Friday, December 16
Mama: (Groovin' out) Saturday!! In the Park!! I think it was the fourth of Juuuuly!!
Kadyn: Mama!! Nooooooooo!!!!
Mama: (Rockin' it!) I'm sexy and I know it!! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! YEAH!!
Kadyn: MAMA!!!! STOP IT!!!!! RIGHT! NOW!!!
Mama: Why? I'm rockin' out, dude!
Kadyn: No! Stop it! I do NOT like your dance moves.
Thursday, December 15
Not gonna lie, folks. I was dreaming of millions and billions and trillions of entires for this giveaway.
Thirteen isn't quite in the millions. Or billions or trillions....But I ain't complaining! Not one bit!
And I really did love reading your movie stories. So sweet and cute.
Thank you all for sharing with me - and for entering!
And the lucky winner is.......
Congratulations Liz and B!
Send me an email with your info - rebecca (at) manicmama (dot) com
Wednesday, December 14
Tuesday, December 13
I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. Why not?
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Baileys on ice.
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped. Always.
Colored or white lights on the tree and house? White on the tree, colored outside.
Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.
When do you put up your decorations? No set date but never before December 1.
What is your favorite holiday dish? I can't choose. Something about the holidays just makes everything taste good.
Favorite holiday memory as a child? Sadly, I don't have one.
When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I really can't remember but I'm betting I learned the truth pretty early.
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I did growing up. We haven't started that tradition with our boys yet, perhaps this year....
How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With ornaments?? (Um, I don't understand the question.)
Snow! Love it or dread it? I don't mind snow. I don't love it, but I don't mind it. It's the frigid freezing cold that comes with it that I have a hate on for.
Can you ice skate? Ten years ago I could.
Do you remember your favorite gift? Barbie Dream Camper! It even came with Barbie's Dream Convertible!
What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending it with good people.
What is your favorite holiday dessert? How could anyone pick just one??
What is your favorite holiday tradition? TBD. I'm working on making some traditions with the kiddos.
What tops your tree? A star.
Which do you prefer, giving or receiving gifts? Both. Anyone who says different is lying.
Candy canes ... yuck or yum? Yuck. Unless they're the yummy fruity ones.
Favorite Christmas show? I like all the old school shows - Grinch, Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph...
Saddest Christmas song? No idea. I stay away from sad stuff. Especially around the holidays.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Ok, so maybe that's a little sad....
Have you entered the Car 2 DVD giveaway yet? Only 2 days left!! Enter here.
Monday, December 12
Yeah, well, I may have let that small success go to my head.
I mean, I like my Halloween wreath. But it was stupid simple. Wrap form in yarn. Find stick in backyard. Attach to wreath. Add little birds. Done.
But for some reason I thought I could go all Clara Crafter for my Christmas wreath.
Didn't help that I fell in love with this beauty.
Before I explain HOW this project went slightly awry, let me tell you WHY.
I dream of being creative and artsy and crafty. I am pretty creative and crafty (not really at all artsy) but only to a point. The main problem is that I am a ridiculous contradiction.
I am so anal and Type A that I rarely do anything that isn't planned out in mind-numbing detail. But I REFUSE to plan out crafty projects. Arts and crafts are supposed to be made, not planned.
Did Michelangelo plan David?
Did Da Vinci plan the Mona Lisa?
Probably not the best examples....but the point is I don't plan out my projects (the way I plan the shit out of the rest of my life) and so things never go as I'd like.
My winter wreath is a painful example of this.
It started out well.
I bought some styrofoam balls and yarn - in dark green, grey and grey with silver tinsel - and I got to wrapping.
Protip #1: Do not wrap styro balls in the dark (or near dark.) You will not be altogether impressed with your work in daylight.
Protip #2: The smaller your balls, the harder they will be to wrap.
Once my balls were wrapped, I bought a styrofoam wreath form. I wanted to wrap the form in burlap but I didn't feel like going on a burlap hunt. Or paying money for a potato sack.
So I spray painted it.
