jul, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Natal, Buon Natale and Frohe Weihnachten. As you can tell, we Claremont-Ridge’s are still the most modern family in Lincoln Park!

Wow –where to start? 2013 has literally been: The. Most. Amazing. Best. Epic. Year. Ever! Though every day seems like a struggle, we have so much more than anyone else to be grateful for.

As most of you know from our mass texts and Facebook posts in January, Lance and I live-Tweeted the exciting adoption of our seventh child, Nyambura. Nyambura is from Kenya. Kenya is in Africa. Traveling to Africa this time around was not as thrilling since we’d been all over the continent on safari last year, but it’s hard to explain that feeling to people less-traveled than us, so I’ll spare you the details. Nyambura is more beautiful than any little girl we’ve ever seen, including our biological daughters. With Naymbura’s adoption, Lance and I feel very blessed, and it has nothing to do with the fact that our neighbors envy our worldly family and the college application essays our kids will one day write. That’s just the icing on the gateau.

Speaking of icing, February was a very sexy month, during which Lance and I ate frosting off of each other’s private parts. After a brief jaunt to India to attend Kama Sutra workshops, we increased our love-making sessions to twelve hours long. These coitus marathons leave us so energized, we don’t need sleep anymore! Apparently this only happens for couples in perfect marriages.

Well, our perfect marriage took a turn for the better in March – Lance and I were both given four week paid vacations. Even though he is the country’s most in-demand brain surgeon and I am a super model with legs that go from here to next Tuesday, we were blessed with extra money for zero work. We immediately dropped our kids at my mother’s in Gary, Indiana, and then took a vineyard tour of Napa Valley. Napa Valley is famous for wine. Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Lance and I were so outspoken about wine that we were asked to host our own wine tour! We ended up getting paid for that, too. It’s funny how easy it is to make buckets of money when you’re in the right place at the right time because God has chosen you to be special.

By April, Nyambura was acting cuter than all other 1 year olds. She kept doing this thing where she would stare into my eyes and quote Shakespeare. Phrases like “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, which is SO CUTE because it alludes to European travel. Though I’ll say here that I love all my children equally, it became clearer as we moved through 2013 that Nyambura was my favorite child, and still is. Lance and I will spoil her rotten this Christmas because we love her more, and my six other adopted children will likely spend the week at mother’s in Gary where we sent our biological kids to live some time after Christmas last year.

In May I won a recipe contest for creating an all organic, fair-trade, sugar-free, free-range, cage-free, gluten-free, carbless, omega-3 rich, sustainable, 0 calorie, whole-wheat, antioxidant-fueled, açai berry rhubarb rosemary torte with blood-orange and papaya chutney. It was a blessing, but really no big deal as I make things like this every day.

Lance, Nyambura and I visited Thailand in June because we’re just the kind of family that loves to experience new places. I don’t know. Call us crazy. That’s just our idea of fun! Plus, an exotic friend of ours had found the Fountain of Youth. Initially, we were just going to look at the Fountain and take a nice Christmas card photo, but we opted to swim in it and sip its sweet nectar instead! We may have been drenched, but now we’re immortal. Also, if you’re ever in Thailand, don’t go to Sabay Dee for curry. It’s overrated.

On the 4th of July, it was fun to be the most American family on our block. We invited all of our colorful children home for the day. We hosted an all-American BBQ in the backyard with meatless hot dogs, vegan veggie vinegar burgers and beer-free alcohol. Our neighbors absolutely adored seeing our miniature American melting pot! Though Lance and I sang (in harmony) The Star Spangled Banner in 6 different languages, the highlight of the night was most certainly little Nyambura setting off the fireworks that ended up crashing into our biological children. While it saved us a drive back to mother’s in Gary, it did put a damper on the rest of the night. Lance and I counted our blessings that at the very least, a pesky mustard stain came out of Nyambura’s overalls.

In August I decided that even though I was immortal, that wasn’t going to stop me from doing a juice cleanse. I am in peak physical condition and cleanse simply to prove a point and talk about it to people who love the sound of my voice. The cleanse I tried was a 7-day cleanse – you drink 16 glasses of juice per day. So, every hour and a half you have a glass of either okra-onion juice, radish-jalapeno juice, or raisin-cauliflower juice. This means even during your sleep cycle you NEED to be waking up every hour and a half to drink a glass. The results were incredible! The first two days, I was still pooping solid poops, but they smelled noticeably sweeter. The third and fourth days, my poops were definitely runnier, and I don’t know if this was a result of being lightheaded from the cleanse or not, but they smelled exactly like my childhood home. Days five and six were pure liquid poops, which honestly was so neat. My pee had turned bright purple by this point. Finally, my body free of toxins, I only pooped one tiny poop on day seven – a little tiny heart-shaped pellet, as though my body were saying, “Thank you, Monica. You’re a good person.”

Since I am one of those driven, working mothers who effortlessly finishes all holiday card planning and present shopping before All Hallow’s Eve, I’m happy to be writing this final paragraph with the sun shining on a warm September afternoon. For the coming autumn, look for Nyambura and I on the cover of Baby Yoga Magazine. For the coming holiday season, Lance and I wish you all the best, despite what we predict will be a disappointing display of human life on your part.

Hanukah Matata,

Monica Claremont-Ridge