2018 total: $10011.76


I Need More Hours, Please

We've been back to our normal routines for, what? A week? I use the word "We" very loosely because while Alexis and I have mostly fallen back into line, Mila is continuing to be a beautiful disaster.

I should put emphasis on the "disaster" part of that.

The child is not going to figure out how to go to bed at a normal hour. Ever. I've decided that every day for her entire childhood I'm going to fight with her about going to sleep. It just IS. I didn't stop fighting with Alexis about it until ... I still haven't stopped. That kid is terrible at going to sleep, I just mostly don't care any more. I occasionally yell "GO TO SLEEP" into her room when I know she's awake too late reading, but I don't care enough to actually force the issue by taking her book away or whatever.

Mila, unlike Alexis, can't cope when she doesn't get enough sleep. Alexis functions fine on 4 hours of sleep. Mila doesn't hit "fine" until she's had 8 or 9 hours. SO SHE HAS TO GO TO BED. So I have to do more yelling.

When Mila doesn't go to bed at a reasonable hour, she pops up on the other side of things A TERRIBLE MESS. She's bad at mornings no matter what, but sleep deprivation just ruins her. On a good day she needs a full episode of Muppet Babies before she can join humanity. On a bad day, forget it. You might as well duct tape the TV to her forehead because that's the only way she's going to be tolerable.

And here we are, in the second week of the year, and the kid can't figure out that she's not staying up until midnight and then sleeping until 10:00. That is her natural state of being, but it doesn't work with the rest of the world. Thus, we're fighting every morning. A lot.

And then came the snow.

There were like four snowflakes on the ground when I drug Mila out of the house this morning. Apparently they were all calling Mila horrible names because she was PISSED. She ran over to stomp on them and then went on a long rant about how snow is dumb and the sun needs to come out and kill it and ...

I'm going to need it to be summer sooner rather than later.

It took half an hour to get the kid to stop being angry and just get in the car. I don't have half an hour to spare for such projects. OYE.

December18 072


I Used to Be Cool


It started with me giving the side-eye to a video. I don't know how I came across it, but I went from vaguely amused to hate-watching in about 10 seconds. It was a video filled with hacks for making Barbie clothes, which ... IS DUMB. THERE. I SAID IT.

Look, if you have time to stare at a balloon long enough to figure out how to turn it into a two-piece swimsuit for a Barbie doll, I have a very long list of things you can do to be helpful to humanity. My list of about 23502392175 things will provide FAR more value. Because seriously. A BALLOON DOES NOT NEED TO BE TURNED INTO A TWO-PIECE SWIMSUIT FOR A DOLL. Nor does a rubber glove need to be turned into a dress. And if you're thinking of making Barbie shoes out of hot glue? STOP. I just threw away about 100 Barbie shoes. I'll pull them back out of the trash bag. Even digging in the trash is a better use of my time than making a bunch of Barbie clothes out of crap.

Needless to say, I'm not linking to the video. If you're all that interested in spending your hours doing dumb things, holler. I will send you that list of solid things you can do to make the world a better place instead.

So, I was watching this video out of pure hatred for it. I was mocking every stupid idea in my head and laughing at the absurdity of it all BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY.


Mila can't stand to let anyone stare at moving things on an electronic screen without her. If there's a snail four miles away watching a video on an iPhone, MILA KNOWS. She will show up and shove her nose in there. So basically she pulled up a chair and started watching the video.

You guys.


Paper towels. A cut up plastic bag. I lost 20 minutes of my life to a bossy little person telling me exactly how I too could make "beautiful" Barbie clothes.


I'm not kidding. "Beautiful" was Mila's word for this whole thing.


So, you know, when Mila had the idea that Barbie should go swimming in her fancy new paper towel outfit, I didn't tell her. That's what she gets for somehow convincing me to waste 20 minutes of my life.


He Sees You When You're Sleeping

I realize that most everyone has moved on from Christmas by now, but I'm over here still admiring Christmas trees and enjoying the fact that Mila is willing to fight to keep them up. The apple doesn't fall far from the ... Christmas tree, I guess. I'll keep on lighting the darkness that is January for as long as I can, and I'll do it with multi-colored lights and Christmas spirit, I guess.

Since I'm still embracing sparkly things, I feel like I can go ahead and tell a story that's two weeks old. Back on Christmas Eve, we took Mila to see Santa. Which, a few things matter in this conversation.

1. I would have taken her sooner, but I didn't have both girls with me anywhere that had a Santa for the month leading up to the holiday. I would have one or the other, but both is some tricky business.

2. Mila, it seems, is only unafraid of all things when Alexis is also there. It's a weird dynamic, but all of Mila's courage appears to come from Alexis. Thus, Mila didn't want to hang out with the guy in the red suit unless she had a big sister to hold her hand.

2. Alexis wanted no part of any of these shenanigans. It cost me $20 to bribe her into being her sister's courage.

3. Once Christmas Eve rolls around, you have to be a little less picky about where you find your Santa.

4. I knew what I was getting. We stopped at this same Santa place (in Plainfield, IN) a few years ago and that year also resulted in ... whatever word best describes this. I mean, I would have thought that things might have improved, but the fact that there was no line either time was probably a hint.


WHY IS SANTA SO MISERABLE? I sold it to Mila as, "He must be really worried about all the work he has to do tonight," or at least I tried to because she was quick with the, "That's a Santa helper. The real Santa is with his girlfriend right now."

Don't ask for more details about that girlfriend situation. You will end up with your positive thoughts about the big guy being RUINED. Trust me.


He was miserable the last time we saw him (2 years ago, I think, but I can't find the photo), and he was even more miserable now. In another photo, he was giving Mila the side eye that very clearly said, "I see you when you sleep ... because I'm going to smother you to death with a pillow." THIS WAS HIS MOST PLEASANT FACIAL EXPRESSION.

And his "Helper" was also miserable. And impatient.

And it would have been super funny if only I weren't thinking that we're going to get a short window of magic with Mila. She's just too critical of the whole story. She's going to rewrite it REAL quick.

I certainly hope Santa had a break shortly after we left. He very clearly needed to poop, probably right after he murdered someone.