2018 total: $10011.76


Happiness Defined

Mila worships to the gods of ice cream. I know exactly how she feels given that I also think ice cream is the greatest of all of the food groups. The difference between us is that I'm more of a summer ice cream person, unless we're talking milkshakes. Every day is a great day for a milkshake. Regardless, Mila asks for ice cream ALL. THE. TIME. It can be snowing and -20° and it doesn't matter; she wants ice cream.

Lucky for me and my checking account balance, most of the ice cream places near us close during the winter. In fact, Mila's favorite place STILL hasn't opened for the season. It has been a very long six-ish months of her asking to stop there and me informing her that they're closed. Because it's winter. I know you still like ice cream even in the winter. Yep, they're still closed. THEY ARE CLOSED, KID. I CAN'T CHANGE IT.

We had that fight today. We were on our way to grab Alexis from track and Mila was all I NEED ICE CREAM NOW. I kindly informed her that the place is closed, but good news! I think they open this weekend! Stop being a pain in my butt and I'll consider taking you there!

I maybe didn't say those exact words, but it was pretty darn close.

As usual, Mila wasn't interested in being distracted from her rant. She kept complaining about them being closed and how ice cream is delicious even when it's cold outside and blah, blah, blah.

Her final argument for why ice cream places neeeeeeed to be open year round? "MOM, WE NEED HAPPINESS IN THE WINTER AND ICE CREAM *IS* HAPPINESS."

I can't say I disagree.


Freak Out

Right around Christmas, I bought a new car. It’s all a very long story and not at all interesting, but the point of it all is that I bought another Nissan Rogue. That makes it my third and basically that’s all I’ve driven for as long as Alexis has been around.

I had been plotting my next car for a long time, which means I had spreadsheets and lists and HOOBOY CAN I DO SOME RESEARCH. It was all for nothing, though, because I basically woke up one Saturday and was like, “I’m just going to go buy THIS car and whatever.” I didn’t test drive anything else and basically ignored all of the homework I had done.


In doing so, I didn’t really consider my “second choice,” which was a Jeep Cherokee. That means, of course, that when it came time to take a few work trips, I picked a Jeep Cherokee for my rental car. I kinda thought maybe I would work my way into regretting buying the Rogue? Maybe? I don’t know, but I was expecting to like the Jeep Cherokee.


I mean, there were things about it that were nice. The fancy GPS and comfy seats and most excellent cupholders all made an impression. But that thing where Jeeps turn off when you stop at a traffic light? OMG.


I have driven Jeeps a total of about 10 days this year, and NEVER AGAIN. Every single time I stop at a traffic light, I end up with a jolt of panic. WHY MUST THE CAR SHUT OFF. I know, I know … fuel conservation. But, have any of y’all ever driven a stick? Stalling when I’m supposed to be going is basically my manual engine nightmare. I get the shakes just thinking about being caught in traffic and stalling. THE JEEPS DO IT ON PURPOSE. I mean, I know they start right back up as soon as you take your foot off the brake, but my heart doesn’t know that. It’s too busy flipping out to listen to my logical brain.

Basically, me driving in traffic looks like a heart stress study. I am better equipped to handle a room full of hungry preschoolers who haven’t slept in days than I am to deal with a car that just … shuts off. I was in a near panic CONSTANTLY, to the point that I started taking back roads just so I wouldn’t come across any traffic lights.

By the way, I taught myself how to drive a stick by driving around on back roads in my old Ford Ranger when I was 14. I had my license at 14 because North Dakota is a weird place. I drove around at 2:00 in the morning, stalling constantly until eventually I didn’t. Why exactly the police officer who definitely saw me didn’t pull me over, I will never know. I only stalled four times in one block with him looking on … at age 14. At 2:00 in the morning.

And now let’s all freak out because Alexis will be 14 in a blink. She most definitely isn’t anywhere near being ready to drive a pickup truck by herself at 2:00 am …


Sharing is Dumb, Actually

T-ball season started today, which can we pause for a second and gag over how ridiculously adorable little kids are playing t-ball? I mean, OMG. I didn't think Mila could get cuter, but then she put on a baseball hat and matching t-shirt and I was done. DONE.

So adorable.

(Sorry, there is to be no photo of said cuteness because her t-ball look very specifically calls out a detail that doesn't exist on the internet. So.) (How vague was that? HA!)

T-ball, of course, starts at a time that is unreasonable because all little kids sports occur when I should be at work. Whatever, though. Joke's on t-ball because I've got Alexis' track practice ending when I should definitely be at work, so I'm already jumping through hoops to make it all work. T-ball is no big thing when I've got track to contend with. WATCH ME BALANCE THE PLATES. I GOT THIS.

Anyway, it starts stupid early, which means there's no feeding anybody dinner on time, so I stopped along the way to pick up snacks. It's not my first rodeo, so I know a 4-year old cannot possibly be expected to go an entire hour without food. Mila picked out cookies for her snack and I, like the mature adult I am, picked out Caramel M&Ms. A shareable size bag of them, at that. Because ADULT. We were in the car snacking our snacks as we drove to t-ball.

"Can I have some M&Ms?" Mila asked.

"No, I'm not nice enough to share," I replied. I was serious. You pick cookies, you eat cookies. Besides, they were Caramel M&Ms. I don't care if "shareable" is on the bag, they're not. It's a law somewhere that you have to eat the entire package all by yourself.

"Mom, sharing is caring. Don't you care about me?" Mila continued. Take a moment to bask in the glory of the passive-aggressiveness that she has displayed at the age of four. It's really impressive.

I am very well-versed at ignoring passive-aggressive. "I care enough to not give you candy you don't need, Mila." See what I did there? I WIN AT THIS GAME.

"Alexis shares with me. She's really nice," Mila continued.

"That's very nice of Alexis to share," I replied. I STILL WIN AT THIS GAME.

We continued back and forth for a few minutes, which happened to be juuuuust long enough for me to finish eating the entire bag of candy. Whoops! I reported the event to Mila.

"I've very disappointed in you, mom," she scolded.

I still have no regrets, except that I gave Mila practice at arguing her way into something. We're all in trouble if she gets better at it.