Protip#3: Spray paint eats styrofoam. Even the Krylon-supposed-to-be-ok-on-plastic spray paint. Eats it up!
Fortunately the paint didn't eat too much of the wreath form and it was still very useable.
I set up shop on the dining room table and started arranging and attaching the yarn balls.
All the large balls were glued on and I was just placing the smaller balls, the silver ornaments and snowflakes when I asked my husband what he thought.
Protip #4: Never ask your husband. About anything. Ever.
"Looks good!" He says, "But don't you think it's a little big?"
"Well, yeah. It's bigger than I planned but I think I love it!"
"No, I mean too big to fit between the doors."
Ryan measured - with a hot glue stick, might I add - and concluded that the depth of the wreath would not fit between our front door and the screen door. (It was a glue stick and a half deep!!)
The fact that I didn't even think about how big 3" styro balls (wrapped in yarn) would be ON TOP of a 3" tall wreath form (not counting the silver ornaments and snowflakes I planned to put on top of all that) just shows how much of my brain was in this project.
Protip #5: Consider the space you plan to hang your project BEFORE you start.
I sent Ryan to the craft store (with a coupon) to pick up another wreath form. He brought back the only thing they had - a dinky, 1/4 inch thick pressed cardboard wreath form. There was no way I could use it. I barely fit two yarn balls across the styro form, the cardboard form was half the width. There was just no way.
A few days later, I got antsy.
Know what else I got?
A serrated kitchen knife.
A fairly DULL serrated kitchen knife to be more specific.
Can you guess what I did next?
Yup. I carved that sucker up like a Christmas ham, I did!
And boy did I do I terrible job!
A dull serrated knife, a styro wreath form with more than 30 yarn wrapped styro balls hot glued on, a severe lack in ability to cut anything straightly or evenly and 2 wild children who INSIST on running through the kitchen - now COVERED in styrofoam dust.
I managed to get it done. It wasn't pretty. And it wasn't easy. But I cut at least an inch and a half off the wreath.
Only problem? I butchered the wreath form so unevenly and, in one spot, so thinly that it broke.
Luckily for me, genius struck at that exact moment and I came up with an idea.
I spray painted the carboard wreath form and glued it on the back.
I know what you're thinking.
Wow! What an amazing woman! Laughing in the face of adversity! Overcoming obstacles like it ain't no thang! What a trailblazer!
Except that my bad butcher job left GIANT gaps between the styro wreath and the cardboard wreath.
Fearless husband is here with his trusty tube of silicon!!!
I'm not even lying.
There was no way I could fill in the giant gaps with hot glue. I asked Ryan if we had any clear caulking (we did) and if he would caulk my wreath.
This must be the end of this neverending wreath story, right?
I was pretty darn satisfied that, despite all the mistakes, oversights and plain old fuckups, the wreath still looked great!
I hung it on the front door Monday morning.
I closed the door.
I opened the door.
I see a smashed ornament all over the threshold.
Protip #6: Drink more wine.
Friday, December 9
Mama: Don't like what?
Mama: But you laugh when I tickle you.
Kadyn: (Straight-faced and dead serious) I laugh only because you are silly.
An extra note: Wednesday night bedtime was particularly unpleasant and resulted in Kadyn going to bed without stories. (Despite what he may think, I really hate when his behavior is so bad, he loses stories.) I went to check on Kadyn about half an hour after he had gone to bed and found him sweetly tucked in with his little hands folded under his head. This only made me feel worse.
I don't know why. *I* didn't do anything.
I leaned over, stroked his hair and lightly kissed his cheek.
Kadyn wasn't quite asleep and when I kissed him, his eyes fluttered, he saw me and then smiled. I whispered in his ear "I love you, Kadyn." He smiled again and mumbled what sounded like "I wub you."
My heart, melted.
PS Have you entered the Cars 2 DVD giveaway?
Thursday, December 8
Cool T's and drums.
Today I have a guest post from the supremely sweet Tim. Not only is Tim a kick ass Tweeter, he makes and sells super cool T's on Soge Shirts AND he's working with his brother on an equally cool interactive music site (IMT) where you can sign up for online drum lessons.
