Tag Archives: Shopping

Our Christmas List is Growing Up

I’ve been working on Christmas since last Christmas. No, I don’t put my tree up the day after Halloween, or even the day after Thanksgiving. I’m working on the gifts.

A couple years ago, we started doing our shopping the day after Christmas. It might make it sound like a drawn-out, stressful thing, but it has a lot of advantages. It lets us peruse through clearance sales, buying nicer items than we might normally be able to afford. If I want to do some handmade items (and I usually do), I actually have the time to enjoy making them. We also get to slow down and pick out gifts that are meaningful, instead of just, “Oh, crap. I don’t know what to get you. Here’s some lotion.”

I sat down this evening to look over our Christmas list and I realized something: My kids are growing up. The careful lists I keep (coded for what has yet to be bought, what has already been bought, and what has been wrapped) used to be full of dolls, blocks, and other random toys. My kids still have some toys on their lists, but they’re swiftly moving away from the primary-colored plastic Mega blocks and toward finely painted Schleich figurines. More and more gifts are electronics, or accessories for them. My oldest daughter (who is nine) has items on her lists like earrings, a knife, and new boots. Yep, she’s a replica of myself at that age, but it’s strange to see it happening to someone else.

I admit that in some ways it makes me yearn for their younger years. You know, when they didn’t talk back, argue about when they take their showers or what they watch on television, or bring home a surprising amount of drama from school. I can’t help but miss their more innocent days.

On the other hand, it is so awesome that they are finally a bit independent! They are absolutely brilliant (my six-year-old has a gargantuan vocabulary!), and I can have meaningful conversations with them. As far as the Christmas gifts go, it’s nice to know that if I buy them a $30 gift, it’s probably going to last them a few years instead of getting shoved under the bed and forgotten in six months. I think it is so awesome that my nine-year-old wants a pocket knife and is interested in going deer hunting.

As I watch my children and their Christmas lists evolve, it’s nice to reminisce about my tiny babies while I share deep thoughts with my about-to-be-big kids. I’ll go buy the boots that are almost big enough to fit me, and the chapter books that nobody wants to have read aloud to them. And I’ll enjoy it just as much as I always have.

My Christmas Wish List on an old typewriter



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November 19, 2015 · 9:22 pm

The Progression of Public Pottying

As a mother of three, I feel like every time we go out in public I spend a great percentage of the time in the bathroom.  No, I don’t mean for myself.  It doesn’t matter that we make the kids try to go potty before we leave the house, or that they had just gone at the last store we were at.  There is always at least one child that absolutely must go to the bathroom, and take their sweet time.  Public pottying with children comes in stages:

Stage 1:  Babies in diapers present an entire bathroom problem of their own.  This is the stage when you realize that you frequent stores and restaurants that DO NOT have baby changing tables in the restroom.

Stage 2:  Toddlers in Pullups are an interesting challenge.  Sometimes they let you know they need to go to the bathroom, and you’re so excited that you don’t mind your steak is getting cold.  Other times, they don’t tell you, and you are stuck trying to figure out how to get them changed when they refuse to lay down on a changing table that they barely fit on anyway.

Stage 3:  Once fully potty trained, a young child is obligated to visit every single public restroom within throwing distance.  Every.  Single.  One.

Stage 4:  The widely-traveled tot decides they don’t want you coming in the stall with them anymore.  This leaves you standing outside the stall and wondering just what the hell is going on in there that takes so long.

So new parents beware!  Ditching the diapers is only a gateway into future bathroom hell.


photo courtesty of freedigitalphotos.net, by nuttakit


February 10, 2014 · 8:26 pm

The Lion, the Witch, and the Very Short Wardrobe

It’s that time of year again, and I am so excited! Hoodies, s’mores, bonfires, beautiful leaves, and turning on the electric blanket at night. (Oh, wait, I do that almost all year anyway.) Halloween is swiftly approaching, and it has always been one of my favorite holidays. Originally I’m sure this was because it is so close to my birthday, but as an adult I love it without the birthday strings attached.
I might be “all grown up”, but I still like to dress up for Halloween. In recent years I have been a black cat, a gangster, and a maiden. I spent a decent amount of time last week pilfering the Halloween stores for The Perfect Costume. I don’t want to be just whatever random garb I can grab off the shelf. I want to be something that means something to me. Something that I am all about. Something that would make people say, “That is so Ashley.” But most of all? I want something that doesn’t show my ass.
It doesn’t sound like a lot to ask, I know. But have you looked at the “women’s” costumes over the last few years? If you haven’t, go look. I’ll wait.
See? The vast majority of these costumes are of the naughty nurse or vixen pirate types. Even worse is that they are taking characters from Disney and Sesame Street and trying to make them sexy. You want to be a princess this year? Sure, but you gotta squeeze into a mini skirt first. Even costumes that are in little girls’ sizes are far too revealing.
I escaped the Halloween store last Wednesday night with tears in my eyes (because a 30-year-old that’s had two kids does not a bimbo Batgirl make) and ideas churning in my head. It was time to take matters, and hot glue, into my own hands and make a costume. But what? After much debate I finally decided. The one material thing I truly love. The one outfit that nobody else is going to have for Halloween. The Perfect Costume.
If you are prowling around the Southern Illinois area on Thursday and you happen to see a woman with shredded book pages glued to her shirt, a witch hat, a lion nose, and a necklace made of doorknobs, don’t fret. It’s just me, dressed as one of my favorite books: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.



Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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