Friday, November 28, 2008

Shopping Deals

Happy Black Friday, all! In honor of this day where many, many people brave the mobs and traffic to find a great deal I am offering free domestic shipping to the USA on all orders now through Monday.

To all my blogger friends I would like to extend an extra 10% off now through Monday. To redeem this discount simply type "I love your blog" into the "message to seller" box during checkout. (Isn't that the greatest coupon code ever?!) You will need to wait for me to email you a revised invoice in order to receive this discount. If you forget and the full amount is deducted from your Paypal account have no fear- I will refund you!

As for myself, I have no intention of fighting a crazy-eyed woman for the last train set, nor do I feel like getting run off of the road by a dehydrated and starved person who has been out shopping longer than the sun has been up in the sky. Instead I will stay at home in my comfy clothes and eat leftovers until I feel as sick to my stomach as I did last night.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Have a Thankful Heart

I find as I go through life that there are so many things to be thankful for. Some of these things I am not even aware of. Like the person who leaves ten minutes late because of a poopy diaper emergency, thereby avoiding a terrible accident on the highway.

Take this morning for example. Having washed my husband’s work clothes, I was hanging them up in the closet when I discovered a miniature gel pen tucked inside his lapel. Only the tip was sticking out and I had missed it when putting the shirt into the washing machine.

When I spotted the pen visions of what could have been flashed through my mind, and I almost fell over for the immense dizziness they caused me. Had the pen opened in the wash it would have certainly destroyed everything in the load and necessitated plundering our bank account to replace the ruined work pants and shirts. What it could have done to the machine I really don’t know. What it would have done to my sanity, on the other hand, I am pretty well aware. I don’t think I would look good without hair.

So this day before Thanksgiving I am thankful that a tiny gel pen didn’t explode in my washing machine. On behalf of my husband let me say that he also is thankful that the miniature writing implement did not let loose all of it’s terrible inky blackness into the wash. Dirty clothes on top of or next to the hamper I have learned to overlook; I don’t think I would have as much grace for pens detonating during the spin cycle.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Could it be that My Heart is Two Sizes Too Small?

I have a confession to make. A confession so naughty that I am sure I will wake up to coal in my stocking on Christmas morning. Here it goes: I feel very indifferent toward the Holidays this year.

As I type this I can hear Buddy the Elf saying, “That’s shocking.” And really it is. I adore Christmas; usually by now I have most of my shopping done so as to avoid the rush (in my defense the kids’ presents are already stashed in the attic); in most years past I would be drooling over the thought of our family’s Thanksgiving feast. This year I’m having a terrible time finding where that anticipation has gone to.

For a while I thought my difficulty was stemming from the fact that I didn’t need to wear a winter coat until about one week ago: it is hard to feel Christmas-y in a t-shirt. And then I wondered if all the time and work that I was putting into my Etsy shop was sucking the Joy from my system. Too much housework, too many errands, not enough time for the kids.

I have been listening to Christmas music for a month now. It’s making me happy, but not making me feel like sitting down and actually writing out a gift list for anyone other than the kids, or picking a time to do our family photo. This year has been a tough one- likely the toughest of my young life- and I think I just might have misplaced my Christmas cheer somewhere along the way.

Or it could be that I’m just now finding my Christmas spirit after all of these years. Suddnely, I don’t care so much for gift giving or receiving: I just want to spend time with the people I love. I don’t want so much fuss and complication: I want to relax. Maybe when I wake up on Christmas morning I won’t find black coal after all, but a plethora of wonderful, relaxing warm and fuzzy memories just waiting to be made.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Just Can't Do This!

The Lord has blessed me with a variety of abilities: I can write, I’m good at reading books instead of doing chores, I can sing on key, my cooking skills are renowned my family over, and I can make felt barrettes. My photo taking skills are decent, I’m organized, and I am very good at annoying my husband. Unfortunately, there is at least one thing that I stink at.

Ever since February, when the dreadful disease of Death and Much Ear Pain tore through our entire home, I have had non-stop problems with my ears. I find myself forced, once again, to administer a scary nasal spray. Happily, I have graduated from my intense fear of the nasal spray bottle; however, now that fear and trepidation are not clouding my mind, I find that I am incapable of using the spray properly.

