2017 total: $12105.73


It's Coming and I Can't Stop It

I say, "No." She says, "Yes."

I ask her if she pooped. She lies and says, "No."

A parent leaving the room elicits ten minutes of squalling.

I say, "What do you want for dinner?" She says, "Cereal." I say, "How about pasta?" She says, "Cereal." I say, "How about a sandwich?" She says, "Cereal." We could go on like this for hours.

I request that she clean up her toys. She tells me "No way!"

She asks for crackers. I tell her no. She sobs.

I say, "That's bad." She laughs and does it again.

Her feet are suddenly developing a severe allergy to the floor.


It's coming.


Run for your lives.


He Claims it's My Fault

The Toddler has taken to referring to her father by his first name. He says it's my doing because I say his name in front of her too much. I paid attention all day and the ONLY times that I used his first name was when I was nagging him, fussing at him, yelling at him, or arguing with him. In other words, it's 100% his own fault.

It's game time, folks. Go Steelers!

(And go giant, tacky inflatable thing! You can do it! Blow up already!)


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

My cheeks are rosy, my fingers are stiff, there are bits of tree branches tangled into my hair, and a power circuit just blew. All good signs--Project Light Up the House So It Can Be Seen from Two Miles Away has commenced. Over 4000 lights are strung, which I think puts us at 25%. We should have been there weeks ago. Better late than never, I guess.

As I was stringing lights in the yard, I couldn't help but notice that the process really doesn't change from year to year. I start by wrapping candy cane stripe lights around the big Oak tree in our front yard. Every year I walk around and around the tree, draping the lights as I go. For some reason, I always find myself singing All Around the Mulberry Bush as I wear a circular path around the perimeter of the tree trunk. Although, my version goes a little bit differently than the one you're probably familiar with. Here's how it goes for me:

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the OW!
The monkey thought it was all in fun
Pop goes the OW!

Over and over and over again. Did you know that there is a big copper bird feeder hanging from the tree? Did you know that it's at exactly the right height for me to smack my noggin on it? I know it's there. I knew it was there last year. I knew it was there the year before that. That has never stopped me from banging into it every. single. time. I like to say I'm just testing it for sturdiness, but really I'm just trying to knock myself unconscious. The lights look extra purdy when you're woozy.

Once I've given myself a minor concussion, I move on to the bushes all around the perimeter of the house. Don't think I didn't plant them specifically so they could hold Christmas lights this time of year. I totally did. My favorite bush to decorate is the one behind the pond. Some genius thought it should be planted there, wedged tightly between the four foot deep water and the house. The same genius that planted it there was fully aware that she has never met a piece of shrubbery she didn't want to make glow, and that its location would make that a very difficult task. (Hint: the genius' name starts with 'M' and ends with 'E'--you don't really need any of the letters in between because, oh yes, the genius is ME.)

So I teeter at the edge of the icy water, praying silently that I won't 1.) Fall in. 2.) Drop the live electrical cord into the water. 3.) Fall in. That water is freakin' cold this time of year. There is a whopping four inches of solid ground that I can step on that allows me to actually reach the bush. To make it more interesting, there's a weeping peach tree right next to it that likes to attack my hair, so I have to bend over at the waste while balancing on that little balance beam of dirt. All the while, I usually have the Jaws theme song running threw my head as the Koi stalk me from side to side, glaring at me and just waiting for me to join them in the icy depths. I'm pretty sure they would eat me alive if I were to fall in and they would have plenty of time to do it as there is a wondrous green net over it all winter intended to keep the leaves out of the water. Someday that net is going to do a fabulous job of holding me hostage while Arnie and Sydney have their way with my tasty flesh.

This year I made Olympic light stringing a little bit more interesting. I discovered a brand new and very fancy extension cord/multi socket/timer that I must have bought on clearance last year. It is, by far, the fanciest of its kind what with it's digital clock that I could set to the hour/minute/second if I so desired. Instead I prefer to utilize the auto on feature that tells the contraption to start allowing electricity to flow through it out to all the pretty little sparkly lights once the sun sets. I turned it to on then began my teetering. Suddenly, all my lights went out. I figured I had blown a circuit which is absolutely a normal part of the process. A few seconds later, the power came back on. I resumed stringing the lights. Then it went dark again. Then the power came back on. It took me at least twelve rounds of this to realize that my husband was not playing elf and resetting the circuit every ten seconds but rather the light sensor on the timer doohickey was reacting to the Christmas lights themselves.

Christmas lights on = It's daytime! Turn off!

Christmas lights off = It's dark! Turn on!

Christmas lights on = It's daytime! Turn off!

Christmas lights off = It's dark! Turn on!

My first clue should have been the fact that my dear husband wasn't screaming obscenities out the window at me. But really is was the speed of the reset that finally led me down the path to enlightenment.

I can't wait to do more tomorrow. Next up, icicle lights on the gutter above the pond where absolutely no ladder on planet Earth can reach. Yippee!

Alexis and her cousin Tyler at Chuck E Cheese (thanks to Ashlee for the photo)