2014 Total: $10008.90 (Updated once daily)




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There Can Be Only One Sparkle Queen 

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about parenting some people have is that they seem think you get to pick what flavor of kid you will get. They think you get to pick if your kid will enjoy music, be good at sports, live for sparkle, or whatever.

(There are certainly parents who believe that -- it's not just people who don't have kids. I encountered one parent who thought it at Target a while back. Dude was trying his best to convince his 3 or 4-year old little girl that Barbies are "caca" and "not fun at all." I swear I could hear the Karma Train rolling around the bend and looking to run him over.)

If anybody needs proof that we don't get to pick our kids' personalities, allow me to show you Exhibit A. Her name is Alexis and she was born to love pink, glitter, cheerleading, terrible pop music, and pretty much everything that confuses me.

It's fantastic, by the way. Truly. I might complain endlessly about the hours I spend cleaning up glitter from every crevice of the house while listening to the kid recite cheers, but I actually enjoy it. More accurately, I enjoy how happy it makes Alexis. I also see the humor in knowing the karma train ran my butt over just about nine years ago.

Only time will tell if Mila is going to follow in Alexis' footsteps and exude all things girly or if she will be all tomboy like me.

Buuuuuuuuut ... I think maybe there is a glimmer of hope that Mila won't be a Sparkle Queen. I mean, if you can take 3 minutes of her life and use it to totally and completely predict her future, I AM SO IN LUCK.

Now, just go with me on this, you guys. I need a little bit of hope for tomorrow so I can survive the ridiculous that is the glitter stuck all over my kitchen floor at this very moment. Just pretend these three minutes mean something, ok?

Y'all, Mila totally focused on checking out exactly one toy when she saw this giant pile.


It wasn't the giant Olaf (though, she did like him when I singled him out). It wasn't the princess Lego set. It wasn't any of the Pillow Pets. It wasn't even the Minnie rattle.

The little green tractor in the bottom right. She LOVED that silly little green tractor.

Until toys have genitalia you won't be able to convince me that there are "boy toys" or "girl toys," but that green tractor is probably the least Sparkle Queen thing in that pile.



The Elf Visits Big Kid Street

Alexis is obviously standing at the intersection of Big Kid Street and Little Kid Lane, looking down both streets and unsure which direction she should walk. Right now she's leaning toward Little Kid Lane, I think because it makes the holidays so much more magical.

Man, that kid wants to believe SO badly.

I mentioned that the elf made an appearance at our house, despite the fact that I think it more closely resembles kindling than a good idea. Alexis finds it to be the most fun ever, though, so I persevere. I might be the meanest person ever, but I can play along for the sake of a kid.

Somewhere along the line, Alexis couldn't figure out where her elf Britney was hidden. It was, in my opinion, in plain site, but she spent two days trying to locate her little buddy Britney. The first day, Alexis asked me if I knew where it was. I don't lie about harmless things like that, but I will respond with a question when asked a question I don't want to answer. So, when Alexis asked me if I knew where her elf was hiding, I replied, "Why are you asking me?"

Her answer was ... something.

"You're the one who moves it," she said.

Once I was done glaring a hole in the wall, the conversation continued and Alexis explained that she had read on the internet that it was parents who hide the elf. I neither confirmed nor denied the validity of her research. Rather, I asked if she believes everything she reads online.

The very next day, I caught the little non-believer writing a letter to Santa asking for help in locating her elf. Alexis wrote the letter on her laptop and emailed it to some email address she found on the Elf on the Shelf's website.

Not to me.

In fact, she didn't show me or tell me about the email. I happened to see it as I was walking past the Big/Little Kid as she sat at her desk. I didn't manage to read all of it, but the words I caught were definitely directly at the big guy with the white beard who has magical powers.

The next morning the elf was relocated to a more obvious position. Upon discovering Britney, Alexis squealed with delight, took a photo, and quickly ran to me so she could share its location. She was genuinely excited to tell me something I didn't know.

She really isn't sure which way to go at that intersection, but I'm kind of enjoying these last few moments of her considering Little Kid Lane.



One Last Word About Christmas Crazy 6

I swear I will stop talking about Christmas Crazy in a minute or ten, but not yet. Not yet because I think the internet as a whole spends a whole lot of time wallowing in the bad and not nearly enough time celebrating the fantastic.

This. This is fantastic.

I would like to show you every single thing that made its way to Center for Victims this weekend, but that would take a very long time. How's that for a good problem to have?

While I can't show you everything, I can show you a few mini piles of fantastic. For example, this year there were a lot of Legos in the pile.

Legos are good.

So is this book.

And this rather impressive Frozen collection.

Let me just tell you about that Elsa dress while I'm on the topic of Frozen. I picked it up because Alexis is basically the only little girl in the world who isn't head over heals in love with everything Frozen (she liked the movie, but she isn't obsessed with it by any means). When I bought it, I didn't pay attention to anything other than the fact that it was an Elsa dress that seemed well made and cute.

It plays music.

Horrible, awful, never-ending music.

I feel so bad for the adult that ends up having to listen to that thing yell "Let it go" all of the time.

Fortunately, y'all countered my accidental act of meanness with a whole bunch of kindness. The electronics pile? So fantastic.

There are two fitness monitors, two DVD players, two Kindle Fires, the coolest Star Wars USB drive ever, a bunch of movies and games, and a Chromebook.

So amazing.

You guys did good.

Thanks again for making this whole thing work. Making that delivery is always one of the funnest things I do.

(Big thanks to the delivery crew. You guys are some excellent little elves.)