Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lost and Found

I have found new glory in wearing glasses, since I got these. I picked burgundy. Thank you, vision insurance.

I have lost my patience completely. Please let me know if you find it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Joys of You Tube

I think this is funny. Europe was awesome. In a way that is not awesome. As in I don't feel the need to revisit their music. But this is pretty good.

Happy Easter!

I enjoy this. Have a great Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Going Through the Change

Last month, I embarked on an adventure, an experiment of sorts. I decided that until further notice, but at least for the rest of this year, I am on a shopping ban. That's right. I heard of others doing it, and decided to give it a whirl.

Dave's not a shopper - he sees things that he wants, but I honestly can't remember the last time he went to the store and bought something for himself. Seriously.

Keep in mind that while we have good taste and discerning style, we haven't lived an extravagant lifestyle. For the year prior to the purchase of our home in Texas, we purchased no new goods. Earlier in our marriage, I wore a pair of Dave's jeans for the better part of a year - mine had worn out, the weather was warm, and participating in "jeans day" wasn't the point of my existence. We pack our lunches, do our grocery shopping at three different stores to get the best deals, subscribe to no movie channels, etc.

Back to today. It's a matter of efficiency and economics. We live in a moderately sized home, the majority of which is taken up by the belongings of a little boy. There is really nothing that we "need". We have plenty of clothing, cookware, linens, etc. Given the current economic climate, we decided that the best we could do was to live as frugally as possible, and save every extra dime.

There's a limit to how much can go out the door, anyway - when it costs over $3 per gallon to put gas in the vehicles, something has to go - last month it was Netflix, this month it was my acrylic nails. And so dwindles my contribution to the GNP.

That said, I love to shop. I love the order in the stores, the organized racks, and all the pretty colors. I love the brief exchanges between shoppers, shared compliments and anecdotes. I love the camaraderie of being around others who like the same things I do. The smallest purchase can give me a great amount of satisfaction. The purchases I love the most are the ones where I score a new thing for a great deal. What I realized when examining what I like about shopping is that the buying part isn't really what I enjoy most. I can still have all the parts that I enjoy - but my wallet doesn't get to come out and play.

This has been very empowering - I feel smarter, and more savvy. I like that I don't have to feel guilty about buying a new decorative plate when I don't really need it, or finding some way to justify a new bag. As an added advantage, we generate less trash.

There are exceptions - gift items are still allowed, as are things for Three Year Old. If I wear out a necessity item, and don't have a viable substitute on hand, that's game. (I can't think of an existing substitute in our home for, say, tires.)

The whole thing has been nice - a decision, rather than a necessity. I guess that I just changed my mind.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Kiddie Nostra

I think it's amazing that children seem to just know when it's time to do something new. So, this is how I think it works - every month, they have a conference call. They use their little toy cell phones, dial in, and it sounds something like this:

"Hello, everyone, and thanks for joining. The beeps are slowing down, so I think we can go ahead and get started. Please remember that there are a lot of people on this call, so be sure to put your phone on mute. It's 'star 6' to mute, and then 'star 6' again to unmute. As a reminder, this is 'Three and a Half Year old Boy' call, so if that's not you, go ahead and drop off now. OK, thanks.

We'll start off this month's call with the add/deletes. The list is pretty short, but let's run through. The biggest delete this month is pooping your pants. That one's over, guys. The other items on the delete list are naps on the weekends, substituting the f sound for the s sound, and pretending not to know where your toys go - we're not saying you need to consistently pick them up yet - that may never make it on the list - just make sure to read the signals and if it's going to result in a spanking, put the toy away. We need to start focusing on ways to save our butts, literally. Finally, the last delete is Blue's Clues - it's run it's course for us.

On the adds list, if you haven't already done so, make sure to incorporate the words 'always' and 'never' as much as possible into your vocabulary. It's critical that we do this - we aren't at the stage where we understand time completely, and extreme statements are going to help get us there. Some good usage examples are 'I'm NEVER going to get to play with my toys again', and 'You ALWAYS make me go to bed'. Get started with these statements, and be creative - think outside the toy box. A major add for this month is zipping your own jacket. Also, putting your clothes on all by yourself is another one - these are big, so congrats to everyone on all the hard work to get them done.

As a heads-up, there will be an add on a future call for writing your own name. Two months ago we covered recognizing the letters in your name, and we know that you've all been working hard to master writing. Be sure to cooperate with at least every third request from your Mommy and/or Daddy to do writing practice. This is an important one, guys - it will never go on the delete list.

Also, keep in mind that it's still cold outside, so we should still be demanding to wear short sleeve shirts, shorts, and sandals. There will be a reminder on the August call that you should be throwing a fit on a weekly basis to wear your winter coat.

Finally, because there have been so many big add/deletes this month, next month's call will consist primarily of a workshop entitled 'Pack Your Toys, We're Going on a Guilt Trip'. This skill set is critical, and we want to make sure everyone has the tools to really drill down on Mommy and Daddy guilt - drop off at nursery school is a great opportunity for practice. Those of you who don't attend nursery school will have to make a big push on nights when Mommy and Daddy go out to dinner. Remember, the bigger the guilt trip, the shorter the date night - however, you have to be asleep before they return, so stay away from sugar and caffeine for at least 4 hours prior. Performance enhancers are great, but you need to learn how to build this skill naturally.

That wraps up everything we needed to cover today - does anyone have questions?"