2018 total (so far): $3184.98


I need to do the math so I can add the Christmas Crazy total (so far!) to the sidebar over there ----> but you should go do some shopping so I can math fewer times, please and thank you!


I've probably mentioned a time or ten that Mila is the best, but that's only because she is. The kid is sunshine wrapped in joy, dipped in happiness. Even when she's angry, she's so darn cute it hurts. And, fortunately, she's not angry all that often. When she is? She literally says, "I'm literally angry at you right now," and how can you be annoyed by that?

Which is all to say, and I realize that typing these words will jinx me instantly, Mila isn't a terrible 4-year old. I KNOW! IT'S SHOCKING! I didn't realize it until about two hours ago, but somehow we're managing to dodge the worst of four with her.

Which, those of you with younger kids, four is the age you should fear. Two is a picnic compared to four. Two is only terrible because of the communication challenges. Two-year olds mean well. Four-year olds are intent on destroying your world AND THEY KNOW IT.

Except, Mila seems to have backed off of the destruction. Maybe she's just "advanced" for her age? Or she got it out of her system early? I'm not entirely sure, but it has been months since I've been concerned she was going to burn the house down. The lighters and matches are still all hidden, but making sure they're hidden no longer keeps me up at night.

So either Mila's destruction mode is wearing out or my tolerance for her destruction is increasing. We won't know until she's safely made it to adult-hood without being convicted of arson. STAY TUNED.

And go buy some Christmas Crazy stuff because Mila helping me open boxes is just about the cutest thing ever. She doesn't care that the toys aren't staying; she's in it for the suprise that comes at opening.


I Salute You, Parker

Christmas Crazy is still going. You should clicky clicky and helpy helpy because nothing feels as good as making someone else's day better.


Floor hockey is going about as well as can be expected for Mila. She spends the hour running around like her pants are on fire and she's really very happy about it. She doesn't seem to realize that I'm in it for the memories, though. I'm looking for her to do something totally ridiculous or awesome or whatever, but NOPE. She refuses. She just runs around.

This other kid, though. He gets me.

Let's call him Parker because that's his name. I know it's his name because his parents (yes, both of them) spend the entire hour correcting him from the sidelines. He gets instructions to hit the ball to the left or right or run this way or that way and SHOOOOOOT! They're very invested in the whole thing is what I'm saying. It entertains me muchly.

This last session, though, the entertainment value went through the roof.

Parker and I could definitely be friends because he doesn't care. He's at hockey to have a little fun and he really doesn't give a hoot if he's having fun the way other people think he should do it. Thus, he holds his hockey stick all sorts of wonky. I mean, he's either 3 or 4 years old, so I'm thinking the only way he can hold it WRONG is to hold it while smashing someone over the head. If it's near the ground, GOOD JOB, PARKER.

His mom and dad disagree. More power to them, of course, because if they want to keep yelling, "Left hand on top!" and "Put your hands down lower!" and "Hold your stick with both hands!" and the like, I'm going to sit there eating popcorn and enjoying their brand of crazy. I just can't make myself care about anything as much as they care about how Parker holds his stick. It's great.

So they yelled at Parker for a solid half hour this past week. In what can only be considered a TOTAL BOSS MOVE, Parker decided he was done. The little man went from mostly participating to suddenly not AT ALL. With a flourish, he threw his hockey stick to the ground. He firmly planted his hands on his hips. He turned to face his mom and dad and then glared at them for a solid five minutes. He didn't move or blink or care AT ALL that there was still hockey going on around him. He had a point to make and he made it in the most glorious way possible. By glaring and not doing anything they told him to do.

Good job, Parker. May we all have the courage to show the control freaks in our life that we won't let their crazy control us.


Dreamy Chocolate Cookies

I live in pretty much the only house lacking outdoor Christmas decor right now, so CAN'T BLOG NEW CONTENT MUST WORK ON LIGHTS.


These cookies are an old Christmas standby because they are extremely reliable and most excellent.

Dreamy Chocolate Cookies

(Makes approximately 36 cookies)

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cups baking cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl at low speed.

3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.

4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture and mix at low speed until well combined.

5. Drop the cookie dough by heaping teaspoon onto your cookie sheet. If you want smoother/prettier cookies, roll each spoonful of dough into a ball and then flatten with the palm of your hand.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

7. Allow the cookies to cool for 1-2 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.


2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon butter, softened
Crushed candy canes

1. Mix the powdered sugar, milk, butter, and peppermint extract in a medium bowl with a hand mixer at low speed. Add more milk if you want it runnier or more powdered sugar if you want it thicker. It's your choice.

2. Spread a small bit of icing on top of the cookie. Pour crushed candy canes into the palm of one of your hands and then take the iced side of the cookie and smoosh it into the candy cane pieces.

3. For the plain Dreamy Chocolate Cookies, find a small cookie cutter with a wide edge (plastic ones often work best). Place the cookie cutter on top of the cookie and then dust with powdered sugar by using a flour sifter. Take the cookie cutter off and you should be left with the outline of the cookie cutter.