Posts Tagged ‘toys’

This Christmas I Am Spoiling My Kids Rotten

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Hello Internet.

Thank you for all the wonderfully written, thoughtful posts about how kids these days are too focused on things and not on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s so important to remember that giving is far superior to receiving, just as God gave his love to all of us. I also read your advice on how experiences make better gifts than giant hunks of plastic. It’s true! You made some excellent points. Then there were the 4 Things devotees: Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. It rhymes! So adorable and minimalist and a great way to cut down on junk! And finally, there are the hardcore anti-stuff people who object to basically all of it and make their opinions loudly known. Thank you for your input, I appreciate the time you took to explain it.

This year, I am flat out ignoring ALL OF YOU.

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And I’m doing it 100% on purpose. I haven’t accidentally bought too much. I am not pretending to purchase only hand-crafted, heirloom quality, Waldolf-inspired toys. I am not claiming to be a minimalist while buying piles of presents. This is intentional, planned, thoughtful spoiling.

Our December has been full of both experiences and things. This year, we are seeing Santa no less than 5 separate times. We have five sets of matching Christmas pajamas, including two sets for me and one for the dog. Caroline has a special dress for The Nutcracker, a different special dress for our photo session with Santa, and another special dress for Christmas Eve. Oh and one more to wear on Christmas day after taking off her matching Christmas pajamas. We are opening seven advent calendars every morning. There are custom printed Santa bags for each child and fancy gourmet chocolates for their stockings. They are getting everything they asked for and then some. There is a giant Batman robot, thousands of Legos, and a stupid Baby Alive that pees. There are sleds and ride on toys and loud beeping things. ALL FOUR KIDS get their own Fingerling monkey, even the baby, who definitely does not need a Fingerling monkey. When they come down the stairs on Christmas morning, they’re going to freak out and scream their little heads off with joy.

Do you know what won’t be around our tree on Christmas morning? Their father.

I realize things don’t make up for your dad being deployed during Christmas. There is no present in the world I can give them that will stop them from saying “I wish Daddy was here”. My heart breaks a little more every time they say it – which is often. This isn’t their fault. They didn’t ask to be born into a military family. And until this year we’ve been able to shield them quite a bit from true Navy life – no moving, no long separations, no new schools. I grew up with that lifestyle and although I enjoyed it for the most part, not having “a” home or long-term friendships or a sense of being FROM somewhere can be hard sometimes. We’ve been very lucky that we can do this a little differently than most military families. But our luck ran out now that E is very fancy and important; his skills and expertise are needed on actual working submarines, and actual working submarines deploy.

It’s hard. Being the only parent means I am responsible for all the Christmas, for everyone. I don’t mind, really, because I love Christmas. But trying to buy stocking candy when I am never without at least one child is hard. Wrapping gifts at midnight is hard. Trying to decide if it’s time to tell the big kids about Santa is hard. I’m still part of a partnership as far as parenting goes but my partner is unavailable (most of the time he is 100% unavailable, not reachable by any means).

My choice to go completely overboard and ignore what other people are doing is in no way meant to be a reflection on others. This doesn’t just apply to our specific situation regarding Christmas presents or even just the holidays. As I am very fond of telling my children, different families make different choices. Some do small Christmases, some do big Christmases, some go to great lengths to be with as much family as possible, some want to stay home. Some people step away from Facebook and social media to stay focused on family, but I couldn’t imagine doing that when I spend so much time as the only adult in the room. Some find that taking photos helps keep them connected and in the moment (me, 100%), others find that putting away the camera makes them happier. It is a difficult time of year for so many people for so many reasons, finding joy however you want should be allowed. And this year, my joy is in distracting my kids from things that make them sad with things that make them happy.

Come January 2nd when everyone goes back to school, I am going to be cursing all this STUFF that will have taken over my house. There’s nothing more #firstworldproblem than buying too many toys and then being annoyed by too many toys. I’ll remind myself of that as many times as is necessary during the long, cold, dark months between the end of the holidays and the end of deployment. But right now, I am SO EXCITED about Christmas magic and that is just what our family needs.

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Life

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

There isn’t much going on here right now, besides just life. Busy, messy, noisy, imperfect life.

There are no more babies coming, no super exciting new announcements or changes.

Babies are getting older. Kids are learning new things.

Most surfaces are sticky at least 73% of the time.

There is nothing picture perfect about mismatched socks and eating lunch on the floor.

These weirdos are in some sort of contest to see who drives me to break open a bottle of wine before 5 pm.

But they’re my weirdos.

And every day I’m reminded that someday they’ll be real people who are supposed to go out into the world and have their own lives.

(Seriously, buddy, I won’t be wiping your butt forever.)

And I just hope that until then I can remember that this too shall pass. The bad stuff and the good stuff. So things like Caroline’s 400 scraps of paper everywhere…

…and the crayon scribbles on every surface…

…and tiny fingers stuck into the sour cream while I’m making dinner are all going to be over way, way too soon.

