A Season for Dress Up

Whether at our Ward party or G&G Great's Christmas Eve soiree, my Things embraced every opportunity to don a pageantic disguise.

Thing 1 . . .
. . . as Mary . . .
. . . and an angel.

Thing 2 . . .
. . . as a shepard . . .
. . . and Joseph.

Thing 3 . . .
. . . as an angel.

Thing 4 . . .
. . . as sweaty Santa.


The latest portraits

My local JCPenney's Portrait Studio must be under new management. I've been 3 times in the last 2 months (only twice for my kids,) and each visit has been almost a pleasure. Enjoy the results . . .

Thing 4 is 6 months old (well, 7 months now, but the photos are a month old.) He enjoys drooling, playing with tags on stuffed animals, and sleeping erratically. He has yet to cut any teeth, he doesn't sit up unassisted, and he's stingy with his giggles.

MISSING: Thing 3

Fear not, only her photo is missing. It will be posted in late May, after being taken for her 4th birthday.

Thing 2 is 6 years old. He enjoys 1/2 day Kindergarten and walking/running home after school with(out) his big sister. He's an excellent toilet scrubber, bedmaker, and dinosaur tamer.

Thing 1 is now 9 years old. She enjoys hardbacks, paperbacks, and magazines. She would prefer for someone else to take piano lessons, unload the dishwasher as needed, and do her laundry.


And then she went to bed . . .

. . . or is that chair?

What is it with kids and sleep? Somehow they manage to rest regardless of the position they nod off in.

Case in point below. Thing 3 was tired of waiting for me to get off the phone with Nana so she put herself down for a nap.

Or is that stood herself up?

Time for cocoa

Things 1-3 wanted hot cocoa before bed. I think they got tired of waiting.


The newest Who

I say there's nothing wrong with dressing like a Dr. Suess character. As long as you still wear footed jammies, that is.


Coming off the sugar high

Need evidence that my pantry has significantly fewer treats than my in-laws'? Just walk in and feel the fine grains of white sugar crunch under your feet. 

Apparently one of my Things needed a fix so bad they went for the pure stuff. What's next? Intravenous high fructose corn syrup? My little addicts are in serious need of an intervention. 

I'm hoping a child-safe knob cover for the pantry door and mean-face threats of extreme punishment for any vermin/insect infestation is enough. Any other ideas?


See a penny, pick it up . . . oh, just shoot me instead!

Anytime I feel like my penny-pinching, bargain-hunting, coupon-cutting, deal-finding, sale-shopping, dollar-stretching neurosis is on the verge of controlling me I just link over to the newest blog on my frequent read list: 

Instant relief! And justification. And strong indication of all the progress I've made.

Oh, yes . . . I too used to keep track of all my coupon savings and survey/rebate earnings. Yes, I used to save every receipt for monthly bank/credit card statement reconciliation after conveniently recording every transaction on a detailed spreadsheet - I had a very complicated system, complete with highlighters and paperclips. And yes, I even tracked regular and sale prices at all the local stores so I knew a real bargain when I saw it - my Palm contained oh-so-much more than just my to-do list and friends & family contact information.

But then I got a life - a very, very busy life. One that demands time and attention devoted to Primary, PTA, and piano lessons, soccer and silver jewelry making (yes, I love creative use of alliteration), homework and housework, blogging and breastfeeding (lots and lots of time on that last one.) 

With no pause-button available, and only a finite 24 hours available in a single day, something had to give. 

Surprisingly enough my checking account hasn't imploded even though my register has been off by $1.50 the last 8 times I balanced it. And American Express hasn't started erroneously billing me for products and services I didn't purchase, even though it's been 15 months since I last matched my receipts to statement charges (as far as I know, anyway . . . what's that they say about ignorance?) Our accounts are solvent, our bills paid on time, our spending/saving habits healthy . . . isn't that enough? Doesn't my time saved = money earned?

Don't get me wrong - it's not like I ignore blatant money-saving opportunities or go on wild spending sprees. I still coupon stack with the best of them (love, love, love couponmom.com). I still check my receipts before I walk out of the store to make sure I wasn't overcharged (most of the time, anyway - just today I was overcharged $2.99/lb. for tomatoes - but as part of my new zen (aka, too-tired-to-care) attitude I decided to let it go.) And yes, I still spend many, many minutes (ok, hours) comparison shopping online. 

But now when it gets to be compulsive I stop by Carrie's site for a little perspective. It makes me feel much better when I am reminded that my need for all things discounted could be much worse.


The Joe I know

The last time I saw Lauren (my sister) and Joe (her husband) is when we were all in Hawaii for Christmas 2005.

Although Joe had been to Hawaii a couple times prior, he had yet to experience all things quintessentially local. A visit to Zippy's - restaurant and bakery extraordinary - was definitely in order.

Our lunch stop started out uneventfully enough. We ordered at the counter and found a small booth in which to sit and eat. Then, halfway through the meal Joe gets up, empty cup in hand, and leaves the table without a word. Moments later he returns with a full beverage and continues his meal.

I was confused. Very uncharacteristically of myself I had conserved my own drink because Zippy's didn't have a self-serve beverage fountain, nor did they offer free refills (yes, I'm that cheap.) Joe hadn't taken his wallet with him when he got up, so how did he end up with a full cup? Upon inquiry Joe explained he simply walked up to the girl at the counter and told her that he had paid for a cup of root beer, not a cup of ice. She promptly filled his cup and apologized for the inconvenience.

I've told that story more times than I can remember. I was so surprised by Joe's simple approach. While I would've sat at the table and whined (maybe only internally, maybe not) about the amount of ice displacing potential Diet Coke in my cup, Joe thought nothing of remedying the situation. How very logical, . . . and memorable - enough so that Courtney and I bought him an A&W t-shirt months later in commemoration of his stand-up performance.

And then again . . .

Earlier this week Joe and I made an emergency trip to Best Buy. He needed a new computer and had only a couple of hours before he boarded a plane for Arizona. The laptop that appealed to him was sold out, with only the display model available at an additional discount. It would come with no box and no manual. No big deal- all the computer info is available online and the box just ends up in the recycling bin. I would've been content to accept the situation as it was, but not Joe. Instead he turned it to his advantage by quickly asking the sales guy for a discount on a computer bag, since the laptop didn't come with a box. The sales guy obliged and Joe bought a laptop.

Once again Joe left me astounded and remembering that to get what you want, sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Back in the blog

My blog hiatus is finally over - I'm sure you are all thrilled.  Sorry to keep you in suspense.

We arrived back in California on the evening of New Year's Day. Lauren and Joe, and their daughter, Sidonie (3), arrived shortly after we did.  They're in process of moving from London to Prescott, AZ and decided to grace us with their presence while living in limbo.

Things 1-3 are so excited to have a cousin in the house.  Thing 4 is teething/fighting a cold and probably couldn't care less . . . poor kid. But as long as he gets his bananas, blankie, and a boob he should be just fine. 

We've spent the last week un-Christmas-ing the house (I've got at least another week of work to go) and getting back into a more typical routine.  School, piano lessons, kid chores, activity days, homework, grocery-ing, PTA, laundry, vacuuming, church . . . how did I ever think life would be less busy once the holidays were over?