His Christmas Miracle came in the form of the Batcave and Batmobile from Santa, and all the little Batman guys to go along with it from his sister Kendall. He loves this thing and has spent his every waking moment playing with it or playing with it next.
My friend Sue was over last night playing with him and his Batcave because if you want to interact with him at all right now, you must play Batcave, and then you can be BFF's.
She said that they were loading up the Batmobile with Batman and she said to him, 'Let's put Robin in there with him since Robin is his sidekick and rides with Batman.'
She said that he turned to her and said, 'No, Robin laid an egg.'
Do you get it? Seriously. If you need the help...
Since Ethan is obsessed with all things superhero we would sing to him, 'Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. The Batmobile lost its wheel and the Joker got away, Hey!'
We are that childish...it's fun sometimes. Apparently he now thinks that Batman smells also, and the Batmobile is prone to losing a wheel, and that the Joker is a sly little fellow.
They love to come into my room after we have snuggled them all up with their supplies.
Water? Check? Peed?Check? Books? Check.
There is always something.
Tonight Ethan was, 'scared.' Impossible. His room in lit up like a freakin holiday light show spectacular. The smelly dog is in bed with him, and I made sure that he had his blankie and batman right up around him so that he is 'safe.' Not only that my light is on in my room and I was standing in the hallway in plain sight loading the washer. Back to bed!
The Morning Look, love it, because it is actually worse than mine, and that is tough. 'Uh Mommy, I can't sleep, Stanley is snoring too loud.''Uh, Kendall, I hate to break it to you, but there is Stanley, in your brothers bed chewing on a stuffed animal.' (the dog now has a terrible fetish with chewing the eyes and noses off of stuffed animals, its heart breaking)
K: Oh well, can I just stay in here with you? I promise I will go right to sleep, as she zones into the tv.
K: Well then I am going to read my books. (she makes big threats)
Me: That's fine, that's why I put them next to you.
K: I am going to go ahead and read a million books!
Me: Ok, have fun!
K: No, a thousand books!
Me: Even better
K: Then 21, 22, 23...
Me: Now you're talking
K: You'll be sorry, 25 books! I am going to read actually 20,30 books. (this is her number for 30)
Me: Ok, but that's alot of reading
K: I know, that's why I should stay here with you.
Me: Nope, I would rather you read, it's good for you, you will get a scholarship to college someday with those brains
K: Well I don't want these brains, why did you give them to me, all I want is no brains and to sleep with you.
Me: I'm sorry, it's going to be a tough tough road...now go to bed, brain surgeon
K: That is terrible, I am not going to be a sturgeon, that's a fish.
Me: My point exactly.
So me and my sistah decided on Saturday early afternoon that I needed to spend the gift card that I had received from BlogHer, from Home Goods, cause I blog for Blogher and they picked me; nanny nanny boo boo. Ok, so that was a little ridiculous, but I was super excited to be a recipient like they gave me thousands of dollars to spend; which if in fact they do want to go ahead and do this, I would be more than happy to shop again at Home Goods.
So we had a holiday party to be at that started at 3, so of course, in typical fashion we need to cram as much as we can possibly do into one day. So we headed out to Home Goods.
Once I walked over the threshold of this store I remembered just how much I love it. Now it is like a giant upscale flea market. Things are in designated areas, i.e., housewares, frames, furniture, bedding, kids things, I could go on and on, but the bargains are such that you can just not believe it. And it is random things, things you never thought you needed be now really really do, typical to being at a flea market, yard sale, so on and so forth, you know what I mean.
Now with three small children, I don't get a whole lot of time, if any, to just go random shopping, like Home Goods is perfect for. I need to know exactly what I am getting, how much it is going to cost, where it is located in the particular store, and get my fanny in and out of there before there is any time for major meltdowns, because you give them that time they will pull out all their tricks.
So being able to do this on Saturday was just splendid. I stripped my arms, waist, and mind of the children, and marched right to the store, I had a job to do...thanks for the awesome excuse. I highly recommend it. This was my Toy Store, my Amusement Park; I was a kid in a candy shop, all wide eyed. I seriously probably could have very well been committed if I verbalized just how excited I was, because it just isn't normal. And since I wanted to spend the hour or so I had in the store and not in the Psych Unit, I composed myself like I get to shop aimlessly without a care in the world all the time. I don't get out much, can you tell?