I started this blog as mostly just words and more words and more words. I thought that was the best the way to document how I felt about my new life as a mother. But these days there aren’t any words. Or maybe there are too many words and I just don’t have time to find the right ones. There are SO MANY words in my daily life that I need something bigger to show, not tell, future me about these days I am sure I won’t remember. I’m so thankful I found photography.

 

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Monday, November 30th, 2015

My photos this week are terrible because I used my actual camera so much I kept forgetting my phone. I promise to post a whole bunch (probably way too many) of those photos as soon as I finish my client editing.

Sunday:

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Lincoln really loves Caroline

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Pimp my Cozy Coupe

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I caught craft herpes from glitter tulle

Monday:

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Outlet shopping in style

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Very important iPad work

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I wore this baby so much this week

Tuesday:

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My face is horrible, but Linc is waving goodbye to Target, because Target is our BFF

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The pre-Christmas toy purge

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Ballet waiting room selfie

Wednesday:

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15 Month check-up

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Poor Brutus misses his kids when they’re at school

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Pie maker

Thursday:

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Fascinated by the parade, AS THEY SHOULD BE

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I escaped my family to photograph a brand new baby

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My 8 lb turkey looks so sad on that huge plate

Friday:

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Christmas Tree farm selfie

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Dinner selfie

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Walking home in the dark selfie

Saturday:

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Early Christmas present

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The dudes really like the new Star Wars game

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You can’t see the mess in the dark

Despite both grown ups in our house being sick at least part of the holiday weekend, we managed to get our tree, decorate, and do a large number of Christmasy-things. I have a bunch of cleaning to catch up on, since that’s always the first thing that goes when you’re not feeling great, but I’m feeling super motivated knowing I have less than 2 weeks until Caroline’s party. Fingers crossed I can get the early prep done so I have time to actually make food. It would help if I started a menu…

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

The kids had Monday and Tuesday off school, which DIRECTLY coincided with E’s trip out of town. I did not enjoy that. It was also ridiculously cold. February is not my favorite.

Sunday:

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She said I was her sous chef because she was Top Chef

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He’s so helpful, trying to curl Caroline’s hair with a screwdriver.

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Lap nap baby

Monday:

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OMG GIANT SNAKE…oh wait, it’s still fake

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Hello whales!

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Literally bouncing off the walls

Tuesday:

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Hot mess babywearing

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Helping with selfies

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I put my baby down inside that Boppy. HOW DID HE GET OVER THERE?

Wednesday:

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Fake it til you make it

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Aparently today she is a Southern Belle

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This is becoming a bit of a habit

Thursday:

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MIRACLES

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Unimpressed with his cute new hat OR his fancy Tula…because it was 2 degrees out

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My husband is good at appologizing

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I’m going back to Gymboree and buying that onesie in ever size

Friday:

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Back nap! The BEST part of babywearing!

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Princess crime scene

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Gingerrrrrrrrs

Saturday:

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Big girl fancy soda

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Hashtag third child

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Oh you thought I was sleeping???? SURPRISE!

It was 41 degrees today. The kids and I all left the house without coats. But it’s going to be -11 tomorrow. At least there are no major snow storms in this week’s forecast? Maybe we’ll actually have a full week of school!! But knowing my luck, the second that happens will be the second Lincoln learns to crawl and I will never get a quiet moment again.

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

These are not very good, from a technical standpoint. My children were not very cooperative, I didn’t edit them much, and definitely don’t think anyone would call them professional. But they are an accurate representation of our holiday and I’m happy I have them and can share them and one day I will love them just as much as I love the tiny 3×5 prints of my own childhood Christmases.

I actually hate to even type this because I KNOW I will fail and why even TRY to start something when I know it will fail but I’m going to do a 365 Photo Project in 2015. My goal is to take one photo every day that I don’t edit. One photo taken as a JPG on my big girl camera, no cropping, no lighting adjustments, no cloning things out of the background, no white balance correction. I have to accept it as it was taken, which (hopefully) will make me more conscious of things in-camera and not letting myself say “Oh I’ll just fix it later”. That’s why I never posted Halloween photos – I never finished editing them. That is LAZY photography and I need to be better than that.

Don’t worry, I won’t post all of those photos here. I haven’t decided how I’ll do it yet but I promise I won’t make you look at a crappy photo every day. As if blog readership wasn’t down ENOUGH this year.

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Only the baby is still cooperative.

 

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I WILL KISS HIM BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU THREATENED ME WITH SANTA

 

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Literally the only thing Linc got in his stocking

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Socks in your stocking are TRADITION. DEAL WITH IT.

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Yeah, he ate that paper.

 

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Maybe next year Santa will bring her a hairbrush

 

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Obviously she got too many presents, since she’s this exhausted from opening.

 

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At least we know E got what he wanted. (Thanks Carolyn!)

 

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He did this for like 9 straight hours.

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The t-rex attacking the ponies cracks me up EVERY TIME. I am HILARIOUS.

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I got a super cool tripod for Christmas. This is me trying it out.

 

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Happy First Christmas, Baby Lincoln!

 

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