According to the package directions one is supposed to tilt the head forward, insert the tip of the bottle into one nasal passage while plugging the other, and pump the collar of the bottle quickly and with determination thereby administering a mist of medical goodness.

(This whole pumping the bottle thing can be a little tricky. Twice now I have pinched my upper lip between the rim and the collar of the bottle. It not only causes my lip to hurt like the dickens, but it also makes me feel like an idiot. I mean, who does that?)

So there I stand in the middle of the kitchen floor with my head tilted forward and the plastic tube up my nose. I pump the bottle and I can smell the Astelin as it exits the bottle and soaks my nasal membranes. Within a second I also hear the sound of liquid splatting on the floor; I look down to see a glistening droplet of medicine on the linoleum. The package insert doesn’t say anything about wiping the floor after administration of the medicine, so I’m pretty sure it is supposed to stay in my nose.

I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I inhale the mist gently, as per the directions; I would try horking it up in there, but I am afraid that I may hurt my brain or that it may squirt out of my eyeballs. I’ve tried to use my ninja-mommy skills to pump that little bottle with a fury in order to produce the finest mist ever seen by a nasal passage, but that doesn’t seem to help either. (Not to mention I’m afraid of pinching my lip again).

I suppose I shall have to continue in my pursuit of proper nasal spray technique. I shall continue to tilt my head forward, inhale gently, and mop up the kitchen floor. I shall continue to puzzle as I feel the medicinal stream rushing out of my nose. I shall continue to taste the disagreeable flavor left behind in the back of my throat. And I shall continue to have unpleasant sensations in my ears because I cannot medicate myself properly. The end.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Bulging Muscles. Of Doom.

My husband arrived home from work last evening and thwomped his way into the kitchen where I was desperately trying to finish dinner with a screaming baby attached to my leg. I turned toward him and saw that the thwomping was due to the fact that he kept sticking his right leg out from his hip at strange angles while he walked.

I must say that I didn’t see immediate cause for alarm when he came into the house gamboling about like a hunchback. The man tends to err on the dramatic side as related here and here. I believe that he does this so that when a real calamity comes along he is prepared to do his part of the wailing, moaning and general running around in circles.

He told me that a mysterious ailment had overcome him sometime during the day. For no apparent reason his right calf had begun to pain him. Upon inspection it was discovered to be tender to the touch and a portion of it was bulging out, like it had contracted a serious case of mutant bodybuilderitis.

This put me in a bit of a pickle. Any sort of disorder is a very tricky thing with this man: brush it off as a little matter and he gets understandably upset, but take a look at something and say, “Oh, honey, that doesn’t look so good,” and he’s liable to faint dead away. I settled for what I thought to be middle ground, and inquired if he had dropped something heavy on it or remembered walking into any walls (which he does often at home).

As I looked at the questionable swellage I momentarily lost hold of my senses and grimaced. This was met with a swift and alarmed query as to whether there was need of a trip to the emergency room, because, after all, he remembered a story from his OSHA training class where a man suffered a small cut on the job and then his arm swelled up to size of a nuclear submarine or something. And then he died.

My husband thankfully did not have a cut. When he woke up this morning not only was he still breathing, but there remained no sign of the Schwarzenegger-style swelling. The thwomping has been replaced by his normal stride, and he’s back to walking into walls, doorways, and other inanimate objects that do not yield to oncoming traffic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where's the Rewind Button?

I have begun to notice little nuances in my son’s behavior that may hail the beginning of the end of his completely dependent toddlerhood. I’m fervently hoping that these things are just flukes and that I actually have at least one more year of his being my baby instead of a person too quickly on his way to adulthood (or worse- that period of time that comes between baby and adult- teenager).

The little guy was experimenting with referring to my husband and I by our first names for a bit. After it became apparent that he meant to carry on with that for some time we tried to make him understand that it was rude to do so, after which he insisted on calling me “mom” instead of “mommy.” It would seem that a three-year-old is much too old to go around calling the person who practically saw the door of heaven during childbirth “mommy.” When he’s not paying attention or when he’s tired the “mommy”s still slip out.

Now that he has been fully potty-trained for about four months he has started to order me out of the bathroom. He’ll point to some innocuous place on the way to the toilet and command, “stay there, mommy.” I wait and stand in my spot for about ten seconds before heading into the bathroom to save the toilet paper from being dropped into the bowl.