It is a store filled with things right up my alley. It is the perfect place to find a gift for a certain someone. I know, I sound like an advertisement, and in all honesty, I was given a gift card to do some holiday shopping there, but that is not why I am writing this review. You need to get yourself there, pronto. Most especially if you are redecorating a room in your home, need a gift for someone, just need to shop and aren't really sure what you really need. You will find something there.
For Blogher I posted my pics through Flickr, but I am more then willing to go ahead and post them here for you, my faithful readers. I gave you some gift ideas and you also get to see my super excited sister and also what I ended up getting with the gift card...I know, the excitement is just killing you.
So without further ado...
Willy Wonka's Overstock
Similar to my husband who purchased a GIANT tub on Double Bubble on an impulse, because our kids like gum.( Looks like he might grow real fond of dental bills), it looks like some buyer went a little crazy with the gumballs. This is to the Home Goods Shoppers delight. There is seriously every freakin flavor of gumball you could imagine. Mango, Plum, Kiwi, Coconut.
And there was green apple. I love me a green apple gumball.
See those ones on the bottom right hand corner? Those would be some sweet, literally, stocking stuffers. $3.99. That's 4 bucks for some gourmet gumballs.
The jars would be a cute little idea for a coworker with a desk, you know so if you are a like a mailman, maybe not so much. But you know if you are looking for something small for someone just to let them know, 'Hey listen, Have a Merry Christmas,' this would be a pretty decent little gift.
The jars of gumballs varied by size, but none were more than $10. Who doesn't want something fun on their desk to give out to visitors, clients, coworkers, your boss? It might just save you your job. That boss of yours might be coming in your office to give you the old heave ho, he pops in gourmet gumball to wet his whistle, and since it is just that good he thinks, 'this creep deserves a second chance.' I don't know, but it could happen.
It is also good for when you are having a pretty crap shoot of a day, just reach in that jar that sits upon your desk and just pop one in, blow some bubbles, it's really not that bad after all.
You don't have to pay me for these gift ideas, it's on the house. Thank Home Goods.
The Rainbow Connection
I happen to be in the market for a new tea pot. I really like bright colored pieces that just pop in an otherwise dull area, like a stove top.
Let's face it, metal tea pots do not last forever. They get all funky with the minerals from the water, some get rusty over time. No one wants a rusty glass of mineral tea. This is what mine had become...10 years later.
These are just cute. Their little pot belly look just wants you to get your favorite mug, a friend, and some muffins. I enjoyed both of these. They were $24.99.
Know someone who needs a tea pot? Grab one of these, get some flavored teas, maybe some freshly baked muffins, and voila! Perfect Present!
I get weak in the knees when I see a set of dishes that are just so wonderful. Like these. These are wonderful to me. I love accent pieces that match in some way but aren't matchy matchy, like the pitcher, the mugs with the flowers, and those square plates. Excuse me? Square plates. Love.
See that little serving piece with the ribbon? Remember that...I am in love with them. That one up there on the back shelf is $7.99.
Look at those little bumps on the edges of the plates, and the little creasing detail on them, and the imperfections that make it unique. I looked at my sister and she immediately asked, 'can you register here?'
I don't know. But I would think not. The purpose of Home Goods is deals on overstocked items from really great stores, and that is what makes them so great. Their turnover is fast, so if you like something, scoop it up, you can't afford not to.
If I had had the cash flow you know, like 6 days before Christmas to indulge, I would have indulged her in these. When you add up all the prices of each piece they are clearly cheaper then any set you would get elsewhere for this quality.
Just sit and stare at them. Go grab yourself some coffee. Go to Home Goods and get them. So, so wonderful.
Bowl of Excellence
Who does not like a decorative bowl? Raise your hand. And at that, who does not like a nice clean and crisp white bowl that goes with everything?
This one is a little special due to its shape and it's nice ripple edge. This would have gone to my sister Michelle because she too appreciates a nice decorative bowl.
Gift Idea for this baby: Fill this sucker up with some candies. Who does not like some candy on the holidays? Yummy. Or fill it with those clear glass rocks...now follow me....and get a gift card to a specialty grocery store, somewhere fancier then your neighborhood food store, and stick it in there with those rocks so they hold it and make a fancy presentation. This way they can go there and get some ingredients to make something to serve in this bowl. Nice little hostess gift if you do stuff like that. Or a sweet little gift for someone who likes to host parties, or just cook in general. Or just for someone who likes a decorative bowl, and candy.