How cool is that??
I have this top secret dream of one day being a rock star drummer and when I finally get my drum set, I will definitely be hitting up IMT for lessons!
And now, without further ado.... Tim with some holiday shopping advice for the littles in your life....
These days holiday gift guides are everywhere. Everyone is telling you what to buy and where to buy it. Christmas gifts for children are especially popular this time of year. (Weird, Right?) Here are some of the toys to avoid for your kid this holiday season.
1. Yo Chatta Chatta
Yo Chatta Chatta is the toy that copies the Yo Gabba Gabba show. Instead these plush toys never shut up. They also have the voice of either Fran Drescher or Gilbert Gottfried.
2.Don't touch me Elmo
Elmo got tired of being touched 7 or 8 years ago. This Elmo doll tells your kid to don't touch me and to leave him alone.
3. Dora the Snora
Dora is tired these days from all her adventures. She just wants to sleep and has retired from exploring. I don't think your kid will have fun yelling at Dora to wake up!
4. The Transformers do Chores
This toy may not be popular with kids but it sure is with parents. The transformers do chores is a new action figure line featuring transformers changing from cars to robots that sweep, take out the trash, and wash windows. Optimus Prime is a master of mopping the floor.
5. Pillow pet rat
Pillow Pets are all the rage but Pillow pet rat might be too far. Not as comfortable as it seems.
6. Barbie dream condo
Barbie couldn't afford her dream house anymore so a dream condo will have to do. It's a lot smaller so I'm not sure your kids will have as much fun in Barbie's extra small kitchen. Oops I mean cozy kitchen.
7. Lego ant
The Lego ant is not very fun to build it consists of three black bricks. You might want to purchase the lego ant farm instead. It's twice as cool.
8. I'm out of ideas.
I really hope the seven toy ideas I listed above which are fake aren't better than some of the toys that are out there. That would not be good.
(Tim is a consultant for Interactive Music Teacher where they teach online drum lessons.)
Um, Tim, are you SURE The Transformers Who Do Chores isn't real? Cause Optimus mopping my floors just might be a fantasy of mine...
So now that you know what you SHOULDN'T buy your kid, how about something you SHOULD....
Earlier this year Ryan and I took Kadyn to his first ever movie theatre experience - CARS 2. It was RAD!! Kadyn loved the movie and has been asking for it ever since. Santa has a copy saved for him and I have a copy to giveaway!
Deets for entry as follows:
- Leave a comment telling me about a favorite movie moment with a special little in your life (1 entry)
- Like the Manic Mama Facebook page here (1 entry)
- Tweet it! (1 entry)
I just entered the Cars 2 DVD giveaway at Musings of a Manic Mama www.manicmama.com/2011/12/eight-holiday-toys-not-to-buy-your-kid.html (@ManicMamaG)
Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Contest closes Wednesday, December 14. Winner to be selected at random. Giveaway open to North American residents only.
Wednesday, December 7
Monday, December 5
Promise you won't judge me? (Anymore than you already do, of course...)
Ok, here goes.....
There. I said it.
I'm sure I'm not the only one. I bet a few of you Martha Stewart types curse December just as much as I do. You can't deny that the whole tree deal is SUCH a pain in the ass.
I haven't had a real tree since I was a kid so maybe some of my disdain for the tree of Christmas starts with having t0 unfold all the branches on my fake fir. It's just so annoying. All of it.
Digging all that crap out from some gross corner of the basement (Have I told you about my slight fear of basements?), figuring out where the tree is going to go, rearranging furniture, setting up the tree, putting the ornaments on, rearranging the ornaments, rearranging the ornaments again, rearranging them again, asking Ryan what he thinks and getting pissy because he thinks it's "fine" or it "looks good," rarranging ornaments for a 27th time, vacuuming 14 times and still finding synthetic needles all over my house and on my person (can someone please explain how in the hell that shit would get in one's underwear??) and then continuing to piss around with the ornaments because every. damn. time. I walk past that tree, I spy an errant ornament.
