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Each time I go into a store I am reminded about how overmerchandised Christmas has become. Every commercial on TV, radio and even online! is all about getting the best deal for your holiday shopping. You can’t get away from it and I long for the days when Christmases were simple and meaningful and it wasn’t all about the stuff.

I had the inevitable conversation with my MIL about what everyone wants for Christmas and I cringed as usual.  I love that they want to make the day special for everyone but every year I leave feeling like it was just TOO MUCH! This year I tried to pick things that were either going to be useful or that we actually needed. and I tried as much as possible to keep it short. but not too short that I would just be stuck with trying to come up with more ideas.

We are lucky.  We have a roof over our heads, heat in our house and that we can afford to buy presents for our families as well as put food on the table. I would not be out of line thinking that we have more than we need and I have no idea where I am going to put anything he gets this year.

but its the little things that stick with me and that is what I want to accomplish raising my kid.

I loved my childhood Christmases. They are some of my most cherished memories and it wasn’t from the amount of presents we had under the tree. and it wasn’t about quantity but my parents always tried to get us that one thing we especially wanted like the year I got my first cabbage patch kid. They were sold out everywhere until just before the big day and even then they were selling so fast the manufacturers just sent them out in clear bags instead of packaging them in boxes.  I can’t even remember what else I might have gotten that year.

I remember the year we spent Christmas down on the east coast with my mom’s parents. My cabbage patch and I received matching nightgowns (she still has hers and I still have her!). But it was about family and food and memories, not the presents.

I want it to be about drinking eggnog and watching Rudolph; about getting one of those little chocolates out of the advent calendars every day in December; about making cookies and squares and drinking hot chocolate after playing outside in the snow; about playing carols and watching the snow fall; about decorating the house inside and out and trimming the tree together. Its about building up that wonderland so that the presents under the tree are the icing on the cake not just the point of it all.

Last Christmas: He toddles down the hall, rubbing his eyes and calling me. He rounds the corner and sees the tree and his eyes are HUGE! A big smile spreads across his face and he just lights up brighter than the tree. (I’ve been up since like 6am waiting for this btw) He goes and checks out the presents and points at them, questioning with his eyes “are these all for me?” He opens one and wants to play with it….the other presents immediately forgotten. The other presents that we have to “force and coerce” him to open that he doesn’t care in the least about! (and this process is repeated twice over during the day at the grandparents houses).

So this year I am not going overboard. This year I am keeping it small and meaningful and I’m going to bring back the kind of Christmas I was raised with. The kind that will stick with him when he gets older and he will remember for years to come. And I get that as a kid Christmas is totally about presents but it doesn’t have to be.

This year its going to be different. This year we start a new tradition in our house.

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he falls asleep reading a book!

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Linguini carbonara with asparagus and zucchini (and sauce from scratch y’all!)

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so yum!

Monday morning my cat came home with a hole in her side.

a hole.

we are rather at a loss as to what could have caused this. she may have gotten stuck somewhere or she narrowly escaped being supper to some larger animal. hard to say since we don’t have her equiped with a camera although seriously how fun would that be to see the world from her vantage point? well, except of course for watching her fight off some crazed beast…

it was not so pretty to look at, the hole. it was roughly the size of a dime and deep enough to make my husband nearly vomit. he’s so handy to have around. I told him he had to help hold her so I could clean the wound and determine whether we would need to bring her to the vet.

picture a tall, slim but muscular guy, as quick to anger as he is to laugh and “tough”…. thinks of himself as the protector of the family…. got it? now picture this guy with his eyes closed, face twisted away, trying not to breath and gagging uncontrollably and this my friends is why it is easier for me to do things on my own! seriously.

I patched her up with some polysporin and a tensor around her belly to hold the swab and she’s doing fine. I was kind of concerned she might need stitches but the wound is healing fast and closing up nicely. She’s definitely not going back outside anytime soon and she seems okay with that. In fact she’s barely phased by it at all. weird.

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Then, because heavin forbid life be boring around here the dog’s nose swelled up double its size over the course of the day. I can’t be sure about the reason for this either but I’m guessing that something bit him since he was fine yesterday and this morning, plus he was in his crate most of the day. He looks like he’s having an allergic reaction so it might have been a spider bite or the dummy ate that wasp I stepped on outside the door the other day, that wouldn’t surprise me. and we found out that Benadryl is the one thing he won’t consume (this is the same dog that chewed through the side of a wooden shed to get to some empty antifreeze containers – I may have forgotten the part about chewing through the shed originally). we used an old water cooler bottle to fashion a deterrent collar for our Dufus dog so he would stop scratching. he was scratching the fur right off his muzzle and he looks just horrible, bleeding and oozing everywhere. I didn’t bother to ask the husband for help on this one! I just used a wound clear spray and wiped his muzzle to clean him up. the husband gagged from the next room.

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the Benadryl must be wearing off because he’s finally noticed the bottle on his head.

that would be weird but I would totally marry this music.
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Mumford & Sons, Cadillac Sky, King Charles

and just to confirm, I love the music. Are you sick of hearing that yet? doesn’t matter, they’re my favourite band. and they totally rocked.