Explosion of Cuteness
We turned down this one aisle of housewares, we spent alot of time in housewares since I am obsessed with housewares, I could walk around in there all day long. In my head I am planning parties, themes, what we will eat, what I will place on each plate, what I will fill each giant glass jar with. Seriously it was sensory overload. I could have spend hundreds of dollars brought it all home, sat it all around me and just stared at it all for hours, completely elated.
Now they had these little cake plates in all shapes and sizes with all colors of polka dot ribbon intertwined in the lattice edge. Immediately in my head I had them stacked up, largest to smallest crowned with beautifully decorated cupcakes for a tea party.
This plate was $10. I don't make these things up.
Gift Idea: You know someone who likes to make cupcakes? Or wants to like to make cupcakes? Get this plate, get some cake mix, get some sprinkles and some fanciful cupcake pan liners, and if you really want to get all creative get them one of the books, 'Hello Cupcake', or the new one, 'What's new Cupcake?', or both, and you know just put it all together, with that clear gift wrap, gather it at the top with a big fat ribbon, and then maybe tie on the outside a spatula or something thrown in there for flare. I like flare. This would be a perfect holiday, birthday, or wedding shower gift. Go at it.
Who doesn't like a Pitcher? People here in Philadelphia like a certain pitcher by the name of Cliff Lee, but if you really aren't into sports like me, then you like this type, or maybe you don't, and that is fine, but you still have to read about mine.
The one on the left is 10 bucks. 10 bucks, no lie. This one would have gone to my mother in law. I can picture her filling it with her iced tea. Are you like me? Do you look at an object, know who you would give it to and immediately know all of the accessories you would give with it? I would have filled the pitcher with lemons, gotten some boxed iced tea bags of different flavors, gotten one of those clear plastic wrapping things that you gather over the object, gotten a big old piece of ribbon and tied it at the top and sat it on her lap. She would LOVE it.
The one of the right, I think that was $15. Had I chosen this, it would have gone to my Mom Mom. She too likes herself a pitcher to fill with a cool drink or some wildflowers in the summer, and yellow just happens to be here favorite color. For a gift I would have gone and gotten her a real cheap poinsettia, clipped the stem and flower off and filled this pitcher with them, and tied a big fat red ribbon around the middle. Merry Christmas Mom Mom.
Feel free to take any of my ideas...I got your back this holiday season.
Because I like Orange & Coffee Mugs
Recently my favorite coffee mug was broken by an undisclosed rugrat who frequents my home. Well, he lives here. My husband mocked me saying I shouldn't have had it out around them if I didn't want it broken. I'll remember that, that's a clever little retort that makes no sense. It was out because I drink coffee in my favorite coffee mug, I wasn't going to make a shrine around it.
This mug is pretty cute.Most especially for $2.99 I really like random pieces in my dishware. It really makes having a dinner party a bit of a mismatched sloppy mess, but I am ok with that.
And I really like the color orange. I wish I were brave enough to paint a room in my house orange. But I'm not.
The Fanciful Disguised Hookah Pipe
Now this is very clever. This hookah pipe disguised as a tea pot. 'No Mom, we were just getting ready to have some tea...you sit in a circle with all of your friends and pass around the tea pot, and we all have some sips, I'm not hallucinating, it is walking around on it's own, it has four feet.'
It is, um, creative for a tea pot, because that is really what it is, duh, I know that. There is a whole shelf full of them, see? This one was my favorite though, given that it was four feet with these really cool boots on.
I want to know when Johnny Weir got his own holiday themed doll? Is it because he now judges on 'Skating with the Stars?' I also want to know who wants a Johnny Weir holiday doll sitting on their mantel. Go ahead, comment, I will lead you to one right away, because I want to meet you. (you know this isn't really him, right? But doesn't it look just like him? I don't want all you Johnny lovers running to Home Goods and asking for the Johnny Weir holiday doll, and I also don't want Johnny upset thinking he missed out on some cha ching.)
Oh Afternoon Delight
We rounded the corner, our cart filled with goods to make a decision on. We just wanted to take a peek at the little girl holiday dresses, that's all, it was innocent, no ulterior motives. And what should our wondering eyes see? We then saw the circular rack of these lovelies and the cart was abandoned, the decision was made. Kendall, my daughter, was now the recipient of the blessed gift card expenditure. What a lucky girl. I wish they had it in my size. Well...ok...maybe just to wear around the house...or like maybe to a party. Hello, Cyndi? Cyndi Lauper is this from your closet?
