2017 total: $3532.73


Trading Places

Thanks to one of the amazing people who live in my computer, there are about 20 Operation games awaiting delivery to Center for Victims for Christmas Crazy. (Want to add something to that pile of awesomeness? Here is the link.) I haven't played Operation in approximately forever, so of course seeing it made me want to play. Even more so, I was all, "THE GIRLS WILL LOOOOVE THIS!" It's a game that, in theory, both the 3-year old and 11-year old can play, so WOOOO!

I ran out and bought a copy.

Alexis was appropriately enthused. She busted into that box and was ready to cure the red-nosed naked dude. Mila was also enthused right up until ... OMG THE GAME MAKES NOISE.

Okay, so I remembered that. I knew that. I expected that to be considered a feature in Mila's eyes. But nope, she thinks it's a bug. She was all sorts of mad that the game was making noise. She demanded that the playing stop, covered her ears, and was basically a grandma yelling, "GET OFF MY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS.'

I realize that's Alexis' job. Mila didn't get the memo.

Of course, nobody stopped playing just because Mila turned into a cantankerous old lady. Eventually she figured out that she should go find something different to do because sitting there and being annoyed wasn't really working out for her. Fast forward a few days. We left the game sitting out because we are slobs like that. Mila happened upon our mess and took matters into her own hands.

I found the game back in the box and shoved in the trash.

When I tried to take it out, Mila starting screeching, "NO! THAT'S GARBAGE!"

Are there other games that make annoying noises? Because I am all in on this making Mila act like grandma thing.


It's Best To Handle These Matters Yourself, Mila

I think it's safe to say that Mila does not understand this whole Santa thing. I keep telling her to ask Santa each and every time she tells me I should buy her something and she keeps replying, "I already did." She's totally serious. She swears that she's had a lengthy conversation with Santa and he has already approved all of her requests.

It's super convenient when you view the world the way Mila does.

Alas, I'm not all in on this "Santa said I could have it" thing, so I keep threatening to rat her out if she does something she shouldn't. I threatened her no less than 400 times just in the three block walk from our car to the Santa at Market Square, even. Mila knew where we were going and yet she thought it would be fun to press her luck.

Rumor has it that there are babies, a bike, and a "fairy teddy bear" on the line.

I don't know that because she told me, by the way. I know that because as we were walking to visit Santa, Mila was talking to herself and planning her "GIMME ALL THE STUFF!" speech. I sort of put her up to it by telling her to think about what she was going to ask for, but then it turned out she can't think things quietly in her head.

I should have known that.

So the whole way to Santa, she planned. She rehearsed. She knew exactly what she was going to say when we walked up to the jolly old man.

I bet you know what happened.

Once standing next to the jolly old man, she froze. She suddenly, for the first time ... ever, had no words. She stared at him blankly and had absolutely nothing to say. After a long minute of stage fright, she turned to Alexis and asked for help. Alexis being the super awesome sister that she is took the approximate list that Mila had recited several times and turned it into something much better.

"She wants toys."


Mila's reaction was the best part of the day. She looked at her spokesperson and glared, clearly firing her from all of the things ever. "That's not my list!" she hissed.

"Oh, and she wants dance stuff and a Forever XXI gift card."

I guess now we know why Mila thought she should rehearse her lines. She must have known that her sister would swoop in and steal her Christmas wishes.



On the Eleventh Day of Christmas Crazy ...

Mila is a parrot. I'm not entirely sure that she has ever said anything that was fully original; mostly she repeats things she hears. "What the heck?" DEFINITELY is an Alexis-ism. "Please and thank you" (as in "Can I have water please and thank you?") comes from me. And, well, I know where "You idiot" comes from, too.

Hint: NOT ME.

Mila said it about eleventy dozen times this weekend, which is swell because if you tell her to use "nice words" her little eyes light up because she realizes she just found another way to push my buttons. No joke, that kid lives to push my buttons. She's fun like that. Reacting in any way when she says something she shouldn't is basically an invitation for her to say it more often.


So even as I tried to find a way to take the magic out of Mila's new words, Alexis and I ended up in a conversation about where it came from. First of all, we 100% agreed about who the source is and that it's been heard in the car. That led to a conversation about things that people say when they're driving and you guys. YOU GUYS. I do not yell at other drivers. I also don't talk to them or in any way outwardly acknowledge that the world is filled with people who shouldn't have drivers licenses.

I'm not saying this to infer superiority; it's actually just flat-out logic. Other drivers can't hear me, so why would I spend any energy telling them that they're dumb? They don't know that they're dumb and me yelling it just makes me madder, so I say nothing. I don't understand y'all who yell when you're behind the wheel. So much energy! And they can't hear you! And they aren't worth your time!

Basically, I am an unfeeling wall when I'm driving.

Except for that one day.

There was one day when I kept encountering person after person who was entirely too dense. One honked at me endlessly for not pulling out in front of traffic when it wasn't safe to do so because they assumed I was turning and just didn't have my turn signal on. Which, I didn't have it on because I was going straight and grrrrr. Quit it with the horn.

I maybe demonstrated the proper use of a certain finger because STOP JUDGING ME, HE DESERVED IT. I didn't say a word, just silently said "hi" with my finger and moved on.

Alexis caught it.

She caught it again 20 minutes later when someone ran a red light and nearly hit us and then rage honked at me (for existing? I guess?). THAT is the kind of day it was. Things like people running lights and getting mad at me for their stupid happened over and over. So I maybe made use of that one finger twice.

That's two more times than I've used it in the past ten years. It really was a very special day.

AND YET. Despite the fact that it was exceptionally out of character, Alexis apparently has entirely altered her impression of me driving. As she was telling me where the "idiot" thing came from when Mila said it, she also said, "At least she doesn't flip everyone off like you do."


She has decided I have anger issues while driving.

Basically, I've now decided I need to be more foul-mouthed and such behind the wheel. Mila may repeat it all, but at least then Alexis will judge my behavior as good when I have a good day instead of the whole blanket "you're awful" thing when I have a single bad day. It's best to set expectations early, you know?


By the way, you've set my Christmas Crazy expectations REALLY high. You should probably make good on them, mmkay? The Amazon list is here, or you can click the happy little reindeer at the bottom. Thanks!

On the eleventh day of Christmas Crazy,

my true love gave to me

dolls for loving,

books for reading,

Superheroes rescuing,

balls for kicking,

blocks for building,

games for playing,

things kids need,

lots of animal fiends,

crafts, paper, and pens

STEM toys they'll love

and all the things for baby.