Thursday, December 18, 2014

66 weeks

Some moms in my local mom group still talk about their almost-three-year-olds in months.  "Johnny is 34 months old today!."  I feel weird saying Hamburglar is 15 months.  So, when people ask me how old he is, it normally takes me a moment to answer while I try to figure out how many months he is and whether I should say one, one and a half, or maybe one and a quarter?  When he was six months old, I would just tell people, "half."  Because it was funny.

Now that our Christmas tree has been up for almost two weeks, most of the candy canes have been pulled off the tree and had their tops broken off and the ornaments have been moved higher and higher up the tree as a certain 15-month-old (who shall not be named) removes them and brings them over to me.  We got our standard six foot tree, but now that it's up and I know things I didn't know a few weeks ago, I wish I had done two things differently:
1) I wish we had purchased a four foot tree and put it on a table so it would be harder for baby paws to reach.
2) I should have used yarn to hang the ornaments rather than ornament hooks.  (I could still do this, but I'm also incredibly lazy, so it is very unlikely that this will occur.)

So, there you go.  For all you mamas out there that are going to have walkers and crawlers next Christmas, thing about these things.  I also kind of wish I had waited a bit to put out the stockings.  I mean, they were hung by the chimney with care, until tiny little toddler hands pulled them down over and over and over again.

I am pretty much done with Christmas shopping (I do it year round).  I still am on the look out for dog beds (they tend to destroy them) and I'm thinking of just hitting the thrift store and getting them quilts or blankets or something for their kennels.  I would like to get them another Bark Box, but we are trying to not spend tons of money since we are still on a single income and blah blah blah.  I also found this cool thing called Kiwi Crate, which is like a Bark Box for kids!  Little Miss Adventure's birthday is in January, and we are thinking about getting her a 3-month subscription.  Because kids love receiving mail.

Now, for the Christmas Breakdown:

For Chumbercules:
1) We got a couple wind-up toys for his stocking and a toothbrush and a little wooden car with wheels.
2) Santa is bringing him this wooden rocking horse (we got it for $23!  Um... I mean Santas elves are totally building it right now)
3) RC Willey was having a flash sale and we scored this super rad fire engine play set for $20!  We haven't put it together yet, but I hope the little man is as excited about it as I am.
4) The moms in my group with toddlers all swear by books like Little Blue Truck and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site.
5) I love Mo Willems books.  I'm particular fond of the Elephant and Piggie series.  And Can I Play, Too? is hilarious.

For the Little Miss:
1) She is still struggling a bit with reading (her dad and I were both super early readers, so we are constantly trying to think of ways to help her figure things out) so we got her a LeapReader.  It has a pen that you upload the stories to or something and if they struggle with a word, they can use the pen to help them.  We also got the Cinderella LeapReader book to go along with it, because she still totally digs princesses.
2) I got her a really nice duvet cover, duvet and flannel sheets.  I'm not sure that she will love them a ton, but they're so soft, she will be super cozy in her bed all winter, so that's exciting.
3) Are you familiar with the Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle?  It's super funny.  In the first book, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, the main character meets a snarky Unicorn and wishes for it to be her best friend.  It's written graphic-novel style.
4) I realized we didn't really get her any toys, so we got her a Monster High Doll (Lagoona Blue, daughter of the Sea Monster!)
5) And she doesn't have any male Barbies and these went on sale, so Ever After High dolls!
6) For her stocking, I found some thin, metal bangles, some nail polish, a tooth brush and I don't remember what other little things.

And we bought this pint-sized broom for the kids to share.  Because kids love to sweep, right?  I figure we should take advantage of their desire to help.

We are also getting a family pass to the Discovery Center.  And Mr. Adventure's stocking is never complete without his annual bottle of Beard Oil (we are trying a new oil this year).  And our younger dog, the one that eats all of our socks, has purchased us all socks this year.

