2018 total (so far): $3184.98


I Was Missing Out

YOU GUYS. I wish one of you had told me that Advent Calendars are the bomb diggity! Or, I guess you could have used slightly less archaic language and just encouraged me to give one a try. I HAD NO IDEA.

Poor Alexis survived the first 12 Christmases of her life without having some sort of means of counting down the days. Even Mila had to survive three years without, but then she became obsessed with "How many days until Christmas?" which is super fun coming from the kid who still thinks all points in the future are "tomorrow" while all points in the past are "yesterday." She desperately wants to understand time, but she's not about to put actual effort into understanding.

And, thus, I gave in. Well, actually I gave in because I happened to find a Hatchimals Advent Calendar sitting on a random end cap at Target for $15. Considering it promised a decent pile of tiny creatures, it was worth buying just for the toys.

But, I GET A COUNTDOWN, TOO! And a semi-cooperative kid! It's quite the great deal.

Mila has been infinitely better about getting out of bed every morning since we started the calendar. She's a giant pain in the butt to get moving every day, but that little bit of incentive seems to be enough to get her to lay off the cranky. And then she's so happy to figure out which "number is today!" Bonus! And then! And then she's even more happy to find a little prize inside! It's awesome dipped in great doused in fantastic.

Which just means I missed out by just now figuring this whole Advent Calendar thing out.

So, what else am I not doing that I should be because they're way more fun than they sound on the surface? FIX ME, INTERNET.



Please Not a Dream Story

World, I've been sucking at parenting lately and it is all your fault. Yes, YOUR fault.

If you're one of the guilty people, that is.

To determine if you're guilty or not, think back. Have you ever started a story with, "I have to tell you about the dream I had last night ..."? If so, GUILTY! You're especially guilty if you posted a tale of your dream to social media because I had far more patience before social media ruined me.

I just ... can't. I can't get into talking about dreams. I'm referring to the deep sleep ones, of course. If you want to tell me about how you dream of becoming the first female representative in your voting district or first person in your family to get a master's degree or whatever, that's awesome. I'll listen to those kinds of dreams all day long. The sleepy dreams, though? ::yawn::

I need a nap just thinking about it. And not just because I'm functioning on 4 hours of sleep. That just makes it even worse than it already is.

I get it. Some people are really super interested in dreams. They like interpreting dreams, talking about dreams, and even hearing about dreams. I am not those people. I stop listening after about the fourth word and even that takes a lot of effort on my part.

Mila doesn't get it. I haven't bothered to try to tell her for obvious reasons, so there she is. She's over there telling me all about every dream she's ever had and in excruciating detail. For what it's worth, mostly she dreams about something bad happening to her sister or about one of her toys disappearing.

(Don't tell her that the toys disappearing thing might be reality. SHHHH! Unless you can get her to care enough to clean up after herself, that is...)

And I DON'T CARE. The kid tells me about ten different dreams twenty times each day and I am bored to tears each and every time. It's terrible parenting, but it's what I've got. Someone needs to tell the kid that talking about dreams is dumb. PLEASE.




Band Geek

One of my skills is timing work travel juuuuust wrong (or right, depending on your opinion of such things) so that I miss middle school band concerts. I had legit never been to one … until tonight.

First of all, our band director is a saint among saints. The man has a very practical and wonderful perspective on most things, so he does his best to showcase the bands while also respecting the fact that we all have other places to be. Thus, concerts are blissfully short. As they should be.

Concerts are also kind of good, all things considered. I mean, Alexis is in 7th grade. She’s not winning any trophies on America’s Got Talent with her clarinet skills and neither are her classmates. But, the director does a good job of highlighting their strengths while selecting music that is less annoying than it could be.

Mila is allllllll in. That girl loves herself a good band concert. I had heard rumor of this phenomenon, but I hadn’t seen it for myself until tonight. I swear that girl spent more time shaking her butt at that concert than anyone has a right to shake at any band concert ever. I don’t think I dance that much at a REAL concert like NKOTB or something.

Wait. What? SHOOOSH.


Anyway, Mila was all about shaking her butt and dancing along, but then she got her little paws on my phone and it all fell apart. She is VERY distracted by tiny screens, so she dug into some games and was blissfully focused on all sorts of very important things. It was all fine and dandy right up until she opened up Pokemon Go and started giving silver berries to every creature under the sun.

I know that doesn’t sound like A Thing, but IT IS TOTALLY A THING. Silver berries are sacred! We don’t give them to lame Pokemon like Seedot!

(Is my nerd cred skyrocketing right now? Because it should be.)

For what it’s worth, Mila *knows* this is a thing that bothers me. She does it specifically to make me twitch. The child is well-known for doing things that are juuuust this side of bad because she knows she won’t really get in trouble but I will blow my top the exact right amount to be entertaining. Laughing at me is her crack. And, thus, when I finally said something to her, namely STOP GIVING THEM BERRIES, YOU PUNK, she turned and said, “Oh, sorry. My bad.”

She said it just loud enough for a ripple of laughter to pass through the row in front of us. So now I suspect there are even more people who think middle school band concerts aren’t the worst thing ever. I mean, MY BAD.

What even.