Tis the Season ... to tear out my hair.

It's getting harder to buy gifts for my parents. They're the kind of people who go out and buy what they want. That leaves precious little ideas about what to give them for Christmas. And believe me, I've given it a lot of thought.

When my father walks into an Apple Store, the salesmen all say "Norm!" and the stock price zooms up. That can't be a coincidence.

My mother, the Alpha Geek in the family, has a computer monitor the size of Kentucky sitting on her desk. It's tough to see what else she could use, besides a bigger desk.

I'm honestly happy for them. We kids are on our own, and they finally get to take care of themselves. Goodness knows they deserve it. I'm looking forward to deserving it one day, too! But now I'm stuck figuring out what to get them for Christmas. Here's my list so far.

Dad: white socks.
Mom: maybe some cream-colored socks?

You can see where this is headed: a one-way ticket to Yawn City on Christmas morning. So if anyone has better ideas, step up to the plate and take a swing.


All I Want for Christmas

BRIAN: You need to make a Christmas list for me. Or else I'll have to get you a bowling ball. Or a blowtorch.

ME: (silent, thinking of what I might want)

BRIAN: Okay?

ME: Yeah. I don't want to get a blowtorch for Christmas.

BRIAN: It's not really a blowtorch, as much as a cutting torch.


Classified Listings

Last week, for no apparent reason, Helen woke up at 12:15 a.m. She stayed awake until nearly 4 a.m., passed out for an hour, then was up for good.

I, on the other hand, spent the day in zombie mode. Apparently I promised everyone money and loads of free time, too. This morning, everyone called to remind me of it.

Next time, I need to remember to take the day off.

So I was complaining to a friend about not getting any sleep, and behold, there's a website that understands my pain. Here's a t-shirt I could have ordered instantly:

Unfortunately, they don't have any sizes over 18 months, and Helen "bowl full of jelly" Wyatt outgrew that size the day she learned about macaroni and cheese.

She's her mother's daughter, to be sure.

(I think they're also limited to 18 months because the kid catches on to the FOR SALE sign bit after a while.)

Anyway, the shirt made me laugh on a day I really, really needed it. But if I bought it, made her wear it and then took her to daycare, you can bet DHS will be following me home.


Mmmm, cookies.

While Helen & I were napping this afternoon, Brian went to the store. I awoke to the delicious smell of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Brian: There's nothing better than cookie dough icing on top of a cookie.

Me: Really?

Brian: (takes a bite) Oh my god!

Me: What?

Brian: I can actually feel my hips expanding!


Cheeky Monkey

When do you stop wanting to kiss baby cheeks all the time?

I was scrolling through photos we've taken of Helen over the past year, and what surprised me was how many pictures I have of Helen where we're kissing her. Top of head, little baby hand, you name it. Both Brian & I, caught in the act.

I kiss that little baby's cheeks a LOT. When she gets up in the morning, I get her out of her crib and give her a big hug with lots of kisses. While we're playing, sometimes I grab her and kiss her cheeks until she starts giggling. When I get her out of her high chair after dinner, she gets a big kiss before I put her down. Of course, that's after she's been cleaned up - the ravioli nights would be a disaster for both of us if I didn't wash her face first. Yuck!

And I know that kissing stops eventually, because our parents aren't kissing on us all the time. And I'm wondering, why? Do you still want to, and you just don't because we're all adults here? Do the teenage years ruin it for you? Is it because I don't have those impossibly squooshy soft baby cheeks anymore?

I'm curious. Really. If you have a theory, feel free to leave it in the comments.

In the meantime, I'm kissing those cheeks for all I'm worth.


Halloween Night

We didn't practice "Trick or Treat." We didn't show Helen how to carry her candy bucket. We didn't even tell her to what to do when she got to the door.

We didn't have to do any of those things. At 18 months, Helen is a Halloween pro.

She picked through bowls of candy, and she said "dah-doo" (thank you) and "bye." She said "woof woof" to the puppies and "shee-shee" to the kitties. And she charmed the heck out of all of the neighbors.

I tell you, there's nothing more fun than a little kid on Halloween.

Except when she goes to bed at 8 and her parents get to eat all the candy.

Getting ready to go out in her Piglet costume, exchanging pacifier for candy bucket:

Running to the next house:

I love this picture! She's peering in the door (can you see the homeowners?):


Checking out the candy back at home:

Twizzlers rock!