It could just be my imagination, but I feel as though he tends to avoid holding my hand as much as possible when we’re out running errands. I suppose that means I’ll have to stop smothering him with kisses in the grocery store soon. Speaking of kisses, he has greatly offended his father by refusing to kiss him. The man is really upset. I don’t think it helps that the child will then come and kiss me until I practically shine with spit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pre-Christmas Giveaway Winner

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-11-16 13:02:22 UTC

The lucky winner of my pre-Christmas giveaway is FawnDear! So, take a look around my shop and let me know which item you would like to see in your mailbox. Everyone else mark your calendars- I will be offering free domestic shipping to the United States November 28th-30th!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Best in New Piggy Banks

For a few weeks now our doorway/stair gate has been making a sort of clackety noise when lifted from its hinges and moved into another room. It sounded as though a piece of plastic had broken off inside and was tumbling around.

This evening when I moved it from the bottom of the steps into the kids’ bedroom doorway, it sounded as if someone had been using it as a piggy bank. Except, really, it’s better than a piggy bank because most piggies these days have a plug in the bottom, and the only way to get the money back from the gate is to take a sledgehammer to it. It’s burglarproof.

At first the tinkling confused me, but as I tilted the gate this way and that I suddenly had a vision of Daddy’s spare change spread out on top of the record player. A certain toddler that lives in this house is beginning to show a little ankle at the cuff of his pants which means he is getting taller. Places that were once unreachable are now very reachable indeed.

The combination of pennies and the nice penny-sized slot in the bottom of the gate were apparently too much of a temptation for him. When questioned as to what was causing the delightful chinking sound in the gate he told us with an excited smile that he had stashed pennies in there.

It made me a little sad to tell the boy that what he thought was such an inspired idea shouldn’t be repeated. I suppose Daddy will have to be more mindful of leaving money lying around the house, or the next time the boy may hide the milk and egg money inside the VCR.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"No" Should be a One-Way Street

It’s hard being Mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world. It really is. When she was first born it wasn’t so difficult; she slept a lot, she stayed where she was put- she spent most of her time simply being cute.

Now she hardly sleeps, she never stays still, and she spends most of her time getting into trouble. There are just too many buttons on the microwave that need to be pushed. Too many books that need to be washed in toilet water. So many high places to climb that double as good places to practice ladder-building skills in order to reach.

How quickly babies go from being innocent well-behaved people to world-menacing toddlers. Whoever decided that the word “no” should be a simple two-letter word must have been an illicit drug user or had no experience with parenting. Children learn the word much too quickly. I suppose it is possible that if the word were pronounced “imneptabulous” children could still learn to say it rather young.

As much as toddlers and babies alike love to say “no,” they tend to become completely and utterly offended if the word should be directed toward them, and they wail and scream as though their very life is at an end. “No, you can’t juggle the cleaver.” “No, you may not put your finger in the electrical outlet.” “No, you may not hang from the chandelier.” It’s all very dramatic.

In the last couple of weeks, the baby has begun to put on her most pathetic face and whimper “come here, come here,” as she lifts her arms to be picked up and skooshes her fingers open and closed. She especially loves to pour on the ooey-gooey cuteness after she gets in trouble. I need to work on my stern face.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pre-Christmas Giveaway

I realize that my blogs have been lacking as of late. I am almost completely consumed with getting my Etsy shop up and running, much to the dismay of my husband and children. Since everyone has been so patient with me I am going to have my first giveaway! One lucky winner will receive an item of their choice from my shop. To enter please leave a comment sharing your favorite thing about the holiday season by 11:59pm EST on Saturday, November 15th . No scrooges allowed!

*No one from my family will be counted as they are already getting items from my shop for Christmas!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Potty Head

Remember this picture?

Like Brother like Sister.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

My husband tells me that he heard Christmas music on the radio yesterday. I now feel that it is safe to admit to the world at large that I am already playing it now and again at home. I’m not sure that I understand it, but some people seem to find Christmas music played before Thanksgiving to be sacrilegious.

It is a sad state of affairs when a person has to shamefully hide secrets like this away, and only play their Christmas music in the quiet privacy of their home when no one is around to hear. I don’t believe that Christmas music should be on the same covert level as picking one’s nose.