So, there you go.  Every Christmas, I feel simultaneously that I'm getting too much and not enough.  I'm assuming it will feel even more like too much once it is all under the tree.

If I don't post before next week, Merry Christmas!  And Happy Hanukkah.  It's the festival of lights, y'all.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

... is a pain in the ass.

We had big plans for the weekends.  We were going to get our tree and see Santa and maybe go ice skating on Saturday.  It was going to be sooo amazing and Christmas-y.  We would be all bundled up in our coats and sip hot chocolate as the kids ran around... the Little Miss (LMA) looking for the perfect tree (while inevitably picking a Charlie Brown tree) and the baby wandering around until he knocked over a tree or tripped over one or whatever cute things babies do.  I don't know.

We were all up early on Saturday.  I fed the kids and looked to see what time the tree lots opened.  We like to support local businesses and causes with our purchases, so we decided to go to the Rescue Mission to get our tree, but they didn't open until ten.  At 9:30, Hamburglar was demonstrating his need of a nap, so we laid him down.  He woke up at 11:00.

We left the house and went to the Mission.  Where it was $60 for a 5-6 foot tree (we have 7 foot ceilings, because our house was built in 1950 and people were little then, I guess.  Or they just really liked having ceilings they could reach up and touch.  I mean, it DOES make for easy dusting).  We are a single income household and $60 for a tree is crazy.  But I had read about a place across town that allegedly had trees for $20.  So we drove across town, stopping at various tree lots along the way who all had prices starting around $40 or more.  We made it to the $20 place across town, but the address was a greenhouse that was obviously closed for the season.  I had seen a place when I picked up LMA from school on Friday that was advertising $30 trees, so we went over there.  The kids wandered around, there was another couple there with their 7 year old daughter and <year old baby who were admiring Hamburglar's fedora (Target.  $8.  He has a rather varied collection of fancy caps and hats).  We picked out our tree (it was crooked on top!  Perfect!) and when I went to pay, the fellas told me they were a cash or check only operation.  We had to use our Christmas Tree cash on a situation, so we were tree shopping on credit.

By this point, I had to use the restroom and we were all really hungry.  I think it was 12 or 12:30.  We decided to stop at the next lot we saw and, upon pulling up, LMA said, "this is where me and mommy and *mom's boyfriend* got our tree."  Mr. Adventure looked at me.  I asked him if he wanted to go somewhere else and he said, "I know it's petty, but yes."

So, we ended up at the same lot we've been to for the past 3 years.  The people there were really nice and we found a great tree for $30 pretty much instantly.

Next was food.  Mr. A had talked about a super delicious pizza place that had cheap lunches that was just down the street, so we stopped there.  They only do the lunch deal during the week and only offer whole pies on the weekend, and they were $20 each-ish.  So, we went to the Argentinian empanada place, which was so crowded there were no tables, and we got our food to go.

After lunch, Chumbercules was ready for a nap.  So, we laid him down around 2 and he slept until about 4.  Then we brought in the tree and decorated and made dinner and whatever, determining we would put off Santa until the following day.  I had also wanted to hit the library to get some books and take the kids to the library puppet show, but Chumby needed to nap.  So, we decided to see Santa Sunday.  But that didn't happen either.  At least we made it to the library.

Also, I heard the Santa I wanted to see wasn't in his sleigh on Saturday anyway.  He was at the local running store or something.

In other news...

Since we put up the tree I feel like I've told Hamburglar not to touch the ornaments about 1000 times.  He has removed and broken three candy canes (and the way he does it is hilarious) and he's been learning new words like crazy.  He said rooster the other day while looking at a rooster.  He knows  owl.  He says "diggle diggle" when he's tickling people and he will say "you're welcome" but it comes out more like "gell-come."

We are still working on weaning.  We've been down to just the before-bed feeding for a long time, and he's not ready to give it up yet.  But I'm ready!  My goal for this last leg was 15 months, which gives us 9 days.  Wish us luck!