I Didn’t Decorate Yesterday, Won’t Today

I swear I’m not a Scrooge by I don’t have time to decorate tomorrow either. And on Monday FireDad will be out on the Back 40 over at Gramps’ with his Dad having male bonding time while searching for the Great Buck. Or something. So that day is out. And then Tuesday is his shift day. When, oh when, are we going to decorate for Christmas?

To be fair, I didn’t decorate yesterday and won’t today because even though LittleBrother’s birthday is not at our house tomorrow, many a person will likely stop by, including my best friend and her eight-ish month old son. Our living room isn’t fantasmically huge so if you try to shove in an extra baby, a best friend and multiple grandparents while I’m scrambling to give orders so we can get out the door and to the party, well, it doesn’t bode well to have less room because of a half-decorated Christmas tree.

Yes, half-decorated.

We don’t do the whole “put it in a playpen” thing because with the traveling we do around the holidays we might need our playpen. For BigBrother’s first moving-around Christmas, we did decorate. He pulled two (non-breakable but glitter covered) balls off the tree. Just that once. BigBrother was content to sit in one place and play quietly, even if I ran some laundry downstairs. All I had to do, at that age, was tell him “no-no, don’t touch” and he didn’t bother the tree again. LittleBrother is likely to pull the tree over on himself. I’m serious. And so I am predicting: no tinsel (sigh), all unbreakable ornaments (sigh) and too high up the tree for the littlest one to reach. Very sexy Christmas tree, no?


I might take down the Thanksgiving wreath from the front door and replace it with the Christmas wreath. I might also put the candy cane ribbon around our outdoor firefighter’s neck. (Oh, yes.) I might get a few things out for the living room. I might find our Christmas towels for the kitchen.

I might. I might.

Are you realizing that this post is more about convincing me than convincing you, my reader? This year has been so hectic and set at such a whirlwind pace that I have no idea how I’m going to fit in the minor/major task of decorating for my most favorite holiday of the year. Perhaps I should have considered this back when we planned our December 18th wedding and purposefully conceived both of our boys in the first week of March. Apparently I had no idea what parenthood would really entail when it came to birthday parties and holidays.

All that said, Morningside Mom has just launched her HP Magic Giveaway. Another one will launch later today. Be sure to pay attention to my tweets on twitter to find out when the other one goes live today!


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No Longer a Black Friday Virgin

I just wanted jammies. That’s all I wanted, folks. I hate (HATE!) paying more than ten bucks for pajamas since, you know, you just sleep in them and so when That Store That Has Everything from Eggs to Power Wheels had jammies for FOUR DOLLARS, well, I caved.

I’ve never gone Black Friday shopping. To be fair, three years ago I was caring for a newborn on this day and last year I would go into labor by evening. Still, I don’t like crowds. And I treasure my sleep. But four dollar jammies? I was in! I, however, don’t do 5:00 in the morning. As such, I set the alarm for quarter to six. I was out of the house at the top of the hour, grabbed some coffee at Sheetz and continued on to That Store That Has Everything from Toilet Paper to Rain Boots.

First of all, I was walking in as the crazy people who arrived at 5:00 were finishing their shopping. The lines at the cash registers, all open for once in the history of all history, were ridiculous. I felt overwhelmed. Then, being a Black Friday Virgin, I figured that since I wanted pajamas, I should go to where pajamas are sold. It made sense to me. Wrong answer. Logic doesn’t apply to Black Friday. I mean, obviously, right? Since people are out as early as 4:00 to shop. I then wandered around the store for a good twenty minutes before I found them next to the ice cream aisle. Of course! Where else would they be?! Thankfully I am actively parenting two boys because the girl pajamas were almost gone. The boys had a few more sitting on a well-picked-over display. And so I began searching. I needed a 4T because BigBrother’s head is too big for 3T pajamas and a size 18 months for the long, lean LittleBrother. I wanted Lightning McQueen and Thomas the Train. Whereas I normally shun licensed character clothing, I can handle them on pajamas. I mean, you just sleep in them (which is why it drives me nuts that they’re so costly).

My first pass yielded no characters that I was searching for and no sizes. I then began to dig. Like those crazy movies depict Black Friday. Yeah. I became that woman. But I came out with four sets of pajamas. In my head, victory music played as I held them over my head laughing maniacly while pumping the other fist in the air and yelling, “BOOYAH!” Or something. I got the very last 4T Lightning McQueen Thomas and Lightning jammes and the very last 18 month Lightning McQueen and Thomas jammies. I felt victorious. It soon passed.


I walked around for awhile, finding a few little deals for some friends and family members. But the store? Was a mess. The selection? Was well picked-over by 6:15am. The people? Were rarely polite. (I did run into (sometimes literally) a few people who had a spare smile and a kind word which is how I was purposefully trying to act myself.) I was scowled at by a few employees (though my cashier was a fabulously friendly lady). And to walk through the parking lot was to take your life in your own hands. Black Friday is not for the weak, let me tell you.

I will pass along this tip: go grocery shopping on Black Friday morning! No one was in the grocery section. Why was I? I had to grab some last minute items for LittleBrother’s birthday party on Sunday. My other tip? If you’re throwing a birthday party the weekend after Thanksgiving, go shopping for party fixins before Thanksgiving. That was my duh-moment on Wednesday evening and one of the main reasons that I ventured out this morning. I finished my morning at the dollar store grabbing some wrapping paper and plates, silverware and napkins for LittleBrother’s birthday party.

Perhaps I would have been more “into” the experience if I wouldn’t have already been mostly finished with my shopping. Maybe I would have filled two carts with stuff. But, knowing me, I doubt it. And so, the main question, will I go next year? Maybe. If That Store That Has Everything from Board Games to Beer has Power Wheels on sale for $88.00 next year, well, I’d have to cave. I couldn’t this year because I just envisioned BigBrother running LittleBrother over. And backing up. And doing it again. Without realizing he was doing it. And LittleBrother laughing, thinking that anything his older brother does it the most awesome thing in the world. All while internally bleeding. Yeah, no Power Wheels this year.

If, like everyone else who didn’t get to the store for an hour and fifteen minutes after they opened the doors, you missed a deal that you were looking for, don’t forget about the HP Magic Giveaway! Three giveaways are going live today! Bleeping Computer, Gear Live and Windows Connected are all launching their giveaways today, Black Friday. (TWO of those are already live as I write this.) I can tell you that Stop, Drop & Blog will go live with our giveaway on December 11th. In the meantime, I will keep linking to live sites. Keep reading, folks!