Not it!

Tonight was Paul’s night to do baths, and as a total coincidence, it was Simon’s first time trying pasta. The fact that I wasn’t in charge of bathing him had nothing to do with me making the decision to just hand over the bowl and let him feed himself. I promise. I wouldn’t do that. Really. Meh, I had to clean up the kitchen afterward, so we were even.

Here’s the results*. I think he enjoyed himself.

*I love Instagram. Love it.

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Splish Splash

If you had told me 9 months ago that my boys would be best friends, I would have laughed, and then cried because my third trimester hormones would have kicked in, making me believe that I was ruining Declan’s life by adding a sibling to our family. Or because we didn’t have a full bag of Oreos. Whatever, I would have cried over something. But alas, here we are, and so far, they really seem to love each other. One of their favorite times of day is bath time. They could hang out in there til the water turns to ice (what water isn’t on the floor or on Paul or me), just laughing and splashing.

Here’s a video of their shenanigans. Declan is blowing on Simon, making him cold. And Simon is just trying to play with his “favorite bath toy” (hint: It’s EVERY boy’s favorite bath toy and it goes with them everywhere. Get it? His junk.) Enjoy.

 

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My list

Now that the holidays are upon us, it’s time to start making lists. Lists for Santa, lists for grandparents, lists for me to lose somewhere between the house and my car, lists of lists in my blog. Whoa. That was meta.

Anyway.

I’ve been keeping mental and virtual wish lists of gift ideas for Declan and Simon, but it occurred to me that what’s missing is what I want to play with.

I don’t mean what I want for Christmas (that’s a different list altogether). I mean what toys would make ME the happiest. Because let’s face it, as a stay-at-home mom, my life is affected by what toys come in and out of this place, and dammit, I want a say-so. If I have to get them out, put them away, keep them charged, find all the damn pieces to them and the worst part, PLAY with them, I want some input.

Declan wants all the standard 3.5-year-old boy stuff, and most of it is ok. Skates, a scooter, Stompeez, specifically, and basically everything else he’s seen on TV, in ads and in stores for the past 3 months. But if I’m going to be forced to play with and clean up most of the plastic crap that will be filling up our toy room, I’d like to enjoy myself occasionally.

So here’s my list of things I want from Santa, and some things that the old fat man can keep to himself and his elves in his igloo in the snow.

Must-Haves for Mom

Pottery Barn Kids Red Retro Kitchen

Of course I want this. And for $700, it better make one hell of a breakfast.

A Dollhouse

If I’m going to spend most of my day laying around on the floor, I at least want to at least pretend I’m laying on the floor of a Victorian mansion.

Shrinky Dinks

Just because they’re awesome.

Dress-Up Clothes

As long as I’m pretending to live in a Victorian mansion, I’d like to do so dressed as a princess. It’s only fitting.

 

And now for the things I do NOT want in my house, ever.

The Doggie Do Game

This is a game about dog shit. Do I need to explain why this isn’t a good idea? No.

Tinker Toys

I know this probably makes me a party pooper, but nothing about “225 pieces!”, sharp wooden sticks or small round disks sound like anything I want anything to do with. I’ve stepped on enough Legos in my life to know Tinker Toys won’t be any better. Plus, I can’t build things. All my Lego creations are blocks or walls. I’ll be hopeless with these.

Operation: SpongeBob

Small pieces. SpongeBob. Annoying noise. Enough said.

So this is how the list stands so far. I have a feeling that I haven’t been good enough this year for Santa to make my wishes come true, but it’s never too late to try, right?

What’s the worst toy your kid ever got, as far as you were concerned? And what toy do you wish you could play with all day? Help a mother out..

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Where’s the Tylenol?

I joke every year that I’m “getting my Griswold on” when the holidays are getting near. But this year, it dawned on me that I really AM Clark Griswold.

I am Sparky. I own it. I revel in it. I wear the hat proudly.

Even this hat is worn with pride.

Everybody loves “Christmas Vacation” this time of year. Everybody loves to laugh at poor Clark and his attempts to make every holiday, every vacation, every family dinner a joyous and wonderful occasion, topped by no other. He goes over the top, he dreams too big, he forces everyone to join in, and then slowly and surely, it all falls apart. Of course, in the end, everyone has a great time and loves Sparky for his efforts, and all is right with the world.

I can SO relate to this.

Every year, pretty much as soon as Halloween is over, I’m ready to bust out the tinsel and saturate our house in it. Having kids is making it WAY worse. I use Declan as my excuse — “It’s for him! All of this!” — which is a lie because I’ve been this way for way longer than 3 years, much to Paul’s chagrin. But at least now I can justify my insanity.

The frustrating part of being Clark Griswold is the delusions of grandeur. My heart and head are so FULL of Christmas cheer that they make me think that every mantle in Southern Living could be mine, every Christmas carol sounds glorious coming from me and the smell of gingerbread will begin oozing from the oven whenever I turn it on.

None of these things have ever, nor will ever happen. But I still try.

In my head, my house looks like this after 3 trips to Hobby Lobby.

My house will probably look more like this.

I know I’m not alone in my excitement to decorate based on my Facebook feed, but I just wonder why I can’t be better at it. I have the will, but not the skill (damn, I have mad rhyming skills, though…). Shouldn’t heart count for something?

So like Clark, I’ve begun the house transformation. I’m keeping it more subtle than he does, but only because Paul would refuse to live here if I did everything I really wanted to do.  I do want to keep it classy, mostly. But I’m not gonna lie, part of me kinda wants to be the house that people drive by during Christmas, either to “ooh” and “aah” or to point and laugh at, either one. I don’t want to be tacky, but I just want ALL OF IT.

I kind of love this.