Now this is the ghost of fashion's past holiday gift to my fashionista daughter. No lie. Look for the skirt. She will be wearing it everywhere we go for the next year, yet we will never tire of it. It is that great.
Knee Highs, Baby
Knee Highs, funky knee highs at that. Who doesn't like a pair of funktified knee highs to go with their tulle skirt? I can't think of one person. It's that fabulous.
The Eager Assistant
***She will want me to state that for the record there is no make up on her face and her hair is not done in this photo...she is this beautiful all on her own.***
My sister. Wondering why she endured this shopping experience with me and got nothing from me for her out of it. It's terribly unfair, I think she wanted a tulle skirt too.
So there you have it. I went out for this spenditure without my cling ons and came out purchasing something for one of them.
All of that can be yours for $25 and under...go crazy.
I love chubby babies.
I love rolls, I love indents, I love when the big fat belly just rest on the thighs when they are sitting. I love droopy cheeks, and I love when their little rolls looks like marshmallows all stacked up on top of one another.
Another one of my favorite things is bathing one of my babies in the kitchen sink. It's perfectly made for the little sitter. It's also perfectly made for my back since leaning over a bathtub is not one of its favorite activities. Another Mama Silent Woe. We lean over the tub because we need to bathe our children. We don't ever say a darn thing about it because what is there to say about it? It needs to be done.
Usually by the time I get up close to the tub to scrub them down there is a nice puddle or flood, if you will, on the bathroom floor surrounding the tub that I for some reason continually forget about leaving me with soaking wet pants. Then for another strange reason I become completely soaked like I am in some wet tee shirt contest that I would never ever win. Because let's face it, my hair is stacked on my head in some pony tail that is held together by a silly band I passed on the way into the bathroom. I am in an over sized tee shirt that says, 'Life is Simple. Eat.Sleep.Bowl.,' because I go bowling all the time? I have mascara running down my face from the flogging I have endured while bathing these beasts, and I am in yoga pants that are soaked, looking like I peed myself. This is not your champion.
Oh but then there is the rollie pollie ollie in the sink.
His fat just plops into the drain becoming a suction that keeps him in the sitting position quite well. That is my new invention. Little holes in cushions that with a switch become somewhat of a vacuum and hold the teetering newly sitting baby in place. It will also hold the child wanting to move and crawl and their mama isn't quite ready for it in place as well. My disclaimer is that the child must be diapered, otherwise they will have this permanent ring on their bum for the rest of their lives.
Please stop growing so fast my little meatball. You will outgrow the sink. You will cause my aching back more pain. You will start give me a hard time, you will start to walk and talk soon. Stay my little wuzzle just a wee bit more.
'Who must know the way to make a proper home, a quiet home, a kosher home?'
Christmas tends to bring this out of us. We must do it this way! I am a big tradition follower and also making them on our own for our little family. I look back on Christmas and there are things growing up that consistently happen every Christmas, and if it doesn't well it just doesn't feel the same. It's a rigid way to celebrate the holidays, I know, but you have to to what you have to do.
I can remember when I was really young we went to church where our entire family went to church because that is where you went to church. Each year we would have the Christmas Nativity. One year I was even Mary and got to ride a donkey. That is something. As Kendall says it, I was, 'Mary, the Mother of Jesus.' This is how she refers to her. Joseph is Joseph and the Wise Men, the Wise Men, but Mary, she is Mary the Mother of Jesus. She must have loads of respect for her, as we should.
Anyway, as I was saying, each year we would reenact this on Christmas Eve for the children's service that they have. Each year we would have sugar cookies and milk during the service. I don't know, I don't know why this correlates to the Nativity and Christ's birth but, I would seriously break all out in these cold sweats, stomach turning. I would get all anxious knowing and thinking I had to eat these cookies, like they were communion bread and wine. The milk was warm, whole, milk, almost curdled and the cookies were so sickly sweet that my teeth just wanted to rot right there on the spot. I would go to bed sick every Christmas Eve praying that I wouldn't barf because that is terrible to be barfing when Santa is coming. When we went to a new church and just held candles and didn't have to drink the dreadful cookies and milk on Christmas Eve I sang the Christmas Hymns at the top of my lungs, so joyous, Hark those Herald Angels! But it was tradition, and every Christmas Eve I think of that milk and cookies, it will never leave me and I puke a little in my mouth.