And then, just when I think it might finally be perfect, the littlest ankle biter comes along and messes up the bottom foot of the tree.
(Or plays soccer with the ornaments)
Which causes the rearrangment fiasco to start again since I can't remember the exact branch the lower ornaments were on and placing them on a different branch conflicts with the other ornaments which then need to be rearranged....
Oh, the insanity!!!
Then, a few weeks later, it all gets taken down and packed away for 11 months.
What. Is. The. Freaking. Point??
Oh, right. It's purdy.
And presents look nicer stuffed under a lit up tree than in a big ol' pile in the middle of the floor.
In case you're wondering why I am rambling on and on about this, we put up our tree Sunday.
It wasn't too bad.
I wanted to do green and silver this year (switched up from my regular blue and silver) but apparently I am the only person in the whole world (or maybe just my neighborhood) who wants to put green ornaments on a green tree. Thankfully I found a single package of purple, teal and lime ornaments at a Moonlight Madness sale so it's a silver, purple, teal and lime Christmas!
Kadyn was WAY more into decorating this year. It was nice! Last year he lost interest less than 5 minutes in. He actually sprinted up the stairs when Ryan called him for his bath. This year Kadyn put all the decorations on by himself (Yes, I rearranged them. What? He didn't care.) It was fun doing it as a family - Me doing all the work, Kadyn helping in his crazy way, Ryan complaining and giving non-helpful one or two word answers, Graysen wreaking as much havoc as possible...
Sigh....I just love the holidays.
Really, though, it was pretty great.
Made the whole tree process much more bearable.
And I cannot deny that I do love cuddling on the couch with my man next to the glow of the tree.
Isn't it pretty??
And how awesome is Kadyn??
K is for Klassy!
PS I have a giveaway coming up. I might do it tomorrow. Or Thursday. Or next week. I haven't decided. So you should just check back daily. Cause you never know.....
PPS Another reason I'm not crazy about housing a tree in my living room for almost a month? My dumbass cat eats it. And then pukes it up all over the house. And I have to nag my husband to clean that shit up for DAYS.
Friday, December 2
Is that not the most awesomest thing EVER!!!
The best part? It was not at all rehearsed or staged. Completely 100% Kadyn's idea.
Love that kid.
Thursday, December 1
For some reason I thought if I just ignored your first birthday, it wouldn't happen.
I was wrong.
You're turning one. And I'm pretty sure there's nothing I can do to stop it.
I remember our first night together at the hospital. I didn't sleep at all. I couldn't let you sleep in that hard plastic tub the nurses had you in and I was too terrified of you falling out of my bed to let myself doze off. I've never been happier to give up a night of sleep.
I remember so much from your first year. But I've forgotten so much as well. I hate that. I wish I could remember every moment. I wish I could just soak up every ounce of you.
I'm very happy to say I still feel a special something between us. I don't know what it is or what it means. but I feel it. I hope it never goes away.
Being second (in birth order) to your brother makes you a little difficult to figure out. Only because Kadyn is very what you see is what you get - loud, obnoxious, crazy, smart, funny, awesome! You are very different. (And very alike at the same time). You are what you see - sweet and silly and mischevious - but you are so much more, too.
I really love that about you.
Graysen, you are simply the sweetest boy I have ever met.
I am so excited to watch you grow and learn and be. Watching you and your brother together leaves me breathless sometimes. I don't have siblings and so seeing the connection you and Kadyn have - for no other reason than because you are brothers - is, well, breathtaking. I can't describe it any other way. I am so hopeful for yours and Kadyn's relationship. I truly hope for an unbreakable and impenatrable foundation dotted with wrestling matches and tobogan hills off the garage roof. (There isn't a doubt in my mind your father's brain will fall out, he will tell you that story and you will recreate it. Just let me know beforehand so I can call 911 in advance. For your father...)
I love you, Graysen. And I always will. I am so very blessed to have you. Thank you for everything you have taught me and for everything you will teach me. I hope that I am a good enough mother to love and nurture you into the amazing man that I know you can be.