2014 Total: $2419.81 (Updated once daily)




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Thankful for These Two Goofballs


I Do It Still

Mila hasn't uttered the words "I do it" yet, but she is quickly running towards that finish line. She's running to that finish line while wearing a scowl, by the way.

That's her "Give me the damn spoon, woman" face.

Clearly it matters if I hold the spoon. I mean, so much food ended up in her face.

And then back out of her face because ... yeah. Putting food in Mila's mouth is very similar to trying to shove water into a sprinkler while it's on. She likes to blow raspberries the second you get near her which is exactly why there is smashed up avocado on my ceiling. And walls. And behind the fridge.

I should probably clean that up.

And just let the kid hold the spoon.


The Best of Unplanned Plans

There's no need to argue about whether or not I have a Christmas decoration problem; the answer is yes. I proudly wave that crazy flag all over the place.

I mean, I have eight trees up and decorated right now. And, I'm not done.

Crazy doesn't happen overnight, of course. It has taken years to accumulate all of the sparkly and bright that are needed to make things just right. Each year I venture into stores starting December 26th and grab clearance items. The rule I abide by is that I have know how I'm going to use something if I want to buy it. I also have a list of things that I need so that I can finish off things that are started. For example, I always pick up a box or two of silver and white ornaments that can backfill any that break on the main tree.

There's always a plan.

I knew last year that Alexis had finally accumulated enough ornaments to move to a full-size tree instead of her skinny little 4-foot tall one. Thus, I gave her an opportunity to pick out new lights and snagged her a new tree. She was ready to graduate from the jewel tone "generic" ornaments and lights that I used as "filler" on her tree when was tiny and on to the purple and pink abomination that she now loves so much.

I didn't pick up anything for the baby that would later be named Mila. There were too many reasons to wait and see what would happen. Besides, just because the mind knows something doesn't mean the heart believes it.

So, this year arrived and Alexis was all set, but Mila had nothing.

Upgrading Alexis' tree created an opportunity, though. It meant I had a tree open for use, so I ripped off the half-working jewel-toned lights and sorted through the generic ornaments that once filled it. Alexis kept the pink and purple balls on her tree. Once I looked at the remaining ones, I pushed the green and orange to the side and began to think about the possibilities.

Maybe I could figure out a way to do a tree that would match Mila's bedroom?

There were only a handful of aqua ornaments, so I knew I would need garland. Part of my crazy when it comes to Christmas decorations is that I don't pay full price. Period. I needed to find some garland already in the house.

I checked all of the Christmas tubs. Nothing. Nada. Not a single thing I could use.

But then I checked the closet where I keep things to wrap gifts. There I found a perfect aqua ribbon and some weird white and silver tubing stuff. Together, they were perfect.

I bought the aqua ribbon about five years ago. It was purchased on clearance for next to nothing despite the fact that I didn't have a plan for it. I had no idea how I would use it -- all gifts are wrapped in red, white, and silver around these parts. There was no need for aqua ribbon. Clearly I shouldn't have bought it given that the package was still sealed five years after the purchase.

But it's perfect.

I may not have had the heart to plan for Mila, but she and her little Christmas tree were meant to be here all along.

And so was her very first ornament. She picked it herself (there are drool marks to prove it) and it is perfect.