Friday, December 23, 2011


Whenever Emmy would see something on TV she would say how she wanted it for Christmas, those AS SEEN ON TV items Stompeez which are a blog post by themselves.

I figured she would constantly be changing her mind about what she wanted for Christmas like every other year.  She is only four.

Hmphf...shows how much I know.

Every time she has seen Santa since the beginning of December she has told him she wants a Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll.  That's all she wants...well that and a Barbie Puppy Wash (or the Barbie Puppy Water Park as it is really called).  Of course, she wanted the two things I didn't get her. 

I had seen the dolls before in passing but had never really paid much attention to them.  But, then I actually looked at them after Emmy started asking for one.  They are an updated concept on the rag doll and are actually kind of cute in a vintagey (yes, I know that isn't a word) kind of way.  I know for a fact Emmy never played with the Raggedy Ann doll I had bought her but I could see her playing with this.

So I started shopping for that Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll after Black Friday. Of course it had to be one of the hottest toys of the season.  The doll was sold out except on Amazon and eBay which were asking more than the retail price of the doll.

I was smart enough to call around to Kmart, Walmart, and a whole host of other stores before venturing out.  They basically laughed at me when I asked if they had it.  Then, I called Toys R Us as a last resort.  I figured they would not have them since they are a toy store and the first place people go for hard to buy items is toy stores. 

They had it!  I packed the kids up in the car and told them we were picking up the doll for their godparents who wanted it for a Christmas present.  I got there and told them I was there for the doll.  They looked at me like I was crazy and explained that they hadn't had that doll for awhile. 

So we headed over to Babies R Us on the off chance that was who I had called.  It turns out it was, thank heavens.  Apparently around the holidays, Babies R Us often gets the hotter toys to.  I got the Jewel Sparkles (who is in pink) doll because well, I thought she was cuter than Sugar Crumb (who is dressed in yellow). All Emily could talk about was how she wanted that doll for Christmas the entire way home.

I even went as far with my ruse as to pack the doll in a box, label it, and pretend to mail it.

Then, Emmy saw the yellow one and decided that she just had to have the yellow one named Sugar Crumb.  Needless, to say I was cursing myself in my head for overlooking the fact that my daughter's favorite color is yellow so of course she would want that one.

One day, when I was sans the kids, I made another trek to Babies R Us to exchange the doll.  Only days later, Emmy decided she wanted the pink one instead.  At that point common sense prevailed.  

I was doing the one thing I swore up and down I wouldn't do!

It was a good thing to since Babies R Us are officially sold out of them (or were the other week when I was in) because I just had to check.

So Emmy is getting the yellow Lalaloopsy doll and a note from Santa (which is a tradition in our house). According to Santa, even though the doll isn't the one Emmy necessarily wanted she needed a good home and since Emmy has such a big heart he thought Sugar Crumb would have a good home with her. 

Sheesh, I could write a book about the lies I tell my kids...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Easy Kid's Christmas Craft: Ribbon Trees

In the past, I usually didn't put Christmas decorations in the kids' rooms mainly because they were to young and I worried  a) about their safety and b)that they would destroy them.  I can see my 2 year old pulling Christmas lights out of their socket and so on.

The girls love to get into my ribbon and at the start of Emmy's pre-k this year they were emphasizing small, medium, and large so we did a Christmas tree craft with ribbon and we reinforced this concept and had fun getting sticky fingers with glue.

I don't know where I got the idea.  I think I saw something similar in a magazine or online and just adapted it to my kids' abilities and what I had in the house.  They may have used paper rather than ribbon.  I cut different pieces of ribbon and then let the girls glue them to paper starting with the longest pieces of ribbon to the smallest to form a tree shape.  We glued them on construction paper and then I cut two triangles of ribbon to form a diamond shape at the top of the tree.  We tried to make a star with several triangle shapes but it didn't look right so we went with the diamond shape.  For the trunk, we used a different piece of ribbon. 

Here is what they looked like:

You could cut out the tree then when they dried and punch a hole in the top to make an ornament for the tree. I used yarn to make the loop to use to hang the new ornament.  Don't forget to write the date on the back so you can remember when it was made for future Christmases as you reminisce!

I wanted to put something in the girls' room to add some Christmas cheer so while they were making their's I made one to.

I used an artist canvas that I had picked up brand new at a yard sale for less than a dollar and used ribbon that coordinated with the colors in their bedroom for the tree. I also made it look like a present by adding a bow.

Here is how mine turned out:

I brought some Christmas into the girls' room but I don't have to worry if they destroy it since it cost less than two dollars to make.

What kind of homemade goodness have you made for your tree or to decorate your house?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Gives Me Writer's Cramp

While the girls are busy playing doctor-or I should say a Rapunzel and rock star are playing doctor and Ry is sleeping, I snuck away to write a quick post.  The kids are within ear shot and my line of sight so I can be there in seconds if anything goes awry in my living room/doctor's office.

I used to write lists of presents I needed to buy, who gots tins filled with cookies, what I needed to do and places we planned to go, not to mention the christmas cards that needed to be signed, the envelopes that needed to be addressed, and the tags on the presents that needed to be written from us and "Santa". All these things gave me a severe case of writer's cramp.

I still do the lists just so I think my life has some semblance of organization before it all goes down the tubes by 8:30 am.

One Christmas in recent years I started using address labels so I just need to update my list of addresses each year. Of course last year when I ran out of labels, I shouldn't have thrown the packaging away because I have no idea what kind of labels I used.  Hence, this is why my Christmas cards (which I've had before Thanksgiving) are still not sent out. Today, I'm heading to Staples with the crew (3 kids ages 4, 2, and 5 months).  God help me.

Since we've had kids, I figure everyone wants to see how cute the kids are much the kids have grown so we just do photo cards with a short message. No more signing cards makes Mommy sing hallelujah.

That only left the gift tags to give me a mild case of writer's cramp.  To bad Em can't write much more than her name (and that endeavor would take up the entire gift tag) or I would give that task to her.  Only children would find pleasure in tasks that I hate doing (like using a dust pan and brush to clean up the mess on the floor from every single meal).  I always sign all of our names on gift tags to family and friends since I feel weirdly formal writing "From so-and-so Family". 

I had a Vistaprint livingsocial deal to use up about a month ago and I figured I could do something with business cards so I could get out this task to.  I made gift tags with the "To" part blank and then signed all of our names in the "From" part.  Next year I'll make ones from Santa since Em will probably be old enough to be even more aware of all the technicalities of Santa's visit.  I don't want her to realize there isn't a Santa because she recognizes my handwriting.  After writing a few gift tags, I can see me getting sloppy and forgetting to "disguise" my handwriting.

Here is how they turned out:

So now all of the annoying little things are much simpler until next year when I am bombarded with questions about how does Santa do this and that (thank goodness we haven't had to deal to much with that yet) and I have to make up lie after lie on the spot which I stink at.  I know I will forget my own lies and I'll be found out.  I can't even remember to find our generic "elf on the shelf" a new home each morning so remembering what fibs I've told the previous day isn't going to happen.

How do you make the holiday season easier on yourself while still keeping up with family traditions?