I find Christmas music to be soothing. Some people bite their nails when stressed, some click click click their pens to the dismay of those around them, and others tap their toes and shake their legs until the entire dinner table is bouncing about the room. Nice persons do not look upon those people as freakishly weird. Those same nice persons may, however, bestow a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me look upon someone who happens to listen to Christmas music before the end of October.

Now I am justified. There is Christmas music to be heard on the radio, and I can listen to it till my heart practically explodes with good will toward men. With all of this post-election non-sense I may need a little more good will this year than normal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Padded Cell Coming Right Up!

Sometime within the last week or two I began imagining all of the terrible things that might befall me as I went to cast my vote for our country’s new commander and chief. I saw myself standing in the pouring rain with both of my children huddled under an umbrella inhaling the cold pneumatic air into their lungs. I quailed at visions of insane voters hurling threats if they discovered whom I intended to vote for. I anticipated the long, long lines stretched as far as the eye could see, and began to formulate plans for keeping my children from running into the nearby traffic-laden road.

I realize that all of this is ridiculous. It only took me about sixty seconds to realize just how ridiculous. But during those sixty seconds that is where my mind took me: threats, gunshot wounds, and hail, snow, and sleet. Even if any of those things were to happen, they were completely out of my control so I decided to get control of myself and tried to take a more Que Sera, Sera attitude toward the whole thing. Happily, I did very well. Until this morning.

The day dawned warmly with a hazy sort of sunnyness, and there was no rain (or hail or sleet or even snow) in the forecast. The plan was to wait for my husband to get home and then decide whether to take the kids along or go separately. For about two hours after I crawled out of bed I did really well. And then it hit me. I just had to go vote. Right away. Get it over with. Immediately! When this mood hits me there is no use trying to ignore it. I tend to wander around like a person sick in the head. No dishes get washed. I can’t eat. I can’t focus. I get cranky.

Once I make up my mind to do something no matter what awaits me, I feel better almost instantly. I really do. So the kids and I got dressed and cheerfully hopped into the car. When we arrived at our destination the sun still shone and there was no line. The three of us, and our you-must-stay-with-mommy accoutrements were in and out of the polling place in less than ten minutes. No one threatened us. The poll workers were friendly and extremely helpful. Neither of the kids mashed buttons on the voting machine, making me vote for the wrong candidate. It was a lovely experience.

There were, however, plenty of lines to be found elsewhere. The wait at Wendy’s was two to three times longer than at the voting booth (I felt that the kids deserved a treat for listening so nicely when Mommy gave an impassioned speech on NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING!). And then there was the line at the grocery store, and also the construction traffic we hit on the way to and from the store. Just another reason why it is foolishness to try and predict conditions and circumstances: lines where one doesn’t expect them and no lines where one does. I find it helpful when silly fears are proven to be false; it helps me to control them better the next time around. It may just rain yet though. There is a suspicious darkness falling outside, and my husband informs me that he is on his way home to vote. And it’s raining on him.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shiny New Whiteness

Christmas came a little early to our house this year. My husband has been making union wages at his current jobsite, so his last paycheck was a sweet blessing. It will be so nice to actually put money into the savings account for a change!

There is one thing in particular that Sean has been wishing for over the last year more than anything else: a Wii. The two of us decided that it would be a fun investment for the whole family, so we went out and got one. Just like that. A little Christmas in November, if you will.

The shiny new Wii system comes with a variety of sports games including tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. I don’t like boxing. There is something about two sweaty men pounding each other in the face that just repulses me. In all fairness this game is so cartoony and cheesy that a person hardly realizes that it’s boxing at all.

Of course the sport that my son found the easiest to learn was the boxing game. Go figure. I think it’s because all he really has to do is flail his arms around- it doesn’t seem to be very precise. So there he was thrashing about, while my husband sat on the couch mindlessly cheering him on with phrases like “get him buddy!” Yeah, thump him one good.

I don’t think that we should be encouraging our children to walk up to people and whack them in the head. Not that I think my son would actually do that, but I don’t want to take any chances. Therefore I hastily decided to suggest to my son that what he was actually doing was having a tickle fight.

You know, “Tickle him in the nose buddy! Come on! Tickle him! Tickle him!”

It’s really kind of silly. Especially when the poor deluded kid asks to play the “tickle fight game.” Is this the same as lying to your kid about Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy? Or is this more along the lines of telling him that brussel sprouts taste like candy canes?