2018 total (so far): $3184.98


Christmas Past, Present, and Future

As I lie awake in the middle of the night just waiting for the Toddler to summons me (as she has every night since we returned from Indianapolis), I was thinking about Christmas gifts. I started on the track of trying to decide if there were any other gifts that I should buy Alexis. That led me thinking about some of my favorite gifts that I received when I was growing up. Before you know it, I had an idea for a meme. And you know what? Mr. Google doesn't say anywhere that there's a rule that says I can't create a meme whenever I want. So I hereby announce my very own meme--Christmas Past, Present, & Future.

Here are the rules:

1. List your favorite childhood Christmas gift, your favorite gift that you received as an adult, and a gift that you would like to receive in the future.
2. Include the badge, if you would like.
3. Tag three people to do the meme.
4. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged.

I have to admit that I don't remember a lot of gifts that I received growing up. There was my Cabbage Patch Preemie, Anson Nolan; a doll named Veronica; and a Snoopy electric toothbrush. But my favorite childhood gift was the basketball goal I got from Santa when I was in 5th Grade (my brother is 4 years younger than me, so Santa visited for a bit longer than necessary). Before I got that goal, I would shoot hoops into a goal that was fashioned out of a piece of counter top and a pickle bucket. It was hung from a light post in our backyard. I couldn't bank shots off the backboard since the bucket was nailed directly to it and the ball just wouldn't bounce quite right. I happily got by with that make-do goal for two years. But when I got the fancy real one, I was so excited that I made my Dad hang it up immediately, despite the fact that it was the dead of winter in North Dakota. I sat out in our snow-covered driveway shooting and shooting and shooting, and continued to spend my every opportunity out there for the five years that followed. It didn't matter that the driveway was gravel and I couldn't really practice dribbling because I had a goal. And I loved it.

Last year my husband dared to do the unthinkable--he bought me jeans for Christmas. Most men (wisely) wouldn't dare try to buy a pair of chains for their wife. If they pick too big of a size, there will be whining and nagging. If they pick too small of a size, there will be whining and nagging. And there is simply no way a man could ever pick the right style/fit of jeans. But not only did my dear husband pick the exact right size, he managed to find jeans that fit PERFECTLY. You all know how impossible that is. I ventured back to Gap (where he found them) to buy as many identical pairs as I could, only to learn that they had been discontinued. I scrounged up one pair on clearance (yay me!) and thought that would be the end of the most perfect jeans that ever were made. They recently made a comeback. You know what will be on my list this year.

I would love it if someday I were to receive a trip to Disney World for Christmas. I don't want to spend the actual holiday there (been there, done that, don't recommend it to anyone that hates crowds). I just want plane tickets for the family, tickets to the park, and reservations at a condo. That's not asking for too much, is it? Just knowing the reservations were made would be enough to allow me to have sweet dreams of Mickey and Tower of Terror dancing in my head all through the holiday season.

And now for the tagging! I would like to tag Karen at The Rocking Pony because I heart her for wanting to decorate every room of her house in a different theme, Madame Queen because she doesn't wrap gifts from Santa, and Jen at Rants and Raves because yay! Dylan is walking! If anybody else wants to do it, consider yourself tagged.

Before I leave you, here is my favorite Christmas gift that I've gotten so far this year. I like to call it my Crazy Dancing Toddler and her Doggy Bone Dance. (I swear I have no idea what made her think she should do this.)


Internet, Come Play a Reindeer Game with Me

OK, Internet Buddies, I have a question for you. First, the back story . . .

One of my dearest friends (who never reads this blog so we shall call her Oblivious) is what you might call a little bit flaky. We like to blame it on her age since her Granddaughter is just a few months older than Alexis. But really, Oblivious has been flaky for the ten years that I've known her, so that doesn't completely explain things.

It is really hard to buy Christmas gifts for Oblivious. She pretty much just buys something if she wants it. So every year I end up buying her some sort of random decorative item. There has been a throw for her couch, vases, candle holders, recipe books, and Christmas decorations. Two Christmas's ago I bought her two ornaments. They were adorable, whimsical little dogs that happened to look very much like our two dogs. Oblivious LOVES Jasmine and is a fan of Meg, so it seemed like a great gift. I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that she did like them.

In fact, she liked them so much that she gave them back to me last year for Christmas. I think what happened is that she packed the ornaments away after Christmas. When she pulled them out the following year, she thought she had bought them on clearance the previous year with intentions of giving them to us. I honestly don't think she has any idea that she regifted them back to the original gifter. I didn't mention it and my dear husband managed to maintain a poker face through the gift exchange, even though he remembered the ornaments perfectly. We just didn't want to upset her since she seemed so geniunely impressed with her fabulous gift-finding skills.

So, here's my question: Should I be a giant smart ass and give them to her again this year? Whether she catches on or not, it would be the funniest thing EVER. But it does seem a teensy bit mean. While she definately can take a joke with the best of us, I don't want to make her feel bad. So what do you think?


Things I've Learned in the Past Week

- If you thought it was a wee bit embarrassing when your Toddler screams "Mommy potty" while using a public restroom, it will be exponentially more embarrassing when she yells "Mommy pooping" and someone a few stalls down, as if on cue, unleashes some sounds that you didn't know could come out of a human being. And then everyone sees you with the Toddler at the sink and thinks you are the disgusting person.

- You should never, ever step on the crack between an elevator and the floor outside. Instead, grasp tightly onto the wall, as if hugging it, and carefully step as far as you can across the threshold. Don't worry about the door closing because Mommy will hold it, thus irritating all other elevator passengers.

- If you thought it was gross when your Toddler went digging for buried treasure in her ear then promptly stuck the shovel/finger in her mouth, wait a few minutes. She will wait until you've forgotten all about the incident, start sticking her tongue out at you in hopes that you will follow suit and then will swipe her nasty little earwax-covered finger down your tongue. Mmmm . . . I know you're all jealous you didn't get some of that.

- Bulldogs do not like to wear coats, but they will if it means they can stay warm.

- Restaurants do not give out purple crayons. I know this because I save all the crayons Alexis gets when we eat out and stuff them in my purse for future use. (The girl LOVES to color.) After months of doing this, we still don't have a purple. I realized it yesterday when I really needed purple to finish my pretty picture.

- It's not a good idea to allow your Toddler to fall asleep in the car then wake her up when you get to the hotel. If you do it four nights in a row, she'll think that she's supposed to wake up in the middle of the night and will continue to do it long after you return home.

- It's really fun to run through the halls of a hotel. It's even more fun to yell while you run through the halls. Mommy will join in because if you're going to pay to be somewhere, you might as well have as much fun as possible doing it.

- Whatever this thing is that Alexis has caught, it's kicking her little butt. If she's not fever free all day tomorrow, she's going to have to go to the doctor. Germs suck.

- You can read Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed as many times as you want, discussing the dangers of jumping on a bed each time; it won't make a difference. When you put cousins together, they will jump on the bed. Repeatedly. At least none of these Monkeys fell off the bed:

(Thanks, Ashlee, for the Monkey photos!)