So we do many traditions with the offspring around the holidays. Hopefully I will get to share a bit of them with you as we go through it, we'll see, you never know who is going to go and have an all out bad day threatening a butt load of coal to be expressed delivered, and enabling me to not get a thing done and therefore not post.
So you must start with decorating, who does not decorate every room in their house? Yes, I am an overzealous decorating fool who does indeed decorate her children's rooms stringing lights around head boards and little knick kancks here and there. Sugar.Plums.Dancing.In.Heads.
We recently went to obtain a Christmas tree with the children. It happened to be frigid that day. But you know, according to tradition, we must get out there, get ourselves a real tree, cut it down, make sure it is just the right one to have as the gift bearer this holiday season.
So we bundle them all up, each of them resembling the child in the Christmas Story. Arms out to the side, not able to put them down because of the layers, it was ridiculous. I, of course, think this is hilarious and keep bringing their arms to their side and watching them pop back up. They don't think its too silly.
And we just can't have a fake tree. Give me a break. We need the real one, the one that has all the needles that fall all over the floor. The ones that burn out your vacuum cleaner. The ones that you are still finding nestled between your carpet and trim in July.
So we walk, we walk with the tree hauler, the saw, the children, the stroller, all of us, to find the perfect tree. In typical fashion at the first nice looking tree Andy turns and says, 'how about this one?' In a field of hundreds of trees he is going to stop at the first one. It never fails. It took me an hour to get everyone together in their warm weather wear, we are not stopping at the first tree, we are just not. So we trudge on.
'My feet hurt.'
'It hurts to breathe.'
'My nose is cold.'
'Why are we doing this?'
'Why does Jacob get to ride in the stroller?'
I ignore all of it. However, at one point I turn to my little cherubs and say, 'This is what we do. This is tradition. We will bring your children to cut down a tree, you will bring their children to cut down a tree. No one in the history of our little family will have an artificial tree at Christmas, now get it together, Christmas time is cold, that's they way it is.'
Ethan stops at this one. He likes the color of it. I do too if you like the look of a dead tree. I told him that we could get that one, but we couldn't put any lights on it, because this kind of tree would burst into flames when Mommy puts her 1,000 lights on it.
**This is also what it looks like when a 3 yr. old boy has to pee and says he doesn't. With all the trees available...he waits until we get back to the car.**
So he moved on.
You know the drill. Too fat, too tall, too many holes, too skinny, I don't like the needle type. And then we find one. Ta Da! A little haircut will do it some ddo, but its perfection, that and the baby was starting to scream.
'Not fair, is not having a tree on Christmas. Rejoice. This is Jacob's first Christmas, this is fun.'
So on we go. We get back to the car, and I know it. I know Andy will say it. He does every year.'The tree is so small. I think we got too small of a tree, the guy wrapped it up in seconds, it's too small.'
Does he not know who he is married too? I am like the crazy holiday decorator, I am in the woman in the Target commercial running all over the store. I know what size tree we need.
Later that night after a friend get together, we returned home to the Christmas Tree to decorate it. I promised Kendall had she fallen asleep in the van on the way, I would wake her up. I know, right? It's like telling a bomb you will be back to watch it explode. But I did, I woke her up, and she raced inside. I also tried to wake Ethan up and he replied, 'Leave me alone!' I said, 'we are going to decorate the Christmas Tree, are you ok with missing that?' He screamed, 'Yes! Let me sweep!' Alright, so now we know we have to fight just a little bit harder with this soldier to hammer tradition into his head. Duly noted.
So after the hanging of the 1,000 lights, we were ready to decorate. About 10:30 she asks, 'Mommy are you sleepy, cause I am, you can finish this for me if you aren't.' It's like clock work. You make them think that you desperately need their help to decorate the tree, you get them when they are tired, they help because it is exciting, but they are tired, so their memory is a little fuzzy, you send them to bed, free reign to decorate. They wake up in the morning, tree is done, they proclaim, 'Look at how we decorated the tree, its perfect!' Get that 'we' in there? It is perfect.
Here's hoping that your traditions are going just as swimmingly.