I was about 20 people deep so fairly close considering the massive crowd. there was one highly annoying girl in front of me to the left that I think was dancing but it looked more like she was either having some sort of epileptic fit. or she was doing an excellent impersonation of a bobblehead doll. she was seriously annoying but she loves the band also so she can’t be all bad.

they had some sound issues which basically just comes down to the venue not knowing the music of the bands they book well enough. M said the acoustics were okay but they could have been so much better in a different venue. agreed. but I still loved it.

I was a little shell-shocked over the whole thing after it was over because I didn’t know what to think then and it was my first concert in over 10 years but now that I’ve had time to romanticise it…there is nothing better than seeing your favourite band live.

next time I’m going to be in the front row.

Okay so I know I should just be happy that he is even interested in the thing since its the first time in forever but going around the house with the potty on his head is just not what I had in mind.

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I am so frustrated with this whole training thing. Who knew it would be so hard to teach a tiny human how to use a toilet? Seriously.

He’s a bright child, quite intelligent, so I know he understands the concept. Maybe understands far to well because he doesn’t WANT to use it and that is what is driving me mental. He could care less that I am sick and tired of changing diapers. but guess what? I AM SICK AND TIRED OF CHANGING DIAPERS!

We’ve tried using incentives: praise, stickers, games, even money. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

We’ve seen the videos. We’ve read the books. In fact one of his favourite books is a potty book. Its like the worlds worst joke and I’m the punchline.

Don’t even try to tell me he isn’t ready. He’s ready because I say he is! He understands the concept.

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He knows when he has to go. He will tell you when he has gone or if he is going and which “going” it is. He has used the potty sporadically in the past and has been very pleased with himself. He frequently uses the ASL sign for potty at his daycare if they can’t understand what he is saying. and yet nothing, nada, zilch.

I may lose my mind over this. My mental well-being is in the hands of a three-year-old. A three-year-old that laughs hysterically at this…

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They were playing at every craft show my mom and I hit up this weekend.

I love craft shows but wow I feel like this year is just flying by. maybe its the anticipation of all the things I’ve had and have going on this year surgeries, illness, milestones, new words, and new babies expected! so to have Christmas not so much sneaking up on me but flying towards me as if on a bullet train… I start hyperventilating. and then I start spending money which brings us full circle to the craft shows.

thankfully I don’t attend the craft shows with the intent to buy them out its just something my mom and I do. as often as possible.

I didn’t buy much. In fact I mostly bought fabric (as usual) but I did pick up a few treats…

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(This has the most incredible pine candle in it)

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(Mmm, fudge)

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(Fantastic fabric one)

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(Fantastic fabrics two)

And then I came home and started working on another quilt…
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Step one, cut a million little squares and sew them to larger squares.

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Step 2 cut all the corners off.

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Step 3 iron into squares

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And this is partially what it looks like put together. Maybe tomorrow I will get to post the finished top but don’t hold your breath.

My cat fell into a bucket of motor oil. Used motor oil. Now she smells all diesel-y and oilish. I gave her a bath with head and shoulders and it worked about 85% so I may have to try again with dish soap. Don’t ask me why we have buckets of used motor oil just hanging out because I don’t know. It isn’t even ours. So to sum it up, we store used motor oil that doesn’t belong to us in places that cats can fall into. She’s all slick now and boy can’t get as good a grip on her to smother the life out of her hug and cuddle her.

Stupid and bizarre crap like this happens to us all the time. All the time. And as I say that I can’t remember any of the other truly bizarre events that have happened only the really gross and slightly weird stuff. Maybe I’ve repressed them.

We had a porcupine living with us for about 3 days last summer. I named him Fred. he was friendly as porcupines go I suppose, kinda just slow and didn’t care much about anything. of course I’m probably the only one that would think a porcupine was friendly and want to pet him. then he left as quickly as he appeared.

We raised 5 racoons once. my rottweiler wanted to nurse them. we had them from a few weeks old until they were old enough to release. they would follow us around like little racoons follow their real mothers. they were ridiculously cute and loud and smelly. but mostly cute.

my dog got hit by a car and did more damage to the car than to himself. he broke the fog light with his head. he required 3 stitches. I can’t even say it caused brain damage because he was kinda thick before the car hit him.

that same dog also chewed on some bottles that may or may not have had antifreeze in them (we keep those with the oil buckets, you know, just cause) 2 nights in the vet office, a whopping bill and lots of alcohol treatment meant my dog was fine. and now I can honestly say I’ve seen what a dog looks like with a hangover. and it was hilarious.

My rabbit will try to procreate with my cats every time he is out of his cage. Every time. The cats are all fixed but apparently that isn’t a deterrent. I don’t know if its a rabbit thing or an “out of jail” thing. Maybe both because it happens so often.

I’m beginning to think maybe we just have some really messed up animals. Actually I don’t have to think that hard I know that’s true. Don’t get me started on the cat that’s allergic to everything (including, possibly, being a cat).