Monday, November 15, 2010

'Tis the Season....

It's that time of year again that can make you go crazy or you can embrace it and go with the flow.  With Lauren's birthday, then Thanksgiving, then Evan's birthday, then Christmas, I can get ahead of myself. (and really, we don't go overboard on anything.....it's laid back simple and we don't spend a bunch of money)  I dropped Lauren off at school today and just felt all panic-filled with scattered thoughts rambling around my head.  It's that time of year that the calendar is packed tight with events and birthdays and dinners and parties.

Now, it's mostly all fun stuff and I can't complain about any 'ol excuse to ditch the mom pants (in my case, black in color, yoga in style) and celebrate the season with people I love.  However, I kinda let my brain embrace ALL the events at once....envisioning all the dates on the calendar and babysitters to arrange.  It's Lauren's birthday on Wednesday so I was on a mission to secure her gift today.  I also realized how easy it is to get caught up in the ridiculous spending/buying that occurs this time of year.  (there's birthday treat for school and birthday dinner at our house with the family and bowling on Saturday with her cousins and, and, and, and.....I need to just stick to the list and not deviate.)

Side note:  Why am I the best at pulling four things out of the fridge every night and somehow making a really good meal but when I invite people over I fully freeze and can't think of one thing to make??????  And don't even get me started on "Bring an appetizer..."  CHOKE.

First stop was Target, where they didn't have any 18" frame bikes.  Only 20" for a good price.  I tried talking myself into just buying it and being done with the run-around.  But since she had tested out the 18" bike last week at Wal-Mart and even that was a tiny bit too big, I knew I was fooling myself.  And we all know how a gift that doesn't fit or doesn't work goes over with a 5 year old.  

So second stop, Wal-Mart, where I got the bike she tested out.  All the while Evan has "houdined" himself out of the cart and is running around freaking out about all the bikes as I'm talking to my BF Bobbi and asking for her help on the 18" vs. 20" frame.  This is all new to me.  "Buying New" that is.  Craigslist, Goodwill and resale/thrift shops and garage sales are where it is at.  Kids outgrow all this "stuff" so quickly you can get bargains galore for such great prices.  Her last bike was $10 from a garage sale.  But in my last minute attempt to surprise her with a bike on Wednesday, I was unable to find one in the right size, color, style, etc.  So new it is!  But my research showed Wal-Mart had the best price around.
Evan attempting to pick this pumpkin up and move it....
oh to love a boy.....
Lauren just wants to sit and read books!

As I was wandering around the toy aisles I find myself wanting to buy a doll or two and more Littlest Pet Shop stuff, FULLY knowing they would be things she'd play with for two seconds and move on.  She has Barbies and dolls and a newly inherited full pet shop delight from her cousin.  (Good Lord the little pieces.....really?  wow)  So note to self:  stay out of the stores.  (Even though  I completely ignored that and shopped Gap and Banana Republic with an extra 30% off coupon this weekend.)

I hate the commercial B.S. that most holidays and seasons have become.  But I do love the good stuff that you can find in all of it too.  The feeling in Trader Joe's today was one (I just made this all up and decided this.....) of love, friendship and planning for fabulous dinners for Thanksgiving.  Checking recipes and lists of tasks to complete.  Taking care in the planning and organizing.  Not caring so much about perfection, but togetherness.  Not caring about another doll to add to the other ones, but showing Lauren that when it's not about you all the time then life just works better......feels better.  

Lauren outgrew her little bike so "splurging" for a brand-spankin' new bike with streamers and a front pack and a kick stand and fancy training wheels and sparkle and a front hand brake in addition to the back break......well, I feel like she won't believe it on Wednesday morning when she wakes up and finds it in the living room.  And when we are done with this bike we can resell it or donate it.  And instead of a bunch of things to open, it's one big lovely surprise.

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