I want to bake cookies and go to parades and sing Deck the Halls and cut down a real tree every.single.day. And I want my family to want to do this, too. Well, not so much Simon, he doesn’t really care. I kinda want to wear Christmas sweaters and put the reindeer nose and antlers on my Kia and go ice skating. Like always. But Paul hates ice skating and Declan would get bored at a parade and let’s face it, Christmas sweaters aren’t cute, so I won’t do some of those things. (P.S. I see all my friends’ photos of their “Ugly Christmas Sweater” parties and I’m totally bitter and not just a little bit pissed that I’ve never been invited to one. Just sayin.)

So, like Clark, I drive my family nuts for 6-8 weeks out of the year (well, 52 weeks, actually), but it’s because I love them and I want to give them a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. I want them to have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fu… you get it. ‘Tis the season to be merry!

 

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Volume

I’m going to try and start posting videos and photos and such, rather than just my ramblings.

Unfortunately, my first video post is from my cell phone, so it’s not great. But really, it’s the sound that matters, not the visual.

This is 30 seconds of my day with two insane boys, one of which sounds like a Dementor from Harry Potter. Turn your speakers up.

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I forgot to laugh

You know what’s funny? Keyboard cat. This big metal chicken. Everything they make.

You know what’s not funny? 3-year-olds.

I mean, they can be. Declan can be hilarious, but that’s usually unintentional. Like when he uses words inappropriately or rolls around on the floor crying because I won’t give him something. Or does Jumping Jacks. Now, that’s funny.

But as a general rule, a preschooler’s sense of humor is pretty lame. Poor timing, weak punchlines and just overall immaturity really hinder the laughs. For example, lately, Declan is trying to thwart my commands by doing silly things instead. Like, when we are trying to get out the door. Simon goes down for a nap about every 2 hours, so we have to move at warp speed to get anything done that involves leaving the house. When Simon wakes up, I have to get him changed/dressed, fed, redressed because he’s filthy, make Declan pee, find the one random toy he wants to take with him, locate my keys/purse/sanity and remember if I’m out of sweatpants (I’m not) before we walk out the door. So I count on Declan to get himself dressed. I start early with him, giving him plenty of time to get his clothes on. But then he decides to be “funny,” and I fly into a rage.

The other day, it was a school day, and I was prodding him to get dressed while changing and nursing Simon. First, Declan comes in wearing just underwear. Ha. Then, he comes back with his socks on his hands. Cute. Next comes his shoes on his hands and him bending over and “tap dancing just like Twist!” (he needs new role models). Now I’m starting to get mad. Declan disappears for a few minutes and comes back in with his pants on his head, his legs through his arm holes and his socks and shoes still on his hands.

He, of course, thought that this was slap-your-knee, wet-your-pants funny. And you know what? In a different context, maybe it would be to me, too. But when it’s 3 minutes til time to leave, and you’ve been saying the same.exact.thing over and over (“Declan, get your clothes on. Declan, get your CLOTHES ON. DECLAN GET YOUR CLOTHES ON!!!!!!!!), it’s maddening.

Declan is almost this funny. Almost.

 

I know 3 year olds aren’t known for their listening skills, but it is truly rage-inducing to tell someone to do or not do something 75 times a day, only to have them disobey and then yell “JUST KIDDING!” and bust out laughing after you’ve just scolded them for their behavior. It’s one thing if he’s just flat out disobeying. I can handle that. It’s this attempt to distract me from the offense that makes me insane. As if his antics are going to make me go: “I know I asked you not to throw that bowl of crackers in the air, but you know what? When you did it and then rolled around in it and called yourself a bulldozer? That really is FUNNY!”

Cousin Balki's jokes > Declan's jokes

 

 

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Yea, I’m judging you.

An Open Letter to the fellow patrons of Saturday Open Play at the local bouncy house:

Dear Rednecks,

Yea, I said it. So what. Sue me.

Look, you have every right to be there, and I expect to see you. I expect to see you at the zoo, and the “bad” mall on my side of town and pretty much everywhere else we go. I live in your territory, so I accept your existence. But do you have to be so, well, obvious? So stereotypical? So People of Walmart?

I know you saw me giving you the stink eye, lady with no socks on. There are signs everywhere that state you must wear socks. And isn’t that common sense? It’s cold out, you can’t wear shoes inside the facility, so aren’t socks an obvious choice? I guess not.

And yes, Bubba or Smokey or Tiny, whatever your name is with the awesome neck tattoo, you clearly exceed the 200lb limit on the gigantic slide, so if you could just step away from it before you collapse the whole thing and cause a national tragedy, that would be great.

To the 2 11-year-old boys wrestling all over the place, namely at the base of the slide, yea, I told you to cut it out. No, you aren’t my kids (thank god), but your own parents are too busy discussing the house they tore down to make room for their double wide (no, I’m not kidding), so I’ll gladly step up to the plate. You are too old and too big to be carrying on like that. Go home and practice your WWE moves on your mom’s futon, not where my 3-year-old is landing.

To the 13-year-old girls laying down in the bouncy house, texting each other: just move.

Meemaw, Peepaw and Granny: I’m glad you guys could make it out to watch little Britneigh and Roscoe Jr today, but if you could not all smoke right AT the entrance, that would be stellar. I know it sucks that you can’t have your Marlboro Reds in there with all the inflatables, I feel you. I wish so bad they served cocktails, trust me. But they don’t, so if you could actually move away from the door by, oh, 5 feet or so, that would be awesome. Thanks so much.

Also, does anyone know if you can catch tooth decay from sharing an obstacle course? I couldn’t find anything on Google…

In conclusion, yes, I am judgmental. I’m an elitist liberal. Guilty as charged. And for that, I’m sorry. Truly I am. And to repent for my sins, I am going to boil myself and my children in hot bleach because I just feel like it’s best.

Thanks,

Christi

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